Yesterday's post introduced the groundbreaking Colorado case surrounding a doctor who is being charged with negligently prescribing marijuana to a pregnant patient. The Colorado Medical Board wants to take away the doctor's medical license. But the doctor will not go down without fighting the charges.
As we discussed in the previous post, the doctor is defending his name and profession by arguing that there is no research or legal standard in the medical field that says prescribing marijuana to pregnant patients is wrong. If that is true, then it is likely that this Colorado case will clarify how other professionals will be expected to handle medical marijuana in similar cases.
Clarifying the standard by which doctors must work in Colorado is an important point. According to the doctor's other line of defense in this drug case, the medical board has recently developed regulations governing what is the necessary exam process before prescribing marijuana. The Denver Post reports that doctors are expected to have a "'bona-fide' relationship" with a patient before moving forward with a marijuana prescription.
The accused doctor in this case doesn't refute the point that he did not have that deep understanding of the pregnant patient when prescribing the drug. But, he argues, the "bona-fide" standard was not in place at that time, meaning he should not be held to that standard in this case. He also believes that the pregnant patient was reckless and dishonest during her medical appointment by telling him she was expecting a child.
This case will prompt a significant ruling that will be important for all to know and understand. Hopefully, a decision in this case will clarify legal rights and prevent unsuspecting people from having to face drug charges or lose their professional licenses. A hearing is scheduled for March, and we will provide updates as new developments become available.
The Denver Post: "Colorado doctor defends recommending marijuana to a pregnant patient," John Ingold, 24 Dec. 2010