Colorado Considers Restrictions on Which Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana

The Denver Post reports that the Colorado Board of Health is considering tighter restrictions regarding whether a physician who has a condition on their medical license should be permitted to recommend medical marijuana to patients. Also under consideration is how well a physician should know a patient before recommending the drug.

According to the article, the regulations proposed would require a “genuine” relationship between patients and physicians before medical marijuana is recommended. The goal is to discourage “marijuana mills,” places where doctors recommend marijuana to a patient after a brief visit. Last year, the applications of over 1,300 people applying for a medical marijuana card were rejected by health officials since their recommendations were from doctors who had license conditions. An example of a condition would be a surgeon who is banned from performing surgery after developing arthritis. The proposed rules would require a physician to have an “unrestricted, unconditioned” license before they are able to recommend marijuana.

Along with the Colorado Medical Society, physicians argue that banning all doctors who have license conditions is too extensive, and note doctors whose conditions don’t have an effect on their ability to recommend marijuana. Conflictingly, another bill is in the Colorado House that would permit doctors with license conditions to request permission from the Colorado Medical Board to recommend marijuana to patients. Moreover, assuming their condition is not related to recommending the drug, they would be able to write recommendations for patients.

The regulations proposed regarding patient-physician relationships would make it mandatory for a doctor to fulfill a full evaluation of a patient’s medical history as well as an assessment of their own physical condition before making a recommendation. Previously, Colorado regulators rejected proposals requiring physicians to see a patient more than one time before recommending medical marijuana.

If passed, the proposed regulations before the Colorado Board of Health would be among the strictest regulations governing physicians and marijuana in the United States. Five other states and Washington, D.C., require a “genuine” patient-physician relationship before a medical marijuana recommendation.

Many Coloradoans are confused about medical marijuana laws, and what’s legal, and what isn’t. The fact is the laws are changing constantly, and if one doesn’t pay attention, they may find themselves facing marijuana drug charges. If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense in Colorado, contact Timothy Bussey. Mr. Bussey is a Colorado marijuana defense lawyer at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., and can compile a strong defense on your behalf. Call 719-475-2555 to learn more.

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