Colo. Doctor in Hot Water After Prescribing Medical Marijuana to Pregnant Woman
A doctor in Denver, Colo. is in danger of losing his license after recommending medical this past January to a woman who was seven months pregnant.
Dr. Manuel De Jesus Aquino recommended the marijuana following a brief three-minute exam without appropriate review of the patient's medicalhistory or request for a follow-up appointment, according to a recent report in The Denver Post. When the 20-year-old mother gave birth in April, her infant tested positive for marijuana and reportedly suffered feeding difficulties.
The Colorado state attorney general's office filed a complaint last week on behalf of the Colorado Medical Board against Aquino, whose license is currently suspended pending the outcome of proceedings against him.
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a long-time proponent of the medical use of marijuana, told AOL Health Thursday morning that marijuana is actually safer than a lot of medications that are available over the counter, incuding anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, which cause thousands of deaths per year. "There has never been a death directly attributed to marijuana," Grinspoon says.
While he doesn't advocate the use of marijuana among pregnant women, he does not believe it's harmful to the mother or the fetus. He points out that in cases of pathological nausea in pregnant women, marijuana can actually be helpful by curing the nausea that prevents mothers-to-be from eating and digesting food. "You shouldn't use any kind of medicine when you're pregnant if you can avoid it," Grinspoon adds, "but there are some times when you don't have a choice."
Some in the medical community believe marijuana can be used to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms, including nausea,headaches, neuropathic pain, Chrohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. "It's a remarkably untoxic substance," says Grinspoon, whose own son took advantage of medical marijuana to fight the nausea and vomiting he experienced while undergoing chemotheraphy for the treatment of leukemia.
Grinspoon believes it should have the same standing as over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.
As for the doctor in Colorado, he may still be in tough straits regardless of whether or not marijuana is dangerous to pregnant women because Colorado law requires that physicians have bona fide relationshipswith patients before prescribing the drug for medical use.
California's 420 College is Planning to Help & Train Arizona's Future Medical Marijuana Professionals
The long fight for marijuana rights saw another victory via this past November's mid-term ballot, as Arizona voters pulled together in support of Proposition 203. This new piece of legislation expands the legality of marijuana in the state, and opens up opportunities for the nation's rapidly expanding Medical Marijuana industry.
As Arizonan's usher in Prop 203, which will make available 124 dispensary licenses for the state, 420 College will be on the scene to help blaze this new trail with it's brand of knowledge and professional expertise.
420 College is a California based Medical Marijuana Training Institute, which focuses on marijuana law, medical marijuana business, and provides an extensive discourse in general cannabis education.
With such a limited number of licenses up for grabs, time is of the essence. As a result, 420 College will be taking their show on the road to Arizona to help interested entrepreneurs get a head start on the application process, and a handle on the in and outs of this sometimes complex industry.
420 College's track record of student success in California has been ahead of the curve, and many attendees have gone to start their own marijuana dispensaries and other related businesses. With these recent developments, the school now looks to do the same for those in Arizona.
From day one, the school has not only been educating interested individuals, it has also been providing assistance to it's students through the many steps required to start up a medical marijuana business. 420 College's staff includes experienced lawyers, doctors, and other marijuana professionals, which walk students through the various paperwork and permits, and provide assurance that their ventures adhere to local law.
In anticipation of the passing of Prop 203, these experts have teamed up with Arizona professionals to develop a comprehensive program for the newly legal state. 420 College will start things off with a seminar series in Tempe, Arizona on the 5th and 6th of February 2011.
Along with this type of thorough entrepreneurial and legal instruction, these seminars will also feature a discussion on the disparages between California and Arizona marijuana laws and a special cultivation workshop.
420 College's overall objective has always been to extend education and community to those individuals interested in becoming a part of one of the nation's fastest growing industries. As the cannabis movement spreads across the country, 420 College is making strides to stay in step and bring its expertise to wherever it's needed.
State OKs higher plant limits, stiffer producer fees for medical marijuana
The state Department of Health announced several changes to its medical cannabis regulations Friday, one of which will create a permanent revenue stream to allow the program to pay for itself.
Another change adds to the supply of legally grown marijuana by increasing the number of plants licensed producers can grow from 95 to 150.
The regulations take effect Dec. 30.
Under the new fees, producers who have been licensed for less than a year will pay $5,000 annually; those in business for more than a year will pay $10,000; and producers in business for three years or longer will be charged an annual fee of $20,000.
The application fee for nonprofits seeking a license to legally produce the plant for medical purposes will also increase from $100 to $1,000.
Deborah Busemeyer, health department spokeswoman, said the fees are based on what the program requires to become self-sufficient — about $700,000 per year — and also on estimates from producers that by the third year in business, a nonprofit should be grossing about $400,000 a year.
"We think it's a minimal cost to producers," Busemeyer said, adding that the $400,000 estimate was based on producers who were only able to grow 95 plants per year.
The department will also increase the number of licensed producers to 25.
Other changes to the regulations will allow nonprofit producers to get plants, seeds and useable cannabis from other producers — making it easier for them to start, and stay, in business.
Busemeyer said some of the new regulations are responses to feedback the department received during two public hearings.
She added that another new rule will allow the department to collect and test samples of cannabis.
Busemeyer said there are about 3,000 patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program, and that number continues to increase. About 1,400 of those people are licensed to grow their own medicine; still, Busemeyer and Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil both said the state continues to hear reports from patients and providers that production is not meeting demand.
Vigil said Friday he feels the new rules were needed to ensure a more comfortable balance between supply and demand.
After the new rules are implemented, Vigil said he expects to see the growth of the program stabilize.
"Under the current legislation, I think we've accomplished what we set out to accomplish," Vigil said.
"But," he added, "the public can expect policy surrounding the use of marijuana to continue to evolve."
As state programs continue to grow, the federal government's policy that prohibits medical marijuana should be evaluated, he added.
"Given the number of states who now have programs, you would think that the federal policymakers will have to make adjustments. There are also issues around research. We badly need scientific research to understand what it is good for and what it is not. So, there is a lot of evolution going to be happening and that's what people should expect," Vigil said
To qualify for New Mexico's medical marijuana program, patients must have a physician certify that they have one of 16 qualifying conditions. Vigil rejected a proposal to list depression as a condition, going against an advisory board's recommendation.
Incoming governor Susana Martinez has said she'll seek to repeal the medical marijuana law
Stringent medical marijuana rules proposed in AZ
PHOENIX -- Arizona regulators have posted preliminary rules for users and sellers of medical marijuana intended to make sure only those who truly need pot can get it.
Department of Health Services Director Will Humble said Friday his goal is to avoid practices in other states with less stringent rules.
The rules come more than a month after Arizona voters approved medical marijuana.
Patients seeking pot would need a recommendation from a doctor licensed in Arizona who has either been treating the person for a year or who takes primary responsibility for their care.
The preliminary rules are open to public comment. Final rules will be released March 28, and patients can begin applying for marijuana cards in April.
Colorado city voters to consider medical pot ban
MarijuanaDoctors.com Announces Innovative New Features for the Medical Marijuana Industry
MarijuanaDoctors.com-the medical marijuana industry's first online search and booking platform for medical marijuana evaluations-today announced the addition of innovative new features to its website. MarijuanaDoctors.com connects patients with the highest quality network of medical marijuana doctors in the industry, and now also offers new services that streamline and secure the process of gaining legal access to medical cannabis and help physicians expand their practices to serve this growing medical need.
Key New features of MarijuanaDoctors.com's Latest Release:
- Patient Pre-Qualification System: MarijuanaDoctors.com prequalifies patients based on the specific guidelines of each state prior to their marijuana evaluation appointments, ensuring that the doctors in its network only see patients that are qualified to become medical marijuana patients in that state.
- 24-Hour Patient Verification: MarijuanaDoctors.com now offers verification services round the clock to verify patients' status as a qualified and legal medical marijuana patient. This service is essential for patients and saves time and money for physicians by eliminating the need to hire their own staff to handle verifications of their patients' recommendations.
- See Your Own Doctor: MarijuanaDoctors.com now offers "do it yourself" packages that empower patients with the information and resources needed to obtain medical marijuana recommendations from their primary care physicians. These packages include the patient's prequalification data from the site's prequalification system, state-specific legal information for the physicians, a pre-filled stat-specific recommendation letter, and more.
- Recommendation Letter Generator: MarijaunaDoctors.com provides state-compliant, pre-filled recommendation letters for physicians to easily print and sign for each of their patients. This system is available in all twelve states where recommendation letter guidelines exist.
"Our goal has always been to legitimize the medical marijuana industry, and these new features and functionalities will help streamline the process for patients to get safe, legal access to the medicine they need," said Jason Draizin, CEO of MarijuanaDoctors.com. "Each medical marijuana state has set up a system for patients to qualify for cannabis, and we have developed services to simplify that process for physicians, which ultimately helps the patients and helps add a new revenue stream for professionals in the ever-diminishing medical industry."
MarijuanaDoctors.com offers monthly subscriptions to physicians that are looking to expand their practices into the promising medical marijuana industry. Thousands of patients in every medical marijuana state turn to MarijuanaDoctors.com every month for quality physicians who recommend medical cannabis to their patients. The company holds high standards for the doctors allowed to join the site, and individually verifies each medical marijuana clinic and physician in its network.
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