Medical Marijuana Doctor Has License Suspended, Clinic Under Investigation After Death of Massachusetts State Trooper
By: Mikey Perry
(If any Canna Care patients end up having their licenses revoked, or at the very least worried that it will happen to them, True Herbal Consults is a Medical Marijuana Consulting and Renewal office in Massachusetts able to take any Massachusetts patients in need.
Dr. John C. Nadolny, of Canna Care Docs, a medical marijuana evaluation clinic with locations all over Massachusetts, (and in at least 6 other states) had his license suspended on May 26 by The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, after being tied to a man that struck and killed State Trooper Thomas Clardy.
State Trooper Clardy was making a routine traffic stop on March 16 and was struck from behind by David Njuguna, 30, of Webster, while he sat stationary in his cruiser. Njuguna tested positive for marijuana at the time.
A thorough investigation of Njuguna led officials to Canna Care Docs, the clinic that gave him access to medical marijuana. Now they are under investigation.
Dr. Nadolny, the medical director of Canna Care Docs has had his license temporarily suspended for, according to The Boston Globe, breaking protocols multiple times over the course of issuing 5,792 medical marijuana certificates.
“Canna Care is cooperating fully with the investigation into Mr. Njuguna. Canna Care stands behind its medical staff and insures all state government regulations are complied with,” Michael Maloney, attorney for Canna Care Docs, told Fox 25.
Canna Care owner Kevin Kafka told FOX25 Investigates he is not aware of any state investigations into any of its other doctors and defended the prohibited practice of nurse practitioners approving medical marijuana patients
Canna Care Docs has also hired public crisis relations firm, Ball Consulting Firm, to help handle the situation.
“Canna Care Docs will continue to fully cooperate with any investigative authority relating to its practice of medicine,” said Kafka. “We are not aware at this time of any inquiry into any active physicians in our practice and we stand by the certifications of patients that we have issued for medical marijuana in Massachusetts. While we believe nurse practitioners are qualified and authorized under Massachusetts General Law to conduct certifications with a physician’s supervision, we have suspended the practice pending clarification from the Department of Public.”
The board describes summary suspension as: "If the Board determines, based on affidavits and other documentary evidence, that a physician represents a serious threat to the public health, safety or welfare, the Board may suspend the license pending a hearing on the merits.”
"Among the violations were failing to diagnose patients with a debilitating medical condition as required by law and delegating to nurse practitioners the authority to make such diagnoses," according to the Globe.
According to The Boston Post, “The board outlines a specific instance in which a marijuana card was issued to a clinic patient under Nadolny’s authorization even though he wasn’t working that day. The board said Nadolny didn’t diagnose the patient or have a physician-patient relationship with the person.”
Massachusetts State Law holds that doctors can only issue cards “in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship,” which is defined under the law as “a relationship between a certifying physician (acting in the usual course of professional practice) and a patient, in which the physician has conducted a clinical visit, completed and documented a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, has explained the potential risks and benefits of the marijuana use, and has a role in the patient’s ongoing care and treatment.”
At $200 a card, Nadolny’s 5,792 patients would of made Canna Care Docs a whopping $1,158, 400. While Nadolny isn’t linked directly to State Trooper Clardy’s death, the investigation has really raised eye brows at what Canna Care Docs has been doing. The investigation is full force and many are wondering what will happen to the status of licenses currently held by medical marijuana patients that received care at Canna Care Docs and the overall reputation of the clinic itself for the future.
According to all news sources & our own attempts Nadolny has not been commenting on anything pertaining to this situation. We will keep you up to date on the situation as it evolves.
Marijuana for Patients Remains Off-Limits
Patients are not Prisoners.....-UA
Irvina Booker makes a most unlikely criminal. She lives in constant pain, disabled by multiple sclerosis and arthritis, a grandmother whose limited mobility depends on her walker, her daughter and marijuana.
“I never smoked it before I got sick, and I don’t smoke it for fun,” said Ms. Booker, 59, who lives in Englewood, N.J. She would not divulge how she obtains her marijuana, but said, “I don’t want to be sneaking around, afraid someone is going to get arrested getting it for me.”
Like many people who contend that marijuana eases pain and appetite loss from serious diseases, Ms. Booker cheered in January 2010, when New Jersey legalized its use in cases like hers. But a year and a half later, there is still no state-sanctioned marijuana available for patients, and none being grown, and there is no sign of when there might be.
In the last few months, officials in New Jersey, as well as several other states, have said that mixed signals from the Obama administration have left them unsure whether their medical marijuana programs could draw federal prosecution of the people involved, including state employees.
A Justice Department memorandum issued late last month left unanswered questions, and Gov. Chris Christie has not said how he will proceed. But medical marijuana advocates say that in New Jersey, at least, the state law is stringent enough not to run afoul of federal policy, and that the governor’s true goal has been to block the program.
“You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that out,” said State Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, a Democrat. “He’s used every tactic he can to delay and deny.”
The governor, a Republican, and his aides have insisted that every delay has been a genuine attempt to make the program work properly.
“In light of the Obama administration’s memorandum, the governor’s office is performing its due diligence to ensure implementation of the program is not in conflict with federal law and does not put state employees charged with directing the program at risk,” Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for Mr. Christie, said.
On Thursday, Mr. Scutari — who is a local prosecutor — and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, the law’s primary sponsors, met with the governor’s legal advisers.
“They told us they don’t have their minds made up; that they want our input,” Mr. Scutari said.
But for the first time, he said, “the possibility of just scrapping the program” came up, though only in passing. Aides to the governor denied that there was any discussion of abandoning the program.
The state has named six nonprofit organizations to grow and dispense marijuana. The would-be growers say that if they were given the go-ahead, it would take at least four months to get up and running.
“A lot of people ask when, how, if we’re really going to open, and we can’t tell them anything,” said Ida Umanskaya, a director of Greenleaf Compassion Center, which plans to operate in Montclair.
Another operator, Compassionate Care Centers of America Foundation, which would be based in New Brunswick, “remains cautiously hopeful,” said Raj Mukherji, a spokesman for the group.
Though marijuana remains illegal under federal law, in 2009 David W. Ogden, the deputy attorney general at the time, sent a memo to federal prosecutors across the country saying that they should not focus “on individuals who are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”
But the memo came with caveats, stressing the Justice Department’s commitment to prosecute commercial marijuana growers and traffickers who feed the illegal market but hide behind “claims of compliance with state or local law.”
In March of this year, federal agents raided marijuana dispensaries in Montana, and some states wondered about the extent of Justice Department tolerance. Including New Jersey, 16 states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing medical use of marijuana.
Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat, vetoed proposed changes to the state’s marijuana program, which she said could expose state workers to prosecution. Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, an independent, suspended plans to license marijuana dispensaries. Arizona sued the federal government.
On June 29, Deputy Attorney General James Cole sent a memo to prosecutors, citing “an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes.” The 2009 memo, he wrote, was never meant to shield operations with “revenue projections of millions of dollars based on the planned cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants.” He said nothing about the legal status of state employees.
Mr. Christie has not said whether Mr. Cole’s memo allayed his concerns. Jessica Smith, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to discuss New Jersey, saying, “We do not speculate on what action we might or might not take in any situation.”
Medical marijuana advocates note that as a former federal prosecutor himself, Mr. Christie is well aware of that policy, and that the memo suggests that New Jersey would be in the clear because its program would involve relatively small, nonprofit operations.
“To us the Justice Department memo was good news for New Jersey,” said Meagan Glaser, policy coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance.
New Jersey’s law was designed to be the strictest in the country, in reaction to programs in California and Colorado that were widely seen as too expansive, and it specified that only six centers would be licensed. It limited marijuana to use for a specific list of severe conditions like cancer, H.I.V. and Lou Gehrig’s disease, or when the patient has less than a year to live.
The Legislature passed the bill despite opposition by Mr. Christie, then the governor-elect. Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed it into law on his last day as governor.
Mr. Christie sought to designate Rutgers University as the sole grower and hospitals as the sole dispensers, but the university and the hospitals declined to take part. The governor then asked the Legislature to postpone the start of the program, and it did.
Late last year, the Christie administration proposed regulations limiting the program further. Some were later dropped, but the rules that were adopted limit the strength of the marijuana, prohibit home delivery, ban edible forms of the drug and require patients to show that they have exhausted conventional treatments.
The wait has been frustrating to patients like Sandy Fiola, of Asbury Park, who has multiple sclerosis and sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease. She said no one questioned her right to take far more dangerous painkillers, like oxycodone, morphine and fentanyl.
“Using marijuana lets me cut way back on steroids and morphine, it works better, and I’m more lucid,” Ms. Fiola, 54, said. “God, I hope they do this thing. It’s been so long already.”
A version of this article appeared in print on July 18, 2011, on page A13 of the New York edition with the headline: Marijuana For Patients Remains Off-Limits.
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Richard Perez-Pena
Published: July 18, 2011
Copyright: 2011 The New York Times Company
About 80% of medical marijuana applicants in AZ approved so far
PHOENIX - It has been more than a week since Arizona starting receiving applications for medical marijuana cards.
The results have been surprising. About 1,000 people have applied to have the card since April 14 with approximately 80 percent of applicants being approved.
The average age for a patient is reportedly over 50 years old. Most of them live in the northern part of Phoenix from Surprise to Scottsdale.
“It reflects that fact that this may be at least so far a true medical marijuana program because as you get older you are more likely to have a real debilitating medical condition for which marijuana maybe something that you're looking for relief.”
The most common medical condition reported is chronic pain at 85 percent.
Bill eases Maine's medical marijuana rules to do away with patient registration
The Committee on Health and Human Services holds its hearing Monday. Supporters say it expands and protects the rights of patients and caregivers.
The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea would eliminate a requirement that patients register with the state. It also would take the decision about whether marijuana is appropriate in a given situation out of the hands of the state and let doctors decide.
Sanderson's bill would also prevent cities and towns from placing unreasonable requirements on caregivers and patients.
A separate bill unveiled last week would legalize personal use and private and commercial cultivation of marijuana, and tax consumer purchases at 7 percent.