Pubdate: Wed, 11 May 2011 Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT) Copyright: 2011 The Billings Gazette Contact: http://billingsgazette.com/app/contact/?contact=letter Website: http://www.billingsgazette.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/515 Author: Michael Geci, M.D. SB423 WOULD INTERFERE WITH DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP What medication you need is not something the government has any business knowing or dictating. Governments don't go to medical school, people who become doctors do. Yet, if SB423, the medical marijuana reform bill, becomes law any physician certifying 25 or more patients for the use of medical marijuana triggers an investigation before the state medical board. No probable cause other than recommending a patients' suitability to use medical marijuana under existing law. How many physicians in the state will subject themselves to a career-blemishing investigation? SB 423 also requires patients to see two physicians before using chronic pain as a qualifying condition. This is an unreasonable expense on the patient and discriminates against patients with chronic pain. As an emergency physician, I've learned pain is relative. I've seen patients in pain from a myriad of conditions, some serious, some not. Pain is complex. One study reported 85 of women with chronic pain have a childhood history of sexual or physical abuse. If Montanans were mad about Obamacare, they should be livid about SB423. The bill assumes doctors can't be trusted and need bureaucratic oversight to properly do their jobs that took them years to learn. The governor has until May 13 to veto the bill; otherwise, it becomes law on July 1. I implore you to take the time to call Gov. Schweitzer's office (444-3111) and urge him to veto SB 423. Michael Geci, M.D. Bozeman - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.