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09/30/2009

Doc Goes “Up in Smoke” for Selling and Partaking in Medical Marijuana with “Patients”

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Imagine, if you can, walking into your doctor’s office, jumping up onto the paper lined table and the following dialogue occuring:

DOCTOR: “[Coughing] Whew. That’s Kush stuff. That’s OG Kush. Whew, that’s some great potent herb. It’s just good to be in California. Yeah. We could be in Oklahoma.”

The doctor then performs no medical examination or takes a medical history of you at all and deeming you worthy of your pot prescription says,

DOCTOR: “The herb is going to be in here. It’s going to be mixing around. Hot air, we’re going to catch it. It’s just vaporizing. You don’t burn it, so you’re heating all the good stuff, but you’re not creating all the poison that you do when you burn something.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is your California physician.

No, really, this isn’t from the Onion. Or from the latest Cohen brothers movie. And I couldn’t make up a story this good, even if I tried.

Southern California physician Dr. Tollette has been arrested for lighting up his medicinal herbs with his “patients” in complete contravention with California and federal law. Caught during a sting operation after being suspected for running more of a marijuana dispensary than a legitimate medical practice, as a news report stated it Dr. Tollette “recommended marijuana to just about anyone, as long as the price was right.”

This very same news report described Dr. Tollette as having a man with a “very unique specialty [who] displays some questionable medical ethics.” Really? I know of, well, no physicians who practice the specialty of marijuanatology.

No worries, Mr. Tollette is no longer a physician. He is serving time in federal prison having pled guilty to marijuana related offenses and Medicare fraud.

Unfortunately, cases like this give legitimate uses of medical marijuana a bad rap and make it an easy target. But if any one can’t see that the former Dr. Tollette was a pure opportunist/drug dealer looking to make huge amounts of money from his medical licensure and the ability to dispense marijuana in California, then they simply aren’t paying attention.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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