Four doctors suspended for recommending excessive marijuana

The Colorado constitution permits only six plants per medical patient, but includes language to allow for more if “medically necessary.”

CHLOE
The state only allows for six plants per patient. These doctors recommended 75 or more. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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The state only allows for six plants per patient. These doctors recommended 75 or more. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

More than 1,500 medical marijuana patients left their doctors’ offices this year with recommendations for 75 or more marijuana plants — and state health officials aren’t too happy about it.

The Colorado Board of Medicine suspended the licenses of four doctors today, in Aurora, Denver, Durango and Colorado Springs, after allegations emerged that they had recommended excessive plants to many of their patients, the Denver Post reported.

The Colorado constitution permits only six plants per medical patient, but includes language to allow for more if “medically necessary.” None of those 1,500 patients had a cancer diagnosis, a condition the Medical Board has determined can warrant higher counts.

Officials began tracking marijuana plant-count recommendations in February 2012, after an audit called attention to high counts from specific doctors. Law enforcement officials worry high plant counts feed into the black market, though the 477 medical patients who currently hold recommendations of 75 or more plants makes up less than a half of a percent of total patients.

Disciplinary documents say the suspensions will be dropped only after the matter has been fully resolved.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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