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Editorial: Physician 'certification Mills' Will Shoot Medical Marijuana Industry In The Foot


bobandtorey
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Opponents of Proposition 203, the Medical Marijuana Act, predicted early on that the law would be abused through frivolous prescriptions of the drug.

This week, State Health Director Will Humble said that prediction has become reality. He reported that 25 Arizona physicians have written more than 25,000 prescriptions that allow patients to legally obtain marijuana. Out of more than 27,000 licensed Arizona doctors, these 25 physicians have written some 70 percent of the medical marijuana prescriptions in the first year of the law.

Obviously, the word is out on where to go if you want to legally score some weed.

Humble referred to these 25 doctors as "certification mills." 

If the medical marijuana industry wants legitimacy, then it needs to be just that. From the doctors who prescribe marijuana to the dispensaries that supply it to the growers who provide the drug, the medical marijuana industry will best prove it belongs by being above reproach.

See, there are many who view this new industry as a backdoor way for people to get high; that is has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with catching a buzz. Further, the strictest believers in this are those in government health regulation and law enforcement.

When less than one-tenth of the doctors in Arizona are prescribing 70 percent of the medical marijuana being consumed, the opponents of medical marijuana will use this as ammunition to have the law overturned.

Further, this revelation of medical marijuana "certification mills" should come as no surprise given the way the medical industry dishes out highly addictive opiates as if they were candy.

The medical marijuana industry will best survive if it adopts the highest standards to police itself.

Anything less, during any step in the process, will likely invite a visit from the police.

 

http://campverdebugleonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=36&SubSectionID=73&ArticleID=40475

 

 

sounds like the same things are going on in this State as it did here i guess it's why i read about Cannabis stores from other States to try and see if i can figure out whats going to happen here Next

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Well isn't that special?  25 docs write 70% of the certs- remember where they were talking about the 55 that wrote 70% here?  Notice they stopped bragging about that?

 

But wait, the thinking editorials started coming out....  Why were there 55 out of 30K?  The patients reported being cut off of meds, doctors reported being ordered NOT TO PARTICIPATE in the program, etc.  Came down to 55 with the balls to step forward and do the right thing.  Guess there are 25 in AZ.  Smaller state, but goes right along with the same environment of fear promoted by the courts, leo and the medical administrators/insurance companies.

 

But it makes a great headline doesn't it?  Until you start looking behind the scenes and figure out the reasons.

 

Don't want 25 docs writing 70% of your certs?  Encourage ALL DOCTORS to use this as an alternative to narcotic pain meds.  Until then we will be there, doing it right and going to the people that need it.

 

Dr. Bob

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Here is the article I wrote at the time....

 

 
21 April 2011
Dr. Robert Townsend
 
 

In the year and a half that has passed since I stopped doing straight internal medicine and began to concentrate on certifications, I would agree that most are for chronic pain. Considering 'traditional' medicine treats these patients with highly addictive medications that have serious side effects, such as oxycontin and vicodin, it is my experience and belief that MMJ is far more effective and safer alternative. I've found that most chronic pain patients that choose to use MMJ have a more realistic expectation of what the medication can do for them. Unlike chronic narcotic patients, folks that go for MMJ tend to realize the goal is being functional, not numb or 'pain free'. Overall, I feel that MMJ is a very good alternative for them and I am happy to be one of the 55 docs that write the majority of certs in this state.

 

On that latter point- compared to general internal medicine or family practice, what percentage of doctors are endocrinologists or 'pediatric cardiologists'? Is the fact that there are 55 doctors that seem to have made this the main focus of their practice somehow an indication that were are greedy docs exploiting the law? I think not. I think that given the fact that many physicians are either unfamiliar with the rules, or due to their employment or hospital status are forbidden to write certs, I think it is totally expected that the majority of certs would be written by a group of doctors that have expertise and comfort doing so.

 

Of course there are abuses, just as there are abuses with narcotics, because there will always be those people that insist on trying to get 12 items through the express check out at the grocery store. There are those that sell medications they get by manipulation. We are pretty good at sniffing them out and not writing for them, but some will get through. There are some docs that don't follow the rules in the quest for money. There are similar problems in practices that have a high volume of narcotics, and in some cases the doctors are the same.

So how do we use this information? We police ourselves. We ask for certifications for appropriate medical conditions, not as an excuse to 'get legal' when it comes to illegal recreational drug abuse. We demand our certifications be done based on records, that they stand up in court, and that our doctors do the right thing and follow not only the law, but every court ruling that puts patients at risk if we cut corners. We build our numbers until there are 500,000 certs out there and we have a card holder on every jury. And above all we police ourselves.

In April I issued a call to action. I asked every Michigan card holder to find 10 qualified, record based patients that needed and wanted MMJ for their conditions and get them in front of a certification physician. That is the quickest way to get to 500,000 card holders. I am going to ask an additional thing of you. Police the certification clinics to make sure they are doing the right thing. Are they violating your privacy by sending bright green cards to you that identify you to the public as a MMJ patient? Spread the word and file criminal and civil charges against them to shut them down. Are you filling out a presigned certification, with no doctor visit? Turn them in and spread the word to your friends not to attend those clinics. Is there something fishy about the cattle call hotel clinic- listen to your inner voice and walk out. If it is not like any other doctor appointment you have been to in your life, if you don't feel you had a few min with a doctor that was interested in you more than just getting your money and getting you out the door, leave. Granted you may have been to 'regular doctors' that treated you that way, but since we are under the microscope, we have to be 'better' than them.

300 Spartans stood their ground against a million man Persian army at Thermopylae and saved civilization as we know it. I am proud to be one of the 55 standing our ground in Michigan and easing the suffering of those in need.

Dr. Bob

- See more at: http://www.drbobmmj.com/component/content/article/162-article-folder/63-free-press-articlestats.html?highlight=WzU1LCJkb2N0b3JzIiwiNTUgZG9jdG9ycyJd#sthash.DNJKyH5D.dpuf

Edited by Dr. Bob
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Well isn't that special?  25 docs write 70% of the certs- remember where they were talking about the 55 that wrote 70% here?  Notice they stopped bragging about that?

 

But wait, the thinking editorials started coming out....  Why were there 55 out of 30K?  The patients reported being cut off of meds, doctors reported being ordered NOT TO PARTICIPATE in the program, etc.  Came down to 55 with the balls to step forward and do the right thing.  Guess there are 25 in AZ.  Smaller state, but goes right along with the same environment of fear promoted by the courts, leo and the medical administrators/insurance companies.

 

But it makes a great headline doesn't it?  Until you start looking behind the scenes and figure out the reasons.

 

Don't want 25 docs writing 70% of your certs?  Encourage ALL DOCTORS to use this as an alternative to narcotic pain meds.  Until then we will be there, doing it right and going to the people that need it.

 

Dr. Bob

That ! ^^^^^^^^^^

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