Medical Board Objects To New Cannabis Bill
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Medical Board Objects To New Cannabis Bill
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2011 at 08:59:58 PT
By Sanjay Talwani
Source: Helena Independent Record 
Helena -- A bill designed to tighten the conditions for which people could use medical marijuana might actually do the opposite if some language isn’t changed, members of the Montana Board of Medical Examiners said Friday.House Bill 68, sponsored by Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, contains some measures the board recommended last year to an interim committee working on the issue, such as the requirement that two doctors sign off on medical marijuana use for patients claiming “severe and chronic pain,” the most common condition for which medical marijuana is used.
It may not have been what the sponsors meant, but as written, its “laundry list” of qualifying medical conditions would allow more medical marijuana use that under current law, board members said in a conference call to discuss pending legislation.For example, the bill lists Hepatitis C and “inflammatory or degenerative arthritis” as debilitating medical conditions that would permit medical marijuana use.“Probably 40 percent of the population has degenerative arthritis, and if they don’t have chronic pain with it, I don’t see that as an indication (for medical marijuana use),” said Dr. Kristin Spanjian of Billings, the board secretary. “It would be better to narrow this and not expand this.”Board members support measures in the bill to prevent doctors recommending marijuana from also having a financial interest in its distribution.But they protested as “arbitrary” a provision that would allow marijuana providers to furnish up to 2 ounces of marijuana to a patient every 30 days, changing the previous maximum possession of 1 ounce at a given time.The bill covers several other areas, including the establishment of a new licensing authority in the Department of Revenue.The board passed a resolution to make a member available as an informational witness when the House Human Services Committee hears the bill Jan. 21.The board said it supports House Bill 82, sponsored by Sands, which would require the board to report back to the Legislature complaints against medical professionals regarding medical marijuana. Members said they had only received about six such complaints.The board also passed a motion in support of House Bill 83, sponsored by Rep. Tom Berry, R-Roundup, which would create a prescription drug registry to prevent abuse. Ron Klein, executive director of the state Board of Pharmacy, said 43 states have such a registry.Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)Author: Sanjay TalwaniPublished: January 15, 2011Copyright: 2011 Helena Independent RecordWebsite: irstaff helenair.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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