Jump to content

Mdch And Hprp Do Not Recognize Mmc For Licensed Health Care Professionals


JohnB RPh
 Share

Recommended Posts

In my ongoing saga since my arrest in January for indoor growing, I was required by my licensing board and the Health Professionals Recovery Program to meet today with another representative of HPRP for another evaluation to determine the extent of what my ordered recovery program will be. Even though I've been in a court ordered drug diversion program since January, and have had clean urine tests since then. This individual was a Physician/Psychiatrist specializing in addiction, and I got the impression from the other HPRP counselers I had met with he was an individual whose voice is heard by the HPRP.

 

This gist of this post is that during the philisophical portion of our discussion it came out, and I quote, that the Department of Community Health and the Health Care Recovery Program do not recognize the Medical Marijuana card use by licensed professionals as it is their opinion that due to the metabolites of marijuana one is still practicing while impaired. He professed ignorance when I pointed out the recent court case involving metabolites and driving while impaired.

 

As my fate is still in their hands I felt I had to tread lightly about the subject, but I had did have the MMA in writing with me, as well as the form I received from the state when I received my card, which quotes the protection clause under Sec 4(a). Under the guise of informing colleagues who also have cards, and thinking I must have misunderstood, I read Sec 4(a) out loud and specifically asked the evaluator that even had I been legal and had my card at the time of my arrest, it still would not have protected me from professional sanction, to which he replied in the affirmative. I then responded, "so I WAS correct in initially not applying for a card for fear of state reprisal", to which he was noncomittal. He stated that that was not necessarily so, as it protected me from prosecution in the eye of law enforcement, but it still did not allow me to practice my profession if I used marijuana. And I was specific about not using it while performing my duties, but use at any time.

 

 

As I did not have my card at the time of my arrest, I don't think any legal action on my part would result in any different result for me, regardless of my current status as a card holder, but I feel it is very important other licensed health care professional know that they may, in fact, not be protected by the law if they have their card. In fact, I believe it does not even have to be health care professionals, but any licensed individiual, because when I inquired about legal counsel he recounted anecdotally of two police officers who were registered card holders obtainted counsel who were still sanctioned for having postive urine tests

 

I am very curious about the opinion of legal professionals concerning this attitude, which to me is in direct violation of Section 4(a) of the Act.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Annie.

 

I must say I'm disappointed over the lack of reaction to my statements of denial of rights. For all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that occurs on this board over any perceived slight of the Medical Marijuana act, one would think my claim that a representative of a state department, in fact the very department that also oversees the Medical Marijuana program, specifically stated they did not recognize the Medical Marijuana card for certain individuals, would raise a huge outcry. In my opinion, this is the most blatant violation of the Medical Marijuana Act I have read here. In my mind the protection clause of Section 4(a) is very clear, and their denial is in direct violation of it.

 

Maybe I didn't word my post properly, or perhaps because it doesn't pertain to 99% of the members here, but I would hope defending all aspects of the Medical Marijuana act would be an important issue for everyone. The denial of your rights may be next.

 

Karen Kay says hi, btw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People who can point you in the right direction was at protest all day today. We were there protesting the very thing you are talking about...government officials underminding the will of the people. Hold on John help is on the way and untill then brother hold your head high and just think....there will be another election day!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, that really is horrible news, John. It sounds to me, that we do have another front on which to fight. You should be protected under this law, even with the AD. You had already been doctor certified at the time of the discovery of your use, right? Even if you had not, the doctor signing afterward should protect you, in that you were using out of medical necessity. Unfortunately, you certifying board is likely so beholden to the status quo and big pharma that it is unlikely they can see reason without it being legally pounded in to them. I wish you the best, and hope there is some way that i could help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Annie.

 

I must say I'm disappointed over the lack of reaction to my statements of denial of rights. For all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that occurs on this board over any perceived slight of the Medical Marijuana act, one would think my claim that a representative of a state department, in fact the very department that also oversees the Medical Marijuana program, specifically stated they did not recognize the Medical Marijuana card for certain individuals, would raise a huge outcry. In my opinion, this is the most blatant violation of the Medical Marijuana Act I have read here. In my mind the protection clause of Section 4(a) is very clear, and their denial is in direct violation of it.

 

Maybe I didn't word my post properly, or perhaps because it doesn't pertain to 99% of the members here, but I would hope defending all aspects of the Medical Marijuana act would be an important issue for everyone. The denial of your rights may be next.

 

Karen Kay says hi, btw.

 

Sorry to hear about your situation.

 

I've had a long day with the protests and then a terminal cancer patient.

 

I've been thinking about your situation. I just haven't posted yet.

 

I'm trying to get a grasp on potential methods that would most likely to provide you with the best outcome.

 

It is very problematic that the MDCH is a part of the problem. That's nasty.

 

It's going to be a while before our full rights are realized by officials. We're still getting it right about "the case shall be dismissed." The next area is to get them to stop stealing our stuff.

 

We've got Joe getting fired from Meyers and a woman with children being kicked out of fed housing. We're just getting a little stretched out.

 

You're point about metabolites is a big one. There are indeed protections within the workplace in our law. But those protections don't cover being high on the job. Not you, I know. Did you provide them with the court ruling? Have you talked to an attorney about this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Annie.

 

I must say I'm disappointed over the lack of reaction to my statements of denial of rights. For all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that occurs on this board over any perceived slight of the Medical Marijuana act, one would think my claim that a representative of a state department, in fact the very department that also oversees the Medical Marijuana program, specifically stated they did not recognize the Medical Marijuana card for certain individuals, would raise a huge outcry. In my opinion, this is the most blatant violation of the Medical Marijuana Act I have read here. In my mind the protection clause of Section 4(a) is very clear, and their denial is in direct violation of it.

 

Maybe I didn't word my post properly, or perhaps because it doesn't pertain to 99% of the members here, but I would hope defending all aspects of the Medical Marijuana act would be an important issue for everyone. The denial of your rights may be next.

 

Karen Kay says hi, btw.

 

John, What you have discussed is exactly why MANY licensed individuals have NOT applied for a 'card'.

 

I knew from the very start that a licensed person ran a very big risk in obtaining a card.

 

I don't care what anyone says about 'how' the law should be carried out, the health care 'Licensing Boards' which are all handled by the MDCH have far too close contact with each other NOT to jeopardize a 'professional' health care provider's license AND livelihood.

 

From what I read it sounds like your issues with LEOs came about 'before' you obtained your card, that may have changed the outcome of what the licensing board required of you, but I strongly suspect that it wouldn't have mattered even if you had had your card, the licensing board is going to claim that practicing while using MMJ AT ANY TIME is an infraction that can be seen by the 'Board' as reason to take a person's license from them.

 

And because of the few numbers of 'licensed professionals' that may have a card, a TEST case is going to be a long time in coming.

 

But best of luck though and thanks VERY much for the HEADS UP!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm very saddened by what has happened to you but it does not surprise with me with the way that the MDCH treats individuals that have a professional license. They seem to think they hold all the cards when it comes to issuing, revoking, and suspending any license, regardless of the circumstances. MDCH has also dragged it's feet on the issue of medical marijuana which shows to me their unwillingness to accept it as a form of treatment.

 

The MDCH argument of being intoxicated while performing your professional duties is an argument that any employer could try and make, especially jobs that require contact with the public or public safety.

 

I would definately try and discuss this with an attorney before HPRP issues what you need to do in order to retain your license. I've seen doctors and nurses have to jump MANY hoops in order to be able to retain their license. Manyh times it was above and beyond any court ordered sanctions. Just look at what the HPRP deems as impairment on their website.

 

http://www.hprp.org/hprp/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=70

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jinx - I would still recommend getting your card to protect you from law enforcement. In theory, if you are legal when accosted by authorities, the question of your use would never come to the attention of the Bureau of Health Professions. And even a conspiracy nut like myself doesn't believe the Bureau peruses which cardholders are licensed professionals and which are not. The important point imo is to keep the Bureau from finding out in the first place.

 

1337Gr33n - No, I was not legal at the time of my arrest. I obtained my card immediatly following my charges. Actually, arrest is not the correct term, I believe, because my entry into the Drug Diversion program left my charges as "pending". Upon my completion of the 1 year program any record of my involvement would be expunged from the courts. It was this very fact that kept me from arguing the Affirmitive Defense at trial, on the advice of my lawyer. He stated since I was not formally charged with anything, I did not need to notify the Board, which would keep my record with them clean. The drug court prosecutor was the one that notified them, out of pure maliciousness according to my lawyer. The prosecutor said he was required to notify them, a fact my lawyer vehemently denied as I have not formally been charged with anything. I don't know who to believe, and at this point it doesn't really matter.

 

Peanut Butter - If the court order you refer to is the recent metabolites in system vs driving while impaired decision, I gave a verbal summation but did not have it in writing. My evaluator was completely unaware of it, however. I have not obtained legal counsel at this time, and the more I think about it I probably won't. I suspect me being not legal at the time would be a detriment in arguing any defense with the Board, but perhaps not. My punishment from the Board has been meted out and is over with, it's the HPRP that is hasseling me now. Given more time to think about this, I, and others like myself, are in a horrible catch-22. The bottom line is 99.9% of all employers of licensed health professionals have some policy against marijuana use, Medical Marijuana card or not. Even were we to argue and win a case against the board, it would just take a hint from the board against our employers to have us terminated for marijuana use. It would be more difficult for us then most to keep our private affairs private.

 

Greenbuddha - You are correct in suspecting even had I had a card at the time it would not have made a difference with the board. The HPRP rep stated that same thing word for word. They do not recognize use for any reason, regardless of what Section 4(a) says about denial of rights by any government body or licensing board. I admit I was speechless when he stated that. I believe if I had had the card though, it would have kept the authorities off my back in the first place, however, and kept it from the attention of the Board, hence my advice to Dr Jinx.

 

JMorrison - You sure are correct about the HPRP making me jump through hoops. Even though I am in a court ordered one year diversion program, the HPRP is talking about a 3 year monitoring plan. Of course, all at $300 per session. Seems like a self fullfilling prophecy to justify their existance and line their pockets, to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jinx - I would still recommend getting your card to protect you from law enforcement. In theory, if you are legal when accosted by authorities, the question of your use would never come to the attention of the Bureau of Health Professions. And even a conspiracy nut like myself doesn't believe the Bureau peruses which cardholders are licensed professionals and which are not. The important point imo is to keep the Bureau from finding out in the first place.

 

1337Gr33n - No, I was not legal at the time of my arrest. I obtained my card immediatly following my charges. Actually, arrest is not the correct term, I believe, because my entry into the Drug Diversion program left my charges as "pending". Upon my completion of the 1 year program any record of my involvement would be expunged from the courts. It was this very fact that kept me from arguing the Affirmitive Defense at trial, on the advice of my lawyer. He stated since I was not formally charged with anything, I did not need to notify the Board, which would keep my record with them clean. The drug court prosecutor was the one that notified them, out of pure maliciousness according to my lawyer. The prosecutor said he was required to notify them, a fact my lawyer vehemently denied as I have not formally been charged with anything. I don't know who to believe, and at this point it doesn't really matter.

 

Peanut Butter - If the court order you refer to is the recent metabolites in system vs driving while impaired decision, I gave a verbal summation but did not have it in writing. My evaluator was completely unaware of it, however. I have not obtained legal counsel at this time, and the more I think about it I probably won't. I suspect me being not legal at the time would be a detriment in arguing any defense with the Board, but perhaps not. My punishment from the Board has been meted out and is over with, it's the HPRP that is hasseling me now. Given more time to think about this, I, and others like myself, are in a horrible catch-22. The bottom line is 99.9% of all employers of licensed health professionals have some policy against marijuana use, Medical Marijuana card or not. Even were we to argue and win a case against the board, it would just take a hint from the board against our employers to have us terminated for marijuana use. It would be more difficult for us then most to keep our private affairs private.

 

Greenbuddha - You are correct in suspecting even had I had a card at the time it would not have made a difference with the board. The HPRP rep stated that same thing word for word. They do not recognize use for any reason, regardless of what Section 4(a) says about denial of rights by any government body or licensing board. I admit I was speechless when he stated that. I believe if I had had the card though, it would have kept the authorities off my back in the first place, however, and kept it from the attention of the Board, hence my advice to Dr Jinx.

 

JMorrison - You sure are correct about the HPRP making me jump through hoops. Even though I am in a court ordered one year diversion program, the HPRP is talking about a 3 year monitoring plan. Of course, all at $300 per session. Seems like a self fullfilling prophecy to justify their existance and line their pockets, to me.

Many thanks for your insights and thoughts. I have glaucoma which I would like to treat with MMJ [i have also had the laser treatment] but I am not willing to take a chance at compromising my license at this time. I will wait and watch to see what develops in this area-I tend to be paranoid about these sort of issues even though I have an unquestionably documented justification for MMJ. I think it would be useful to me to learn if we have other Licensed Professionals out there who have gotten the state Certification and have NOT experienced any blow back from any government licensing or oversight board.If anyone fits that description, hopefyully you will at least email me and let me know. In the meantime I will of course avoid any illegal utilization of MJ-it is just not worth it !!!!!

Dr. Jinx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally agree that you probably came to the attention of MDCH because of your court case but I'm like you I don't trust any agency that is in charge of both the medical marijuana program and licensing. In my opinion MDCH does not want to see marijuana included in any form of medical treatment for numerous reasons. What's really messed up is that they don't seem to have any problem with medical professionsals using narcotics as prescribed. I also believe that if the feds changed marijuana to a different schedule drug, MDCH would still be riding their high horse on this issue. It's also a huge slap in the face when the agency responsible for overseeing MMMA decides they will punish you because you hold a professional license. MDCH can't even abide by the law!

 

IMHO I would try and find a treatment provider that would satisfy your terms of probation as well as HPRP. Most of the time HPRP does but it all depends on what your sentencing requirements are in court. For example the court may sentence you to attend AA/NA 3 times a week while HPRP wants you to attend their group meetings and not just AA/NA. Try and get it so you don't have to jump through two sets of hoops, if that's the case in your situation.

 

I would also make sure you understand your diversion status in court. If you were given 7411 status that means that your case in NOT expunged. It means that if you successfully complete all terms and conditions of your sentencing then the case is dismissed and becomes NON-PUBLIC. There is no status that I'm aware of where your case is expunged. You can only petition the court after 5 years (it could be 7 years) after the case is closed to have your case expunged. Another type of diverison is 771.1 status but my guess is if you are calling it drug diversion then it's 7411 status since that applies to drug cases specifically. FYI- non-public status means that it's not accessable to the general public but it will still be there on a LEIN check for law enforcement and individuals that have access to non-public records like courts, Department of Corruption, etc. PM me if you need more info on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe I read earlier that a 'licensed' health care provider wanted to know the experiences of other 'carded' health care providers by way of comments and 'back-channel' emails.

 

If this info on the 'numbers' or 'experiences' of health care providers that have a 'card' could be put in this thread or some other post, 'OF COURSE WITHOUT ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION OR EMAIL ADDRESS' ..it would be good to actually get an idea of just how many 'carded' licensed health care people are out there.

 

There is strength in numbers. AGAIN... PLEASE... NO NAMES OR PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD BE GIVEN.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just because a bureaucrat says something does not mean a darn thing. The MMMA is the law of Michigan and the MDCH must recognize it. That is what courts are for.

Just sucks you have to go to court or thorugh all this BULL CRAP just for some meds...I bet if you was vicodin,xanaex, or what ever else they are taking..You would be just fine..is it like LETS ALL DIE TOGETHER>> if you dont want to die , you want to use marijuana and live..Get away from us..we want to go as fast as we can cause we are misaraboel on these meds that are helping us..NOT>>>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just sucks you have to go to court or thorugh all this BULL CRAP just for some meds...I bet if you was vicodin,xanaex, or what ever else they are taking..You would be just fine..is it like LETS ALL DIE TOGETHER>> if you dont want to die , you want to use marijuana and live..Get away from us..we want to go as fast as we can cause we are misaraboel on these meds that are helping us..NOT>>>

THIS SHCIT REALY PISSES ME OFF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please know that our organization will assist you in any way we can. The law is clear when it comes to professionals and the law. Thanks, BB

 

Blueberry that is great to see the support for those of us on here that this information applies to. The law is very clear about this but I know how different licensing boards (attorneys, health professions, etc) hold themselves as the final say in all matters. They feel they make the rules so you have to abide by the rules...at least that how their attitude seems. There is very little room for discussion and even less room for appeal. Reminds me of that statment "it's my way or the highway."

 

I also believe that employers of licensed professionals will begin to catch on to this and start more random drug testing, if they don't already. That would mean just another potential way the person could be reported to their licensing board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blueberry that is great to see the support for those of us on here that this information applies to. The law is very clear about this but I know how different licensing boards (attorneys, health professions, etc) hold themselves as the final say in all matters. They feel they make the rules so you have to abide by the rules...at least that how their attitude seems. There is very little room for discussion and even less room for appeal. Reminds me of that statment "it's my way or the highway."

 

I also believe that employers of licensed professionals will begin to catch on to this and start more random drug testing, if they don't already. That would mean just another potential way the person could be reported to their licensing board.

 

Morrison, IMO you have the 'licensing boards' pegged very accurately.

 

'Stalin' couldn't hold a candle to some of the 'boards'.

 

And with the MDCH governing at least the health care 'boards' I believe a health care professional is taking his / her butt into their own hands when it comes to obtaining an 'MMJ card' from the VERY people that control their 'license'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm very saddened by what has happened to you but it does not surprise with me with the way that the MDCH treats individuals that have a professional license. They seem to think they hold all the cards when it comes to issuing, revoking, and suspending any license, regardless of the circumstances. MDCH has also dragged it's feet on the issue of medical marijuana which shows to me their unwillingness to accept it as a form of treatment.

 

The MDCH argument of being intoxicated while performing your professional duties is an argument that any employer could try and make, especially jobs that require contact with the public or public safety.

 

I would definately try and discuss this with an attorney before HPRP issues what you need to do in order to retain your license. I've seen doctors and nurses have to jump MANY hoops in order to be able to retain their license. Manyh times it was above and beyond any court ordered sanctions. Just look at what the HPRP deems as impairment on their website.

 

http://www.hprp.org/hprp/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=70

 

 

The problem is the work "BOARD" it has the legal authoruty in most states to do whatever the hell it wants to. Members are usually appointed, not elected. So political pressure will not work. Unfortunatly I have had my share of run-ins with boards and they ALWAYS win!! Sorry to hear about the hastels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Please know that our organization will assist you in any way we can. The law is clear when it comes to professionals and the law. Thanks, BB

 

 

Blueberry that is great to see the support for those of us on here that this information applies to. The law is very clear about this but I know how different licensing boards (attorneys, health professions, etc) hold themselves as the final say in all matters. They feel they make the rules so you have to abide by the rules...at least that how their attitude seems. There is very little room for discussion and even less room for appeal. Reminds me of that statment "it's my way or the highway." I also believe that employers of licensed professionals will begin to catch on to this and start more random drug testing, if they don't already. That would mean just another potential way the person could be reported to their licensing board.

 

I received the summary judgement for monitoring from the HPRP today, and without going into detail it is well beyond even the worst case scenario I had envisioned. I have therefore decided to seek legal counsel to see if I have any recourse in appealing their judgement. The state claims I do not, and in truth I suspect they are correct in their arrogance.

 

I do not believe the criminal defense attorney I obtained for my original case is well versed in such matters concerning dealing with this aspect of the law, or particularly the state of Michigan concerning licensing bureaus. Michael Komorn seems to have a lot of irons in the fire currently, and is also a long way away. I am seeking recommendations for suitable counsel, ideally a competent MM advocate in the SW MI area.

 

In doing internet research, I am considering Bruce Block from Grand Rapids or John Gradowski from Kalamazoo. Any ideas would be welcome. Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear that the HPRP ruling was worse than what you envisioned. If you don't have any luck with the attorneys you have researched you might want to check with Rob Mullen in Farmington Hills. I realize he's a long ways from where you live but he might be able to help. He's an excellent attorney and at the very least could point you in the right direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...