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Is Colorado Trying to Shut Down Its Medical Marijuana Program?

The Colorado Medical Board recently introduced some policy changes that both patients and industry leaders are concerned will put an end to the state’s medical marijuana program.

A report published by The Denver Post suggests that the proposed amendments would force physicians to jump through additional hoops, including upping their game in the area of pain management and testing for pregnancy during the initial exam, in order to continue writing medical marijuana recommendations.

The idea that Colorado could be working to drive medical marijuana patients into the recreational sector, of course, has generated an almost riotous response from the public. So far, hundreds have come forward to express their disdain over the state’s efforts to put a lid on the untaxed medical marijuana program.

Officials with the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) claim medical marijuana advocates are spinning the proposed recommendations into a bigger deal than what they really are, suggesting the proposal is merely a set of guidelines and nothing that will be considered legally binding to the healthcare industry.

“This is just very much guidance to licensed physicians who are considering making medical marijuana recommendations,” Cory Everett, chief of staff for DORA’s Division of Professional and Occupation, said. “It’s adopting guidance, it’s adopting a policy. It’s not statute or a rule.”

Although nothing about the language has been set in stone, in addition to a complete physical examination, the proposal suggests that physicians should assess potential medical marijuana patients for substance abuse, as well as review their past medical consultations and conduct a drug test. Of course, this is typical protocol in many states where doctors work to prevent drug seekers from getting their hands on dangerous prescription medications. Yet, employing these methods for a medical marijuana program in a state that sells weed to anyone 21 and older seems a bit redundant and ridiculous.

But, then again, perhaps Colorado regulators need some busy work.

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