A ‘Niche Business’: Mainstream Doctors Are Wary Of Prescribing Medical Marijuana

MASSACHUSETTS: Looking for a medical marijuana prescription? Your general practitioner probably won’t help you get it.

Most doctors aren’t approved to certify Massachusetts residents as medical-marijuana patients, which is the first step toward receiving legal marijuana from one of the state’s two open dispensaries. In fact, there are only 108 certified doctors in the entire state.

Because of the prevailing stigma among general practitioners, prescribing medical cannabis is a niche business for many clinics. Those who certify patients say it’s a “specialty medicine,” similar to a podiatrist, chiropractor or ear-nose-and-throat doctor. But some experts are concerned that this system encourages a culture of drive-by doctors who prescribe marijuana on an a la carte basis, rather than in the context of a valid doctor-patient relationship.

New Pot Prescribing Standards For B.C. Doctors

CANADA:  The BC College of Physicians and Surgeons is looking to weed out the so called ‘pot docs’ by putting in place new standards when it comes to prescribing medical marijuana.

The new rules could make accessing the drug at Vancouver’s more than 80 dispensaries more difficult. The new rules look to keep doctors from prescribing to people under the age of 25. They also forbid doctors from charging patients for marijuana-related medical documents.

Now doctors prescribing the drug must either be, or have the approval of, a patient’s primary physician.

Dana Larson, from Sensible BC, says “I know a lot of people, under 25, who are prescribed Ritalin, who are prescribed opiate pain relievers, other medicines like that, that are far more addictive and far more potentially harmful to the brain and body than cannabis is.”