Starting next week, the group will forgo the clinics and instead team up with medical marijuana distributors – called caregivers in Montana – to provide regular doctor’s office hours in Billings, Bozeman and Helena, in addition to the group’s base in Missoula.
“It is being changed partially because of the criticism of the traveling clinics. Also, from the business end, it’s no longer sustainable,” group [distributor] spokesman Chris Arneson said. “The traveling clinics no longer allow us to serve our patients the best we can.”
But over the past few months, the clinics have come under criticism as being assembly lines that sees hundreds of people at a time, but at the expense of proper medical examinations.
An interim legislative committee drafting a bill to shore up the state’s medical marijuana law has been hearing from people who say the pot boom goes against the aim of the law to provide care to people with the most debilitating illnesses or conditions.
Meanwhile, the state medical board tried to curtail the mass screenings with a position paper released at the end of May saying that doctors who recommend medical marijuana must follow the same standards as doctors prescribing other medicine.
The board fined a physician who had seen about 150 people in 14 1/2 hours at one of those clinics last year. [Billing a total of $22,500 to the 150 “patients” “examined” in that 14.5 hour period]
The Montana Caregivers Network [The name taken by a group of marijuana “distributors”] has a doctor who now works full-time with the group in Missoula. Under the new model, he will go to Billings, Bozeman and Helena once a week to provide recommendations for new patients and for current ones seeking to renew their one-year eligibility, Arneson said.
The Montana Caregivers Network will still handle the records and still charge $150 per recommendation. [and I’m certain it is safe to assume that these “caregivers” or “distributors” will then fill the prescritions].
Board of Medical Examiners Executive Director Jean Branscum was out of the office on Thursday and Friday and did not return requests for comment.
McAuley’s World Comments:
With a prescrition in hand, the “medical marijuana” becomes an item covered under private and public health insuarnce – rasing costs to all consumers, the choomers and straights alike.
If you happen to be a tax paying beer or wine drinker – you should feel left out …..
Billions of dollars in new “medical expenses” to be absorbed by Obama Care.
Free marijuana for those who obtain their medical coverage through the U.S. taxpayer …..
Every “medical care” dollar spent on “medical marijuana” is one less dollar to be spent on AIDS, cancer, diabetes or Alzheimers disaese.