The Southern Illinoisan reports that the medical director of a Marion clinic has been subpoenaed to provide medical records to the state regulatory agency.
Cannabis doctor has to provide proof of medical records and patient consultations.
Dr. Schneider, medical director of the Pied Pfeifer Compassionate Care Clinic in Marion, is also the medical director of a clinic in Orland Park.
He is a popular doctor in Marion, and since he is one of only a few doctors in the whole region participating in the state’s medical marijuana program, people have been flocking to him. Dr. Schneider certifies the conditions of patients to qualify for the state’s pilot medical marijuana program.
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Medical centers prohibit physicians from partaking in the cannabis program.
None of the doctors in Southern Illinois Healthcare, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Heartland Regional Medical Center, as well as the smaller practices, participate in the state’s medical marijuana program, as they have been directed not to. Participation was cautioned in the light of legal vulnerability, given that the use of marijuana is still against federal law.
Doctors don’t prescribe medical marijuana as such, but rather sign off on an individual’s condition qualifying for medical marijuana, and the patient then receives an ID card to be used at a dispensary. In the process, Doctors previously had to state that they believed medical marijuana would be of therapeutic benefit to the patient. Recently, this law was changed so that the doctor must only certify that the individual suffers from a qualifying condition.
A change of law did not change the mindset.
The change in law was aimed at accommodating the apprehension of the major hospital groups, which refused to allow their doctors to participate. It did not change the perception of the clinics and hospital executives in Southern Illinois. Their concerns remained, as did their policies against doctors participating.
Two factors prohibit physicians considering participation in the medical marijuana program: the stigma attached to it and the threat of suspension of licenses, which makes the risk too big.
Accusations of making fast money
Dr. Schneider is accused of charging patients who wanted access to the program a fee, prior to certification, without establishing a legitimate relationship, or conducting a proper physical examination. On these grounds, the state argues his medical license in Illinois should be suspended.
Schneider rejected an offer by the IDFPR State Medical Licensing Board to reach an agreement, and a hearing has been set for 24 Oct.
Dr. Schneider insists he followed correct procedures as set out by the state’s rules for the program in regard to establishing a “bona-fide physician-patient relationship” before he certified any qualifying patient’s condition.
Cannabis doctors really have to believe in the therapeutic value of the plant to be prepared to take all these risks, and face derogative treatment by legislators and the public alike.
If cannabis doctors are not truly convinced, then they are just charlatans who are in the prescription business for a quick buck while the cannabis craze lasts. That would not be a sound strategy, nor is there any long-term benefit.
What do you thin happened in this case? Is the doctor a profiteer, or is he just doing his job?