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Colorado Doctor Faces Felony Charges for False Medical Marijuana Recommendations

Benefits of medicinal marijuana

A Colorado doctor who wrote up more than 7,000 prescriptions for medical marijuana without actually seeing many of the patients is now facing felony charges for his actions.

According to a Dec. 1 Denver Post article, Dr. Lenny Sujdak has also had his license restricted by the Colorado Medical Board for these false medicinal marijuana prescriptions. Between April 2011 and April 2012, Sujdak had given his approval for 7,057 patients to start using marijuana as medicine.

In the state of Colorado, an individual must obtain a doctor’s recommendation in order to get a medical marijuana card, which the patient can then use to obtain medical marijuana from any of the state’s medicinal marijuana dispensaries, or authorized medical marijuana sellers. The state law stipulates that doctors must have a “bona fide” relationship with any patient they recommend for medicinal marijuana use.

According to the disciplinary case against Sujdak, the doctor did not see “the majority” of patients for whom he signed recommendations for marijuana as medicine, the Denver Post reports. He would pre-sign recommendation forms and then allowed underlings at his practice to distribute them to patients — anything but a “bona fide” doctor-patient relationship.

Sujdak has had his medical license revoked for a five-year period and is facing felony charges, as is a former nurse Debra Gady, for forgery and attempting to influence a public servant, according to the Denver Post.

Colorado is currently one of 23 states that allows for the legal use of marijuana as medicine.

Marijuana’s medicinal properties are backed up by substantial anecdotal and scientific evidence. Medical marijuana can be used to treat effects of chemotherapy like nausea, as well as epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety and a number of other health problems.

During Sujdak’s five-year probationary period, he is also prohibited from giving prescriptions for medical marijuana, the Denver Post reports.

What are your thoughts on this story? Do you think it’s important for doctors to have a one-on-one rapport with patients for whom they sign prescriptions for medical marijuana? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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