New rules target growing number of dispensary docs
Some big changes have been made to the rules governing how BC doctors prescribe medical marijuana.
Lawyer Trina Fraser says it seems the BC College of Physicians of Surgeons wants to weed out so-called “pot docs”; those who do nothing but write pot prescriptions.
“Number one they’ve said you are not allowed to charge now for writing a medical document.”
CKNW’s Simi Sara spoke to reporter Shelby Thom about the new guidelines. You can listen to that conversation here:
The new rules also require the physician writing the prescription to be the patient’s primary physician.
“Or, if you’re not the primary care physician, you have to be in direct contact with the primary care physician, and that doctor has to be in agreement,” says Fraser.
Fraser says BC also becomes only the second province behind Ontario telling docs that cannabis is not appropriate for anyone under 25.
She says the new rules are concerning because it creates more restrictions for patients accessing their medicine.
Medicinal pot advocates cry foul
The head of a group pushing for more medical marijuana dispensaries says changes may be overly cautious.
Dana Larsen with Sensible BC says it seems the restrictions are tougher for pot than other, potentially harmful, drugs.
“They’re really treating cannabis as if it’s a much more dangerous thing than many of the other drugs that they prescribe on a regular basis. I mean, minors often get Ritalin which can be addictive and have issues on the developing brain. They give out a lot of opiates to people for pain relief and both of those substances are much more harmful than cannabis and seem to have a lot less restriction around them.”
Larsen also disagrees with doctors advising against any patients under the age of 25 using cannabis.