Washington Medical Marijuana Clinics Spooked Over New Reporting Requirement

WASHINGTON: Washington state regulators are tightening their grip on medical marijuana this week by targeting dubious patient authorizations. But some clinics say the changes, which begin Friday, will put them out of business.

The new Cannabis Patient Protection Act requires any health care provider who authorizes more than 30 medical cannabis patients in a month to report to the Department of Health.

Amber Berman-Ortiz, co-owner of the Verde Medical Clinic in Seattle’s U-district, says authorizers don’t know what exactly the state plans to do with that information. She says her staff is spooked.

Medical Marijuana Witch-Hunts Are Here

WASHINGTON:  On April 24th, Governor Inslee signed SB5052, the “Cannabis Patient Protection Act” into law. Although named such, this bill threatens patient access to health care providers who are willing to work with medical cannabis patients and who have the clinical tools to do so.

In discussion with fellow citizens since the passage of SB5052, I’ve found many people are unaware why, for most patients, it is not a simple move to obtain an authorization for cannabis from their primary care doctor or their specialist (i.e. neurologist or oncologist). Prescriptive rights and a valid medical license are explicitly necessary for patient care, yet health care providers may risk their prescriptive rights as well as medical licensing when they discuss details of how to use cannabis with their patients. Compounding the issue, doctors working at large healthcare organizations and hospital systems may have administrative orders not to write recommendations or to discuss Cannabis use with patients. Skilled cannabis care is difficult to access in the conventional medicine system.

Any healthcare provider choosing to use medical cannabis as a viable therapeutic option for patients is faced with a quandary: Do I explain how my ill patient can best use medical cannabis, including precise dosing information and follow-up care?; Or, do I say nothing and simply hand the patient documentation stating that the benefits of trying cannabis outweighs the risks? What we think of as “good medicine” here, to advise patients on how to use their medicine appropriately, violates the federal Conant decision, which states that discussion of dosage, method of use and even where to find appropriate medical cannabis is against federal law. Additionally, many healthcare providers have not accessed continuing education for health care providers that recommend specifics such as dose or administration forms.

 

Rivers’ Bill On Medical Marijuana Draws Heat

WASHINGTON:  Washington’s unregulated medical marijuana market has repeatedly been described as the wild, wild West.

Well, the gunslinging has started.

One activist Photoshopped a portrait of Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, a key lawmaker pushing the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, adding fangs and devilish red eyes to the photo.

A medical marijuana user said Rivers’ measure, which has gained momentum in the state Legislature, would be so detrimental to patients, he has a hard time picturing her as anything other than an “evil person.”