Hidden Cameras Investigates Medical Marijuana
There has been a debate going on for years now about the legalization of marijuana. Many supports for the legalization argue that it is a safe supplement, while others are harsher about its affects health. A recent hidden camera in Tucson, Arizona, demonstrated some of the problems with medical marijuana.
The reports sent on of their staff members, a person who suffered frequently from migraines, to a medical testing facility to see how easy it would be to get a prescription for medical marijuana. Over 35,000 people in Tucson are already approved for its use.
“So tell me a little bit about what’s going on with your migraines and some of the pain and the reason why you want to get your card?” asks the doctor.
The staff member only needed one pho0ne call to make the appointment and was only required to bring in their driver’s license. There were no medical records required, and the staff member only had to wait about 20 minutes for the doctor to see them.
“Yeah, I’ve always suffered from intense migraines. I don’t know if they’re stress related or what but they’re constant.”
The doctor responded. “I think you definitely have conditions that the state says goes through so we’re good.”
The staff member was allowed to receive medical marijuana from the doctor with ease. Again, there were no medical records necessary for the doctor to make his decision, only the patient’s driver’s license. The doctor made the decision very quickly with hardly any testing. The patient’s information was sent to an approval office and the patient received the ID card for medical marijuana within a week.
The Investigators wondered if it was supposed to be that easy. The investigation was taken to Will Humble, Director of Arizona Department of Health Services.
“Apparently the physician has made, one minute into the appointment, has made a decision that this person has a qualifying medical condition,” says Humble after looking at the video.
He says this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. The first problem he cites is the lack of medical records
“The intent is to look at the last 12 months of medical records, to see what other physicians have done with that patient, what other medical management strategies the other physicians have used.”
Humble says another key requirement was missing in the visit. “A full inpatient physical exam that’s appropriate to that condition.” He explains it is up to the physician to determine what an appropriate exam is. In the appointment our staffer no exam was performed and her basic vital signs were not taken.
Humble says the program depends on doctors’ integrity and ethical responsibility.
“When they skip steps, and especially when they skip steps and attest to the fact they had done things they hadn’t done, it kind of ticks me off.”
Humble also said this doctor did a very good job explaining different strains of marijuana but says the lack of an exam and medical records check could threaten the integrity of the program.
“If this was happening all across the state, with all of our patients, then we would probably end up with a recreational program despite all of our efforts to keep it this thing medical.”
Since seeing the complete investigation Director Humble says the Department of Health Services is looking into how doctors are qualifying patients.