7 June 2016
Courthouse News reports….
A doctor and patient claim Washington’s new medical marijuana regulations merging the industry with recreational pot markets violate their right to doctor-patient confidentiality.
The law, which requires existing dispensaries to operate from a licensed retail pot shop and reduce patient possession amounts, will go in effect July 1.
Dr. Gregory Carter and his patient Eric Mevis sued the state in Federal Court last week, saying the new rules are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment rights of physicians and patients.
Doctors are forced to violate federal law and patients are required to incriminate themselves under the new law, according to the complaint.
“This action seeks a declaration that physicians and patients have the right, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to communicate in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, without intervention by the defendants, about the issue of marijuana as medicine,” the lawsuit states.
The new law, known as the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, uses regulations in place for recreational pot use and adopts them for medical marijuana.
Patient possession limits will be significantly reduced from 24 ounces to three ounces, and the number of plants a patient can grow is down from 15 to six. All medical marijuana dispensaries will also be forced to operate from a licensed retail pot shop or close.
Carter is currently a medical director for a Spokane rehabilitation hospital. Mevis suffers from an incurable neurodegenerative disorder and uses medical marijuana for palliative care.
They say the new regulations will also force them to give up doctor-patient privacy.
Lawyer Representing Plaintiffs: Douglas Hiatt PLLC
Cannabis Patient Protection Act,
PDF Summary of SB 5052: The Cannabis Patient Protection Act