Medical Marijuana Web Services Raising Concerns
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Medical Marijuana Web Services Raising Concerns');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Medical Marijuana Web Services Raising Concerns
Posted by CN Staff on September 30, 2013 at 07:09:55 PT
By Kay Lazar, Boston Globe Staff
Source: Boston Globe
Boston -- Massachusetts’ nascent medical marijuana law has sparked a recent flurry of new Internet companies promising to match patients with doctors who will certify they need the weed for health reasons, a phenomenon that has dismayed the state’s medical society and raised concerns with the board that regulates physicians.A number of the companies are run by entrepreneurs with no medical background, which the Massachusetts Medical Society said raises questions about the quality and safety of the care.
Some of the sites, the society said, appear to be tiptoeing just inside state rules, which require a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” be in place before marijuana can be prescribed.“The fact that you have people with no medical pedigree [launching these companies] is testament that this is purely a money-making operation,” said Dr. Ronald Dunlap, a cardiologist and president of the medical society. “These people are working around the edges.”Voters last November approved a ballot referendum that legalized marijuana for medical use, but left it to the health department to issue regulations that would implement the law.With those rules released in May, the department is whittling a list of 158 applications for registered marijuana dispensaries to 35, the maximum number of facilities allowed in the first year under the ballot initiative.In the interim, patients are allowed to legally grow a small amount of marijuana for their own use, as long as a Massachusetts physician certifies they have a medical need.Once the dispensaries open, which is expected in the spring, the state will begin tracking patients and doctors in a computerized system. A doctor’s certification will still be required then.Among the newly launched Massachusetts doctor-finder websites is Commonwealth M.D., founded by Jai Chawla, a 28-year-old Cornell University graduate with a degree in history who founded an Internet security company, which he still runs. Chawla, who is temporarily running his new business from a friend’s basement in Cambridge, said he charges $250 to cover the patient referral and the physician consultation. “I understand that’s a large fee for a patient to be paying out of pocket,” said Chawla in a phone interview, noting that patients’ health insurance probably will not cover the service because marijuana is not federally sanctioned.Most of the fee goes directly to the physicians so his company can remain “competitive” in attracting physicians, Chawla said. He said he has “fewer than five” physicians in his referral service, which opened a few weeks ago.Matt Allen, executive director of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, which lobbied for the medical marijuana law, said the fees charged by the companies will probably be too high for many patients with chronic medical conditions who are on fixed incomes.“We do hope some of these places will offer discounts for these patients,” Allen said.But he also said the companies offer a needed service to some patients, such as veterans, who may be unable to get a certification where they typically receive medical care, through the Department of Veterans Affairs, because of federal rules prohibiting marijuana use. Massachusetts would not be the first state to encounter growing pains with its medical marijuana law. A June report by Colorado’s state auditor found that 13 years after voters there approved the use of medical marijuana, a number of physicians appeared to be flouting the state’s bona fide patient-physician relationship requirement. It concluded that half of the 108,000 patients who had obtained state cards to possess medical marijuana received their certification from one of just 12 physicians. One of those physicians had certified more than 8,400 patients, it said. Massachusetts Public Health Department spokesman Dave Kibbe said in a brief statement that state rules require physicians to have a “bona fide relationship” with patients they certify for medical marijuana. He declined to comment further on the services.New state regulations define a bona fide relationship as one in which the physician has “conducted a clinical visit, completed and documented a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, has explained the potential benefits and risks of marijuana use, and has a role in the ongoing care and treatment of the patient.”Dunlap said his organization has expressed its concern about physicians potentially skirting the bona fide relationship rule in these websites to the state Board of Registration in Medicine, which regulates physicians.Barbara Piselli, the board’s interim executive director, said her agency is monitoring the situation.“We want to ensure all physicians are complying with the regulations concerning certification for medical marijuana, and that patients are receiving quality and safe medical care,” she said. At least one of the new companies in Massachusetts, Delta 9 Medical Consulting, is run by a state-licensed anesthesiologist, Dr. Harold Altvater, who bluntly explains on his website what patients must do to fulfill the bona fide relationship requirements. “You schedule follow up visits at least every six months helping to full fill the ‘bona fide’ physician-patient relationship desired by the overlords,” it states. “Yes, this will cost you about $17 dollars a month to remain compliant with the regulations.” Altvater charges $250 for an initial certification, and $100 for renewals.In a phone interview, Altvater said he has certified about 275 patients for medical marijuana since February, and that each exam is at least a half-hour, which includes a review of the patient’s medical record and education about medical marijuana. According to Altvater’s site, the business is based in Malden and Methuen.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author: Kay Lazar, Boston Globe Staff Published: September 30, 2013Copyright: 2013 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: URL:  Medical Marijuana  Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #4 posted by museman on September 30, 2013 at 15:42:05 PT
Before the kingdoms, empires, nations, and other conquests of the earth, everyone was born with the same, liberties, rights and privileges. Then the sword bloodied the peace and freedom of those not serving the then status quo. But even that wasn't enough to guarantee the perpetuity of the dynasties, LAW was invented, and aligned with the 'will of the gods' so that fear would find a way even when courage and intelligence continued to be born again and again in the non-elite.War has served the elite quite well. War on this, war on that, and the only ones getting the shaft are the people, each generation gets a war to kill off the brave and indoctrinate the insecure into the 'family' of cannon fodder known as the military, and recruit the 'auxiliaries' as 'law enforcement.'This game has been going on a long, long time. The only 'winners' have always been the elite, while the rest of humanity is just considered to be 'justifiable collateral damage.'The earth, everything that grows on it, and all the resource that it is in it belongs TO EVERYONE, not corporate dispensations. The ownership of anything in this life is the tie that binds us all to the ways of fear. That root of fear grows forests of malignancies in each individual psyche, and embeds itself deeply in the global, collective psyche as well.The only thing you own is your love, you don't even own your body, it is merely a demonstration model the the PTBs have convinced everyone is the real deal. And I am well aware of how deeply the common ignorance can go on that subject.As the Great One said; "The truth shall set you free."That's the kind of freedom I believe GCW is talking about, "Cuz I do what i want." -but tempered with the practice of prioritizing truth and Love.True liberty is not given by the state! As was vaguely -and deliberately made obscure IMO- recognized in the reference to "All men are created equal, etc." we are born with our liberty.Don't have to go to school to get it, don't have to learn to dance. Don't need metal, paper, or digital tokens of arbitrary inventions of value held in dominance and control by the elite. Don't need a damn thing except the birthday suit you came with, and the tools of intellect, emotion, intuition, and consciousness that are usually part of that temporal package.We don't need no stinking government! Especially one run exclusively by the rich for the rich.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by mexweed on September 30, 2013 at 14:47:44 PT:
1. Federal 2. Small growers 3. Entrepreneurws
"He also said the companies offer a needed service to some patients, such as veterans, who may be unable to get a certification where they typically receive medical care, through the Department of Veterans Affairs, because of federal rules prohibiting marijuana use." Let this be a signal to emphasize the "federal rules" issue in the Congressional election campaign, right? Voters are concerned about justice for veterans!"Patients are allowed to legally grow a small amount of marijuana for their own use, as long as a Massachusetts physician certifies they have a medical need.""Working around the edges" may not seem proper for a big store selling large numbers of certifications for big money, but applying the spirit of AG Holder's "go easy on small users" directive-- in this case by overlooking "small growers" such as any family, medical need or not, raising two females to maturity indoors at minimal electricity cost-- would help reduce incentives to corrupt the medical distribution system."A number of the companies are run by entrepreneurs with no medical background." Except that they might need to be convinced first that there's enough money in it, wouldn't it be great if some of those Entrepreneurs got into the ("ancillary") Dosage-Regulatory Utensil manufacturing and sales bizness, promoting 25-mg-serving-size, screened one-hit utensils in place of wasteful 500-mg-per-lightup joints, so that with appropriately equipped users getting more Marley, less Monoxide for their money, herb demand and sales quantities decline, LOWERING PRICES for everybody?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by The GCW on September 30, 2013 at 08:38:49 PT
'Cause I do what I want.
When We get done dealing with cannabis prohibitionists, none of this crap will exist.If you want to use cannabis to relax, for cramps, cancer, chemo side effects, back pains OR PAINS IN THE BUTT DUE TO PROHIBITIONISTS, all You need to do is avoid the doctor -any doctor along with the extorting state extortionists and do what you want. Freely cannabis. Without FEES! Free of fees. Fee-less! Get out of the way, FREE.WITH OUT “bona fide relationship” S. Exams, State scams. Massachusetts Medical Society boner softener scams.Be free to set You free. And then there's no reason to vote for Me.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 30, 2013 at 08:30:51 PT
NPR: News From Canada
Canada Launches Billion-Dollar Marijuana Free Market This WeekURL:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment