Medical Marijuana Troubles in Vermont
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 02/15/2010 in Medical Marijuana
In 2004, Vermont became the 9th state to legalize medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. Vermont residents who have been diagnosed from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS are exempt from state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana. But the problem is, 7 years later, patients still have a hard time getting safe access to medical marijuana. Not because of the Vermont marijuana law, but because of the doctors and physicians who refuse to recommend the medicine due to fear of prosecution – even though they are protected by state and federal laws.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we hear from a variety of patients and their struggles with obtaining medical cannabis. And one issue we hear over and over again is that it is extremely difficult for patients to locate a physician in Vermont who is willing to sign the state application form on their behalf which would enroll them in the state medical marijuana card program—and make them a legal patient.
For example, we heard from a man with MS who spent a year looking for a physician to recommend cannabis, and thankfully he found one. But when he referred his friend who suffers from HIV (who’s own physician at the Center for Disease Control wouldn’t recommend it), the physician refused to recommend marijuana because he was harassed by the state the last time he had done so.
The sad reality is that patients who are truly in need of the medicine are suffering. Vermont’s state laws protect physicians from prosecution, as do federal laws. Yet physicians are unfairly being investigated for recommending cannabis and therefore are hesitant to promote this powerful medicine. And those who are willing to sign are hesitant to let their names be known publicly. Additionally, patients must commit to seeing a physician for 6 months before they can get a marijuana recommendation. So it’s imperative that patients know in advance whether or not a doctor supports medical marijuana. Because the truth is, some of these patients don’t have an extra 6 months to wait.
It’s time to educate the physicians in Vermont about the laws, about their rights and about the important role they play in the facilitation of marijuana as a medicine. If you know of any Vermont physicians who are pro-pot, refer them to MarijuanaDoctors.com so that we can create a database of quality doctors that patients in Vermont can turn too. (We even have an affiliate program so you can earn cash for your referral – call us to find out more). And hopefully in time Vermont patients will no longer have difficulties getting safe, legal access to the medicine they need.