WASHINGTON: At this very moment, in a nondescript-looking office building in Kent, the Department of Health‘s Board of Naturopathy is conducting a hearing that may have a significant effect on the future of medical marijuana in Washington State.
At issue is a 74-year-old naturopathic doctor named Kathleen Naughton who, after a nearly 40-year career with no formal complaints or disciplinary action against her, has been busted by the DOH for giving a patient a temporary marijuana authorization and suggesting she use a non-intoxicating cream for a repetitive-stress injury.
The problem: The “patient” was an undercover DOH investigator, sent to Dr. Naughton’s clinic to deceive a doctor (not Dr. Naughton necessarily—apparently, any doctor at the clinic would’ve done) and see if she could wheedle her way into a marijuana authorization.
The undercover agent got what she came for, and the DOH began disciplinary proceedings. What the agency didn’t realize was that this 74-year-old naturopath and activist, whose career began with free women’s health clinics and midwifery, was going to fight back.