Oregon Medical Board Doctor Concerned Over Medical Marijuana Patients
Since 2005, over 30 Oregon doctors have been disciplined or had their medical licenses terminated because of medical marijuana. The Oregon Medical Board is a committee designed to oversee the practice of medicine in Oregon. It is a similar organization to the Oregon State Bar, which oversees lawyers’ professional duties.
Doctors have met with disciplinary action due to the number of patients they have prescribed medical marijuana. The Board often views a high number of medical marijuana patients as fertile ground for abuse of the system and illegal activity. On the other hand, doctors say they have done nothing wrong.
One doctor’s license was revoked because he prescribed medical marijuana without actually seeing the patient. His marijuana defense case was that the patients were too disabled to come to the office for a visit. Another doctor’s license was terminated because his physical examinations of patients were “superficial.”
Whether these incidents are well-founded or not is debatable but what is clear as a result is many doctors fear involvement with medical marijuana out of concern for the Board taking action against them for some seemingly minor mistake. Some doctors now send medical marijuana patients to “specialists” so they can remain in the clear.
The fact of the matter is that medical marijuana is legal in the State of Oregon. Although the medical marijuana program does have guidelines to aid caregivers, there are people, doctors included, that are getting into trouble, both criminally and professionally, because of the medical marijuana program and the Board’s watchful eye.
Not to say that violations of the program should go unnoticed, and without punishment, but terminating a license for a minor drug violation seems unfairly harsh.