Rave Radio: Offline (0/0)
Email: Password:
News (Media Awareness Project) - US CO: Editorial: Making Medical Marijuana Legit
Title:US CO: Editorial: Making Medical Marijuana Legit
Published On:2011-12-18
Source:Denver Post (CO)
Fetched On:2011-12-19 06:01:30

A State Crackdown on Fraudulent Pot Referrals Will Lead to a Cleaner
System and Less Federal Attention.

We're glad to see the state's health department probing medical
marijuana referrals to see whether they are on the up and up.

Ensuring Colorado has a clean system will help ward off federal
enforcement action that has been so controversial.

And despite what those who favor broader legalization of marijuana
might think, a closely regulated system probably would help their
cause with voters who are on the fence about making pot legal.

Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
issued a statement saying the department would be taking a closer
look at medical marijuana registry applications from certain physicians.

The reason, according to the news release, is that the agency had
received information from law enforcement about doctor certification
forms that potentially were fraudulent.

Initially, about 2,600 applications received in September and October
were delayed, with an additional 1,600 held back since then.

The core allegation is that people seeking marijuana for medical
purposes were being seen by someone other than a doctor.

A voter-approved amendment to the state constitution and a subsequent
law passed by the legislature clearly spell out that those seeking
medical marijuana cards must be examined by a doctor.

The doctor must certify that a patient has a debilitating medical
condition, and must have a relationship with the patient that would
include an exam, creation of records and an offer of a follow-up appointment.

We're glad to see the department embracing its watchdog role when it
comes to the medical marijuana registry.

Ensuring applicants are following the rules will be a step toward
tightening up a system that has long been suspected of providing
legal cover for those who just want to smoke marijuana - not those
who are truly sick or in severe pain.

Such a clamp-down would give law enforcement officers at the federal
level reason to look elsewhere for problems.

Marijuana possession and use remains illegal at the federal level.
However, as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has repeatedly said, it
is not a priority for the Department of Justice to pursue those who
follow state medical marijuana rules in using the drug.

In a recent exchange with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, Holder
reiterated that position.

It is incumbent upon those seeking medical marijuana registry cards
to make sure they qualify, and that includes being seen by a real doctor.

When the legislature passed a law tightening up the definition of a
doctor-patient relationship for purposes of medical marijuana cards,
we had hoped it would cut down on the number of fraudulent
applications. We're glad to see that process is under way.
Member Comments
No member comments available...