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Where Are All the Medical Marijuana Doctors? · High Times

Where Are All the Medical Marijuana Doctors?

  • It’s one thing that 29 states have legal medical marijuana, but quite another to find a doctor to recommend it so patients can purchase their medicine.
  • Physicians can discuss and safely recommend, although not prescribe, cannabis to patients as a health care option, under state or federal law, thanks to a 2004 Federal Court decision that relied on the First Amendment.
  • As states develop their MMJ laws, they enact regulations that include what and who can recommend and how the process works, but participating doctors are hard to find.
  • The recommending doctor must also be the attending physician of the patient and have primary responsibility for the cardholder’s care.
  • Qualifying for a medical marijuana card is not terribly difficult so long as the patient’s illness or condition is on the list of qualifying conditions, which varies from state to state.

It’s one thing that 29 states have legal medical marijuana, but quite another to find a doctor to recommend it so patients can purchase their medicine.

It’s one thing that 29 states have legal medical marijuana, but quite another to find a doctor to recommend it so patients can purchase their medicine.

Physicians can discuss and safely recommend, although not prescribe, cannabis to patients as a health care option, under state or federal law, thanks to a 2004 Federal Court decision that relied on the First Amendment.

“An integral component of the practice of medicine is the communication between a doctor and a patient. Physicians must be able to speak frankly and openly to patients,” read the decision.

Medical cannabis statutes in most states, going back to California’s Proposition 215 in 1996, choose this “recommendation” language carefully.

As states develop their MMJ laws, they enact regulations that include what and who can recommend and how the process works, but participating doctors are hard to find.

In Oregon, according to the Portland Mercury, the recommending physician has to be a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

The recommending doctor must also be the attending physician of the patient and have primary responsibility for the cardholder’s care. The idea behind this is to discourage shady MDs and DOs from setting up medical-card mills without really treating their patients.

Qualifying for a medical marijuana card is not terribly difficult so…

Where Are All the Medical Marijuana Doctors? · High Times

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