WITCH-HUNT VICTIM OR SHODDY DOC?
October 24, 2004 -
Dr. Tod Mikuriya believes the state is out to get him for prescribing medical pot. Critics say it's not that simple.
( Berkeley, CA ) Mikuriya has recommended pot more than ten thousand times.
Dr. Tod Mikuriya is a true believer. He views his medical practice as a platform from which to help re-establish the medicinal status marijuana enjoyed before the reefer madness of the late 1930s.
"It had been available to clinicians for one hundred years until it was taken off the market in 1938," the wide-eyed Mikuriya said in a recent interview. "I'm fighting to restore cannabis."
But Mikuriya isn't just burnishing the drug's reputation; he's actively recommending it to dozens of patients each week, and using it himself. Dr. Tod, as he is known by his patients, has recommended cannabis more than ten thousand times since California voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996. That makes him one of the state's leading advocates of medical marijuana.
Mikuriya claims that because of his prominent role in the medical pot scene, investigators from the California Medical Board conspired to take away his medical license. The doctor and his lawyers say that the board's enforcement action directly contradicted the passage in Proposition 215 that states:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes."
But the state attorneys who prosecuted Mikuriya counter that the case against Dr. Tod did not really concern marijuana, but whether he had applied the appropriate standards of patient care.
The key question in the case boils down to how rigorous an examination doctors must perform when recommending marijuana to a patient. State investigators have said they began investigating Mikuriya because they thought he was recommending pot with little more than drive-by consultations. And once their investigation was done, they said they had a stash of proof that Dr. Tod had repeatedly failed to thoroughly examine patients before advising them to toke up.
The 71-year-old Berkeley resident has long been an outspoken proponent of medipot. In 1967, he was a consulting psychiatrist in charge of marijuana research at the National Institute of Mental Health Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies. He has written numerous articles on the effects of cannabis, worked with San Francisco medical pot guru Dennis Peron, and founded the California Cannabis Research Medical Group.
"It never ceases to amaze me the broad range of ailments that are helped by cannabis -- chronic conditions, physical or psychological," he said.
All this advocacy has given Mikuriya a certain notoriety. In late 1996, he was singled out by federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey during a national TV appearance announcing that doctors risked losing their federal licenses to prescribe drugs if they recommended marijuana following passage of Prop. 215.
The doctor believes that sometime after that warning, state law enforcement officials who sided with McCaffrey actively commenced a witch hunt against him. What better way for opponents to eviscerate California's groundbreaking medical marijuana law, he asked, than to make life miserable for the small handful of doctors who most often suggest pot to their patients? Mikuriya refers to some of these antagonists as "the forces of darkness."
Records show that state investigators began focusing on Mikuriya sometime in the late 1990s. They suspected that he had recommended pot a little too casually in the case of a 58-year-old Napa County quadriplegic with advanced multiple sclerosis. Mikuriya later testified that the bedridden patient whom he saw for five minutes in November 1998 was already using pot and that his conservator said he was benefiting from it.
To build a case against Mikuriya, medical board investigators began working with law enforcement officials from around the state. Cops and prosecutors from rural counties appeared most eager to help, producing the names of about fifty people who had been arrested or investigated for marijuana use and had obtained pot after receiving a recommendation from Mikuriya. Just two came from the Bay Area -- both from Napa County. By contrast, nine came from El Dorado County, ten from Tehama County, and eleven from Nevada County.
Medical board investigators wrote to each of the patients, asking them to release their private medical records. The vast majority did not respond. Working in concert with the California Attorney General's Office, investigators then subpoenaed Mikuriya to release the records of 47 patients.
Mikuriya and his lawyers fought the subpoenas in court, but ultimately accepted a deal in which they released the records under the threat of medical license suspension, according to court documents.
Investigators combed through the 47 patient records and identified sixteen cases in which they believed Mikuriya had inadequately examined his patients. The medical board and attorney general then added one final case: that of a Sonoma County Narcotics Task Force agent who said that Mikuriya recommended pot to him during an undercover operation.
Prosecutors and investigators then brought in a San Francisco psychologist to study the seventeen cases as an expert witness. In making her determinations, Laura Duskin relied on a 1997 "policy statement" from the medical board that said California doctors who recommend marijuana should use the same patient-examination standards as doctors who prescribe any drug or procedure. Use of the strict state standard doomed Mikuriya. Duskin found him grossly negligent in all seventeen cases.
The doctor's attorneys later argued that he should not be held to the terms of the policy statement because it was not an official regulation. Mikuriya also noted that he considers himself a consultant, not a primary physician. His attorney, Susan Lea, argued that more-thorough examinations would force Mikuriya to raise his fees for patients who cannot afford it.
Lea noted that none of Mikuriya's patients complained or claimed they had been harmed by his advice, and that Duskin did not interview any of them. She further observed that Duskin had never once recommended pot to a medical patient. "Obviously, we're not dealing with people who respect Prop. 215," Lea said.
The two deputy attorneys general who prosecuted Mikuriya, Lawrence Mercer and Jane Zack Simon, did not return phone calls seeking comment for this story. But in court documents and previous statements to reporters, they contended that there was no conspiracy against Mikuriya.
The administrative law judge who oversaw the case bought the state's argument that the real issue was whether Mikuriya applied the appropriate standards of care. In his April 19 decision, Judge Jonathan Lew was unconvinced by testimony from Dr. Philip Denney, an expert witness for Mikuriya, that Dr. Tod's exams were sufficient under Prop. 215. In fact, Lew used Denney's testimony against Mikuriya, noting that Denney said he conducted thorough examinations of his own patients whenever he recommended marijuana to them.
Lew revoked Mikuriya's medical license, but stayed the order and put him on five years' probation. During this time, Mikuriya will be monitored by another doctor, who will periodically review his patient records. Lew also fined Mikuriya $75,000 to help pay for the medical board's investigation and prosecution. Board spokeswoman Candis Cohen said its current executive director, Dave Thornton, was "very satisfied" with the outcome of the case.
Shortly after Lew's ruling, Mikuriya opened a small new medical office above the El Cerrito Trader Joe's. Medical marijuana consultations remain his primary practice. He said he sees about forty patients a week, and intends to follow the state medical board's policy statement regarding the standards appropriate for recommending medical marijuana. Mikuriya also acknowledged using his chosen medicine himself, saying another doctor recommended it to him to help treat his mild depression.
Mikuriya is appealing Lew's decision on several grounds. One challenges the legality of the patient subpoenas. In a case involving another medical marijuana practitioner, Dr. David Bearman, the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles shot down a request by the medical board and the state attorney general's office to subpoena patient medical records. The court said established precedent does not allow the board to "delve into an area of reasonably expected privacy simply because it wants assurance the law is not violated or a doctor is not negligent in treatment of his or her patient." Mercer and Simon of the attorney general's office argued that it is too late for Mikuriya to challenge the subpoenas.
At the same time, Mikuriya's defense team also is arguing that Lew neglected to reveal what they allege is a possible bias. Lew sits on the advisory board of a Christian group, Powerhouse Ministries, that equates marijuana addiction with slavery on its Web site.
"The challenge is not about the judge's actual bias, but his failure to disclose a highly relevant fact that would have allowed petitioner to probe the possibility of that bias," Mikuriya's lawyers wrote in his appeal in Sacramento County Superior Court. Prosecutors Mercer and Simon called the suggestion that Lew's involvement in Powerhouse Ministries constitutes an appearance of bias "absurd and offensive."
Meanwhile, the medical board acknowledged the ongoing confusion surrounding proper standards of care by promulgating another advisory statement after Lew issued his decision. The new statement essentially repeats the 1997 statement. But like the earlier advisory, the new policy is not an official regulation.
Mikuriya Case Update
By now Administrative Law Judge Jonathan Lew has presumably filed his
"Proposed Decision" advising the Medical Board whether or not to punish Tod
Mikuriya, MD ‹and if so, by what measures. At a lengthy hearing this fall,
the Attorney General, representing the Board, charged that Mikuriya had
violated the prevailing standard of care in approving cannabis use by 17
patients (one an undercover narc). The Board's expert witness had come to
this conclusion by reading Mikuriya's patients¹ charts -but she hadn't
contacted any of the patients to determine if their treatment at his hands
had actually been harmful or beneficial.
Mikuriya defended his methods of determining whether patients were using
cannabis appropriately and rightfully. The evidence showed that all his
patients -except the narc, of course- had benefited from cannabis use. Nine
patients testified that Mikuriya had conducted thorough and empathetic
exams. At the very end of the hearing, ALJ Lew asked Mikuriya if he would be
willing to modify his procedures in the future, and Mikuriya said
"Absolutely." The exchange left him hopeful that a career-ending stand-off
might be averted.
The Board has 30 days to review the judge's Proposed Decision. In this
period a six-member panel from the Board's Division of Medical Quality votes
by mail on whether or not to adopt the Proposed Decision. Four "adopt" votes
suffice. If two members vote ³Hold,² the panel will discuss the case behind
closed doors at the May Board meeting. (Two ³hold² votes prevail over four
³adopt² votes.) In deciding whether to accept the Proposed Decision, the
panel can order and review the transcript of the hearing and take oral and
written arguments from Mikuriya and the AG¹s office.
SO, Mikuriya's fate could hang in the balance for a long time. Some
generalize that delays are good for the defendant -in this case, the doctor
who stands to lose his license- because life goes on in the meanwhile... But
the law's delays can also be a mild form of torture (see Hamlet's Top 10
reasons to commit suicide). "Let him twist slowly in the wind" Nixon told
his henchmen -Don't let Patrick Gray know his job status. It's been years
since Mikuriya felt he could make longterm work plans. If the Medical Board
allows him to keep practicing, he says, he sees himself sharing an East Bay
office with other cannabis specialists, gladly adhering to whatever
clear-cut, sensible guidelines the Board has established for them.
Denney Opens Orange County Office
On Feb. 9, Philip A. Denney, MD, started seeing patients at a "cannabis
evaluation practice" in Lake Forest, a city at the intersection of Freeways
5 and 405 in Orange County. If the demand is as great as Denney anticipates,
he hopes to interest other physicians in the new specialty, which he defines
as "determining whether a patient has a serious medical condition that could
be treated safely and beneficially with cannabis."
Denney has already recruited Robert E. Sullivan, MD, a former associate in a
Sacramento practice, to join him in Orange County.
An estimated 60,000 patients have gotten physician approvals to use cannabis
In the more-than-seven years since it became legal. "That represents a very
small set of the population that could be helped by cannabis if
knowledgeable doctors were available throughout the state," says Denney.
Twelve doctors specializing in cannabis evaluations have issued
approximately half the approvals to date, and all but one of those doctors
are in Northern California.
For most of his 27-year career Denney was a family practitioner. In the late
1990s, having become aware that doctors who approved cannabis in treating
conditions other than AIDS or cancer were few and far between, he began
studying the available medical literature and corresponding with specialists
in the area.
In January, 1999, Denney opened an office in Loomis, East of Sacramento,
specializing in cannabis evaluations.
"It was obvious when we had our practice in Loomis," says Denney (the 'we'
refers to his wife Latitia, who manages his office), "and people kept
showing up from all 58 counties, that there was a tremendous need and demand
throughout the state." A related need, according to Denney, is for a
Continuing Medical Education course that would bring California doctors up
to speed on a subject they learned nothing about in Med School.
By the fall of 2002 Denney had approved cannabis use by some 8,000 patients
and decided he would take early retirement. He transferred his practice (to
William Turnipseed, MD) and devoted himself to reading, gardening, spending
time with his family, and doing all the projects that needed doing on his
hilltop spread in rural Greenwood. But he didn't entirely withdraw from the
fray -he helped defend colleagues under attack by the Medical Board of
California, and he kept abreast of the medical literature and
cannabis-related political developments.
In May 2003 Denney appeared before the Board to protest the investigation of
nine doctors specializing in cannabis consultations. "When you mention that
nine investigations is a small number, you must consider the effect of those
investigations on the rest of the physicians in California," Denney reminded
the Board. "The sanction of even one physician will have a dramatic impact
on the practices of all others." (Denney himself has never been investigated
by the Board, a fact he attributes to the rigor with which he takes
histories, reviews records, and conducts physical exams.)
Denney also served as an expert witness in defense of Tod Mikuriya, MD -one
of the cannabis specialists whom the Medical Board's Enforcement Division
had chosen to prosecute. Denney reviewed the relevant files and testified
that Mikuriya had elicited enough information in each case to justify
approval of continued cannabis use. Mikuriya's practice should not be
evaluated by the same standards as a conventional practice. "Patients come
to a medical cannabis consultant seeking the answer to one specific
question: 'Do I have a medical condition for which cannabis might be a
useful treatment?'" Denney faulted the Board for not issuing guidelines
relevant to such situations.
A key factor in Denney's decision to resume practicing medicine was the
October 2003 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the ruling in
the Conant v. Walters case: federal authorities are permanently enjoined
from threatening or punishing California doctors who approve cannabis use by
their patients. "The Conant ruling," says Denney, "was tremendously
Denney says that "more than 95%" of the patients to whom he has issued
approvals had been self-medicating with cannabis before consulting him. The
conditions with which they present, he estimates, are: chronic pain (50%);
neurologic (20%); psychiatric, including ADHD and as a "harm reduction"
substitute for alcohol (15%); gastro-intestinal (10%); other (5%).
None of Denney's patients have reported serious adverse reactions or drug
interactions. "Cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years,"
Denney says, "and has a remarkably benign side-effect profile."
For more information, or to arrange an appointment, contact the office of
Drs. Denney and Sullivan at 949-855-8845.
PS. Denney and Sullivan are announcing their presence through an ad in the
Orange County Weekly (whose commercial mainstays are tacky Botox and plastic
surgery ads). The first D&S ad ran on Feb. 5 -an expanded business card
with a small boldface headline: "Medical Cannabis Evaluations." By the end
of opening day there had been three or four calls from young men who thought
the ad was offering employment as taste testers. Where there's youth,
UPDATE: Mikuriya Hearing Resumes Sept. 24
The Medical Board of California's prosecution of Tod Mikuriya, MD, began
Sept. 3 with the testimony of an expert witness, Kaiser psychiatrist Laura
Duskin. The scene was a fluorescent hearing room at the state office
building in Oakland, presided over by Administrative Law Judge Jonathan Lew,
a trim, soft-spoken man with a businesslike air.
In some of the 16 cases, according to Duskin, Mikuriya had failed to
conduct an adequate exam, specify a treatment plan, or arrange proper
follow-up. Duskin said she could adduce all this from the files because,
"From day one in medical school they teach us, 'If you didn't write it down,
it didn't happen.'" She quoted this literally false dictum as if it were
some sanctified truth, as if the paperwork really is more important than the
actual interaction between doctor and patient.
The prosecution called only one other witness, Steve Gossett, a deputy
sheriff who heads Sonoma County's marijuana investigations unit and is known
as a zealous drug warrior. Gossett testified that he had visited Mikuriya at
an office in Oakland in January '03 and obtained a letter of approval by
claiming to suffer from stress, insomnia, and shoulder pain that had kept
him from holding a job for several years. The stress, Gossett said he'd told
Mikuriya, was exacerbated by a pending marijuana possession case (54 grams).
When this case began, the AG's office claimed that Tod had no right to
recommend marijuana to one patient [W.H.] who had MS and was virtually a
quadripelegic, had an ashtray full of roaches and his request was seconded
by his conservator.
This position was so ridiculous, that the hardcore anti-215 crowd in the
AG's office was forced to round up all the reports filed by DAs and cops
that were "sore losers" in 215 cases and sought the records of the
victorious patients... They subsequently realized that they might actually
lose all 16 cases against these 16 patients. So, in a frantic last attempt,
they have brought in Sonoma County sheriff Steve Gossett to try to claim
that Tod is wrapped up in a fraudulent scheme to enable unqualified patients
to obtain marijuana.
On Friday, Sept. 5 the defense called its expert, Philip Denney, MD, an
experienced family practitioner from Loomis, CA. Denney said he'd reviewed
the 17 relevant files and determined that Mikuriya had, in each case,
elicited enough information to justify approval of continued cannabis use.
patients, including Gossett, told Mikuriya that they had been
self-medicating prior to seeking his approval.)
Denney defined Mikuriya's as a "medical cannabis consultation practice"
in which "patients are seeking the answer to one specific question: 'Do I
have a medical condition for which cannabis might be a useful treatment?'"
He faulted the Board for not issuing guidelines relevant to such practices.
To refute the state Medical Board's Accusation against Tod Mikuriya, MD, the
defense has called to the witness stand nine of the patients who allegedly
received substandard care from him. Each patient described Mikuriya as a
thorough, empathetic, and helpful consultant who never passed himself off as
a primary care provider. Each confirmed that s/he had been self-medicating
with cannabis before seeking Mikuriya's approval to do so.
The prosecution's expert, Laura Duskin, MD, had claimed that reading
Mikuriya's files enabled her to detect "extreme departures from the standard
of care" in his treatment of 16 patients. She felt no need to get input from
the patients themselves. "We're taught from day one in medical school that
if you didn't write it down, it didn't happen," Duskin testified in all
seriousness. But it became obvious, as the patients recalled their
encounters with Mikuriya, that a great deal had happened between them that
Duskin failed to discern.
€ First to testify was D.K., a middle-aged woman from Humboldt County who
walked and spoke slowly and with obvious effort. At 21 she'd suffered a
stroke brought on by the combination of smoking cigarettes and taking
birth-control pills. ("The pill" was originally approved by the FDA in a
dosage many orders of magnitude greater than required for efficacy. A safer
formulation was introduced quickly in the U.S., less quickly in South
D.K.'s enunciation may not have been crisp, but what she had to say was
eloquent. "None of you have ever had a cerebral hemorrhage. I'm always the
wrong one, the one who doesn't get the joke... I get feeling like I'm up
against a wall. A couple of puffs and I can come back to myself, I can grip
reality again." D.K. said she first consulted Mikuriya in June, 1998. "He
had been recommended to me as a compassionate doctor... I was totally honest
with him. I had discovered for myself that marijuana helped more than
anything. And I don't need more and more -the same amount works!"
Prior to the next swearing in, Administrative Law Judge Jonathan Lew
commented that he'd never had a case in which patients's names had been kept
from him. Simon said, "We often have cases where patients names aren't used
-but of course they never testify." Which shows how far removed from
reality the Medical Board's procedures have become. Why shouldn't patients
be testifying about mistreatment by physicians? The Mikuriya case is highly
unusual in that no patients contend they were victimized. Quite the contrary
-the alleged victims are coming forward to say "Thank you, doctor."
€ D.H., another middle-aged woman who didn't look as if life had been a bed
of roses, testified that she'd found on her own that cannabis provided
relief for severe itching and stress headaches "so bad I can't even
function." Tests couldn't determine the causes of her problems. Other
doctors had given her "medicines that didn't help. They put me out and
deprived me of feeling in control." She'd brought Mikuriya records from her
previous doctors and told him that when she smoked cannabis, "the itching is
less and I don't go to sleep with headaches." Mikuriya gave her an approval
for cannabis and taught her a method of rolling the shoulders to reduce
headache-inducing tension. She said she couldn't see him again
Duskin had found an "extreme departure from the standard of care" every time
Mikuriya issued an approval letter stating that a patient was under his
"supervision and care" for the given condition(s). The phrasing implies an
ongoing relationship instead of a one-time consultation -a semantic error,
at worst, in the real world. Mikuriya said he'd lifted the phrase verbatim
from a California Medical Association advisory letter sent to doctors after
Prop 215 changed the law.
If this matter was being heard in the Court of Common Sense, the judge would
direct the doctor to re-word his letter of approval; advise the Medical
Board to stop pursuing complaints from law enforcers that don't involve harm
to patients; and spare California taxpayers any further expense on such an
absurd prosecution. But Common Sense is just the name of some old leaflet,
and the legal string must be played out, however long it takes, however much
it costs. Mikuriya's testimony resumes on Sept. 24 in the hearing room of
ALJ Jonathan Lew, 1515 Clay St., Oakland, California. The subject will be
Mikuriya's encounter with an undercover Sonoma County narc named Steve
Gossett, who received an approval based on false claims of sleep, stress,
and shoulder problems.
Then comes Mikuriya's cross-examination by Mercer and Simon - the very same
prosecutors who were sicced on Dennis Peron by former Attorney General Dan
Lungren. "Why did Bill Lockyer assign those two to prosecute Dr. Mikuriya?"
is a FAQ among spectators at the hearing. It appears that he's trying to
mollify a rightwing faction within his office... When Terence Hallinan was
elected District Attorney of San Francisco in '96, he could change the
culture of the office overnight because SFDA employees serve "at the
pleasure of" the DA, and TH could and did fire 14 rightwing stalwarts.
Lockyer, elected in '98, was stuck with the career Assistant AGs because
they have civil service protection. But he didn't have to allow them to
prosecute California's foremost proponent of cannabis therapeutics; and he
certainly didn't have to assign the job to two Lungrenite dead-enders.
Maybe Gray Davis will save the day. The Medical Board members are his
appointees, and it's they who will ultimately act on Judge Lew's
"recommended decision." They can follow it or depart in either direction
-punishment or leniency... But they have a problem analogous to Lockyer's.
Whereas the Med Board's appointed members come and go, the staff consists
mainly of career law enforcers - more than 100 Investigators under
Enforcement Division chief Joan Jerszak- who have social and political
connections to the prison guards, the narcotics officers, the sheriffs, the
police chiefs, the police officers, the DAs, and others who think the War on
Drugs has been good for business.
MIKURIYA TO MED BOARD:
Tod Mikuriya, MD, has rejected a final settlement offer from the Medical
Board of California. The deal would have meant four years probation; taking
classes on ethics, record-keeping, and other areas in which the Berkeley
psychiatrist is supposedly deficient; and a $10,000 fine. The Board claims
that its investigation of Mikuriya has cost more than $100,000 -an amount
for which he now could be found liable.
So, starting on Sept. 3, the courtroom of Administrative Law Judge Jonathan
Lew in Oakland's State Building (1515 Clay St.) will be the scene of a
file-by-file review of Mikuriya's handling of 17 cases.
Just as the federal government used unwilling jurors to convict Ed Rosenthal
in his infamous cultivation case, the state of California is using unwilling
patients to prosecute Mikuriya for "unprofessional conduct." Not one of
the 17 patients who allegedly received sub-standard care has filed or
expressed a complaint against Mikuriya. Not one has reported adverse effects
from the treatment he approved. In fact, almost all the patients in whose
name the Board is bringing this case express gratitude and describe Mikuriya
as an attentive, empathetic interviewer. All had been self-medicating with
cannabis before consulting him. Many report that Mikuriya was the first and
only doctor with whom they could discuss the fact that they'd been using
marijuana to cope with various problems.
There is an Alice-in-Wonderland quality to the Mikuriya prosecution. A
psychiatrist who elicits from his patients the most honest medical history
they've ever given stands to lose his license for conducting inadequate
Although all the complaints come from law enforcers who resented Mikuriya's
support for marijuana users, the Medical Board insists that their case has
nothing to do with marijuana -as if Mikuriya would now stand accused if he
were a well known proponent of, say, Ritalin!
Mikuriya is charged with violating a "standard of care" that the Medical
Board has never defined with respect to doctors who approve their patients'
cannabis use. To add to the irony, for years Mikuriya has been urging the
Board to adopt specific standards with respect to cannabis approvals, while
the Board insists that such approvals are equivalent to prescriptions for
Some of the patients who have been asked to testify on Mikuriya's behalf
will need rides to Oakland from farflung towns when the defense begins
(possibly as soon as Friday, Sept. 5). If you're interested in transporting
a friendly witness, please call Mikuriya's assistant, John Trapp, at
This week Trapp released a list of the complainants, as gleaned from
documents filed in the case:
Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Del Oros: Patient 1
- Nevada County Sheriff's Sgt Steve Mason [listed as Commander of the
Narcotics Task Force] Patients 2, 9, 14
Humboldt County Sheriff's Sgt Steve Knight patients 3, 6
El Dorado County Narcotics Det. Bob Ashworth, Patients 4, 7, 8
Sacramento County Sheriff's Det Jeff McCannon, Patient 5
District Attorney's Office Tehama Patients 11, 12
Tehama County Det. Sgt Dave Hencraft Patients 13, 15
Anonymous (newspaper clip sent to MBC Investigator Tom Campbell] 10
Napa County District Attorney's Office 16
Sonoma Narcotics Task Force 17
All documents relevant to the case (except patients' records, of course) can
be found on Mikuriya.com, including the final settlement offer from the
Medical Board that Mikuriya rejected.
This just in from Dale Schafer, husband of Dr. Marian Fry: "Mollie was
served with a three-count accusation from the Attorney General 8/22. It is
alleged that she did not do a thorough enough exam and did not have enough
records before she recommended cannabis. She is the next target. We will do
our best to fight this. I thought Bill Lockyer was on our side..."
Simultaneously, the AG's office has decided not to pursue the Medical
Board's flimsy case against Dr. Frank Lucido (another example of the patient
thriving). The AG seems to be playing bad cop/good cop with the medical
Says Schafer: "What we want from Lockyer is a general amnesty for doctors
who were recommending cannabis based on its safety profile and in the
absence of explicit do's and don'ts from the Medical Board. If the Board
establishes practice standards and doctors violate them, sanctions would be
appropriate. But to do it ex post facto is extremely unfair."