On April 2 2015 the State came out with a policy that people interested in Medical Marijuana Licensing (aka red card) should understand. It is a 3 pronged policy aimed at restricting access to medical marijuana.
1. Restricting the number of patients a Physician may see to 3,521 patients per year. This number is taken from a paper which discusses the average number of patients a Family Practice Physician sees in a year. As an Emergency Medicine Physician it was mandated that I see a mandatory minimum of 3,744 patients in a year or I was told I had to work extra shifts. How an average number of patients per year for one type of physician becomes a "high case load" is an interesting jump in logic. Physicians running pain clinics where narcotics are prescribed are not limited in the number of patients they can see.
2. "Physicians recommending increased plant counts for more than 30% of their caseload may be recommended for referral."
3. "Physicians for whom more than one-third of the patient caseload is under the age of 30 may be recommended for referral." This taken from an article with age range in question was from 18-44 years old and using some sort of calculation came up with the age of less than 30 years old. The article found that under the age of 30 for the chronic conditions they looked at patients had a chronic debilitating disease about 30% of the time. I discussed the article with the author and he was curious about the age range and that the chronic conditions they looked in the article did not include severe pain or PTSD.
There is an upcoming Colorado Board of Health "public rule-making hearing July 15 at 10am in the Sabin-Cleere Conference Room of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Bldg. A, First Floor, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive, South, Denver CO 80246." The hearing will include discussions to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a new debilitating medical condition. I am currently unable to see patients under the age of 30 because of the combination of restrictions put forth in the Medical Marijuana policy #2015-04_001. This policy restricts the total number of patients I can see to 3,521 and restricts the patients under the age of 30 I can see to 30% of my case load. This policy is completely contradictory to an open honest attempt to help young men and women who have faced life and death to protect our way of living. Although Veterans span the entire adult age range, this policy restricts the number of Veterans returning from active duty which can be seen by an MD for PTSD. I plan on testifying in front of the Board and encourage others to do the same. I have met many Veterans and I have listened to how it has helped them.
I will include the comments from a young Veteran who made a testimonial with me regarding his military service and how MMJ has helped him.
"Allright well, basically for me my experiences gave me problems with both eating and sleeping and basically carrying on with my day to day life. I had to pick up body parts and sort them out and stuff like that. You know, so I ate next to them and everything. Uh when I got back they tried giving me a bunch of pills and just everything made me feel like a zombie, like I wasn't even my own person. I felt hollowed out so I started having, uh not getting anywhere so I said screw it and started using any kind of cannabis I could get basically just to try to like, sleep. you know cause it's hard to do anything if you can't sleep at night. It gets harder when you just feel sick to your stomach every time you try to eat. The nightmares… the hallucinations… just all the bad stuff, marijuana for me helps me to be a normal person really, I can eat but uh I am a pretty skinny dude cause its real difficult for me to eat but it helps me… like I have a normal appetite you know I can eat it and feel good about it and I can sleep way better 1,000 fold and just my outlook on my own life and the world in general has basically done a 180 compared to what it has been and I can easily say that most of it has been from the cannabis."