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Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Tighten regulations on medical-marijuana system

Legislature needs to take action on an abused system

Guest columnist Steph Sherer states, “Misinformation includes claims that 95 percent of patients don’t really have treatable medical conditions, despite their doctors’ determination otherwise” [“The medical marijuana distinction,” Opinion, Nov. 19].

She clearly is not very familiar with how the medical-marijuana system works in Washington state. Many people seeking pot for recreational use avoid going to their own doctor for an authorization because they know their doctor is most familiar with their medical history and therefore more likely to deny an authorization.

Instead, they go to a doctor who is known to freely give authorizations, or to one of the “clinics” at a pot dispensary, where they get an authorization (often without any medical documentation of a qualifying condition) by simply paying a fee to a practitioner who is unfamiliar with them.

Yes, there are patients with valid reasons to get an authorization, but they are a minority of all who do. The medical-marijuana system in our state is much-abused. This is why the state Legislature is looking at ways to tighten the regulations, or to integrate it into the recreational pot system coming next year.

Bob Knudson, Seattle

Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: marijuana

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