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Small Handful Of Doctors Responsible For All Of Arizona’S Medical Marijuana Recommendations


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Small Handful of Doctors Responsible for All of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Recommendations
Nov 11, 2013
 

A new state report found that seventy percent of Arizona’s medical marijuana recommendations are written by only 25 physicians.  Those 25 doctors are responsible for recommending medical marijuana to over 25,000 patients over a one year period.

 

There are over 27,000 physicians licensed in Arizona, but a small number of them hold the niche as their own.  472 doctors across the state wrote 36,000 recommendations but the majority of recommendations came from naturopaths, who make up less than 7 percent of the physician population.

 

State Health Director Will Humble said the evidence shows development of “certification mills” since medical marijuana was legalized in Arizona.  “Let’s face it: The certification mills are there to take the money and they never see the patient again until the year comes around and their (annual) card expires,” Humble said. “And that’s not the best way for this program to operate.”

 

Humble explained that he wishes more patients worked with their primary care physician in obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation, but he also understands that many doctors are reluctant to prescribe medical marijuana to even legitimate patients.

 

Mason Tvert, spokesman for Marijuana Policy Project which created the 2010 law, said that the findings should not come as a shock or be frowned upon.  “Given the many benefits of medical marijuana and the growing demand for it, it comes as little surprise that doctors are opting to specialize in it,” Tvert explained.

 

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