David G. Ostrow (Medical Marijuana Doctor) gives expert video advice on: Can you legally recommend marijuana therapy to a patient?; Do you experience repercussions for recommending medical marijuana to a patient?
Can you legally recommend marijuana therapy to a patient?
Only physicians who are practicing in states that have already legalized either by statute, or by a referendum or executive order a legalized medicinal cannabis program. Some may even require special training for the physician before they do this. Most require some kind of record keeping so the state medical authorities or the state medical board has some idea of who's prescribing and who's recommending and in what volume so that they can detect what we call medicinal cannabis doctor mills. You know where they just churn out these recommendations without the proper medical safeguards. But again if you're practicing in a state where it's legal and you are performing it within the recommended medical practices of that states medical board you can legally determine and issue a recommendation for a patient.
Do you experience repercussions for recommending medical marijuana to a patient?
There was a time when the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency threatened doctors who even discussed, let alone recommended, medicinal cannabis to their patients, but there was a very well known federal court case that was filed by a well known HIV specialist in San Francisco, Marcus Conan. I think it was called Conan versus Ashcroft, or something like that, which determined that the DEA or the Feds could not interfere in the patient/physician relationship and that there should be free flow of information and anything that threatened to punish physicians for this was unconstitutional and against individual and state's rights. That doesn't mean there isn't a risk. Certainly if you prescribe, or if you recommend a lot of patients for medical marijuana you may be investigated.