Doctors Sue Colorado|Over Marijuana Limits

DENVER (CN) — Four doctors sued the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for summarily suspending their licenses for prescribing “increased amounts” of medical marijuana to patients.
     The Colorado Medical Board suspended each physicians’ license after they prescribed what the Board claimed was an “excess number” of medical marijuana plants.
     In their July 21 complaint in Denver County Court, the doctors say Colorado “illegally adopted a secret policy” limiting the number of marijuana plants a doctor can prescribe.
     “The Board relies on an illegal unpublished ‘rule’ that provided it is substandard care per se for physicians to authorize medical marijuana in excess of 75 marijuana plants to patients without cancer,” the complaint states.
     They say the rule was adopted in violation of Colorado’s Open Meetings law; in violation of the state’s medical marijuana law, Article XVIII § 14 of the Colorado Constitution; in violation of the free speech clauses of the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions; and in violation of constitutional guarantees of due process.
     Furthermore, “The rule identified in the suspension order had never been noticed to the public or the plaintiffs,” the doctors say.
     This created a “chilling effect” on physicians who prescribe medical cannabis to patients.
     Here are the plaintiffs:
     Dr. Gentry R. Dunlop has practiced in Denver since 1988 and never had an issue with the Medical Board until this suspension.
     Dr. Robert C. Maiocco has been a licensed doctor for 37 years, practicing in Colorado since 1997, with no issues before the Medical Board until this suspension.
     Dr. Deborah Kaye Parr has been licensed in Colorado since 2009, with a specialty in psychiatry.
     Dr. William Tyler Stone, D.O., has been licensed in Colorado since 2010 and is board certified in neurology.
     They are represented by Robert Corry of Denver, who specializes in marijuana litigation and has battled the state over medical marijuana standards in the past.
     In 2009, Corry successfully helped hundreds of patients and caregivers dissuade the Colorado Board of Health from reinstating a requirement that limited caregivers to supplying only five patients at a time with medical marijuana.
     Corry did not respond to a request for comment.
     The physicians seek declaratory judgment, voiding of the 75-plant policy, and reinstatement of their licenses.
     The defendants are Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Larry Wolk and Colorado Medical Board Program Director Karen M. McGovern.
     The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment did not return a request for comment.

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