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Canadian Doctor Charged For Writing Improper Marijuana Prescriptions

A key professional organization alleges that the doctor in question failed to follow guidelines for prescribing medical marijuana.

Canadian Doctor is Charged For Writing Improper Marijuana Prescriptions
Brian Goodman/ Shutterstock

A Canadian medical marijuana doctor has come under fire recently and is now being accused of improperly writing prescriptions. The allegations have not yet been proven and an investigation is ongoing.

Medical Marijuana Doctor Facing Charges

At this time, the doctor’s name has not been made public. But according to Canadian news sources, he used to be a doctor at a medical marijuana clinic in Saskatoon called Natural Health Services.

This week, the doctor came under fire when the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons leveled serious charges against him. In particular, the College claimed that the doctor was improperly making medical marijuana prescriptions during January and February 2017.

In order to prescribe medical marijuana, doctors in Canada must comply with a strict set of rules and regulations. According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the doctor in question failed to follow these standards.

Officials at the College allege that the doctor did not conduct adequate or appropriate patient assessments before giving out prescriptions. Similarly, the College claimed that the doctor was billing patients too much for his services.

Beyond these offenses, the College also maintains that the doctor did not follow established protocols for follow up care after a patient is given medical marijuana.

As a result of all these allegations, authorities at the College have launched an investigation and plan to hold a hearing on the case.

Doctor Has Already Lost His License

Importantly, the College noted that the charges agains the doctor are not criminal. Rather, they are strictly professional.

But if the charges are upheld it could affect the doctor’s standing with the College. Ultimately, the case could impact his ability to receive a license to prescribe medical marijuana.

However, it appears that the doctor has already lost his medical marijuana license. The College reportedly revoked his license for charges unrelated to this newest set of allegations.

Representatives from the College told CBC that the doctor “simply didn’t meet the licensure requirements within the time that . . . he was allotted to do so.”

What is the Role of Medical Marijuana When Weed is Legal?

As highlighted by this case, medical marijuana in Canada is at an interesting juncture. Specifically, as the country prepares for national legalization. Many wonder about the role of the country’s medical marijuana program in the new legal landscape.

In fact, this was one of the most pressing questions at a healthcare conference earlier this year. One side of the debate argued that doctors would no longer be needed when all Canadians have access to legal cannabis. This perspective was articulated by leaders of the Canadian Medical Association.

For example, Dr. Jeff Blackmer of the Canadian Medical Association said: “Our view is . . . once this is a substance that’s available to all Canadians, there’s really no need for physicians to continue to serve in that gatekeeper role.”

In contrast, other doctors and researchers maintained that doctors play an important part in learning how to best harness the therapeutic potential of cannabis.

“The worry I see with losing a medical program is it really takes the need for a clinician oversight out of the equation,” said Dr. Mark Ware, a medical cannabis researcher at McGill University. “You’re likely to have questions about the potential interaction of cannabis or cannabinoids with those other medications.”

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