(Billings Gazette) HELENA — A proposal to make it harder for people to get medical marijuana cards for severe and chronic pain drew plenty of opposition and little support at a hearing on Monday.
Senate Bill 170, by Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, would require a panel of three physicians experienced in pain management to review and ultimately decide whether to approve or reject another doctor’s recommendation that a patient be authorized to use medical marijuana for severe and chronic pain.
His bill would change the diagnosis to severe and chronic pain, from severe or chronic pain, defining it as “severe, persistent and intractable pain” that is “unrelieved by standard medical treatments or medications” over a reasonable amount of time.
The certifying physician would prepare a report demonstrating that the patient has not responded to traditional forms of pain treatment. The report would go to the three-physician panel, which would have a teleconference to make the final decision.
[Russ: So, have we heard yet about the plan to require a three-doctor panel to second-guess prescriptions for other pain relieving medications, or just the non-addictive, non-toxic, non-liver-destroying one?]