Legislators in Colorado, worried by conservative hype that “marijuana mills” are helping patients get high rather than healthy, are trying to figure out how to reduce access to cannabis. Most of a stack of competing proposals would hurt patients by making it harder to get an authorization.
One proposed regulation would require a “bona fide” relationship between doctor and patient, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Another would ban doctors with “conditions” on their medical licenses from authorizing medical marijuana patients, reports Neil Katz at CBS News
As usual, the biggest casualties of the confusion are patients. About 1,300 people who applied for medical marijuana cards were rejected late last year by health officials because their recommendations came with doctors with license conditions.
The problem, according to the Colorado Medical Society, is that some license conditions have nothing to do with a doctor’s ability to recommend medication or authorize medical marijuana.
Dr. Abraham Grinberg, for example, a 64-year-old Denver physician who once focused on neonatal care, gave that up when a hand tremor made surgery impossible. He started seeing patients who needed medical marijuana.
“I really felt I was helping people, people who couldn’t be helped by other means,” Dr. Grinberg said. “I helped them get off painkillers and narcotics.”
But now he’s relegated to the sidelines, waiting for Colorado health officials and lawmakers to figure out the rules.
Some advocates are angry about that.
“Voters in 2000 deemed that it was medicine,” said Diana Protopapa of the Colorado Medical Society. “What the medical society then wants is for marijuana to be treated like other medicine.”