164 doctors can prescribe marijuana
I was wondering if you can point me in the direction of two things. One, how can I contribute to the legalization of medicinal marijuana everywhere? Second, where can I find a doctor on Oahu who is participating in writing prescriptions to patients (who, of course, meet the requirements under the law) for marijuana use?
Answer: In answer to your first question, NORML -- National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws -- would be a good place for you to start.
The contact for NORML Oahu is the Rev. William Webb, phone 625-9692 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webb said the Oahu chapter just formed this year, and "we're still (taking) baby steps," processing paperwork, etc.
Anyone interested in joining should contact him; he said he'll let people know once a date for the next meeting is set.
Basically, NORML tries to "educate the public on the benefits of cannabis -- medicinal, spiritual, even just plain recreational use," Webb said. He also pointed to marijuana as a "hardy plant for hemp to be used for many, many things."
He said the national organization's Web site -- www.norml.org/index.cfm -- is a good source of information.
Regarding the name of a physician authorized to prescribe marijuana, Webb said there is no such list. It's not something that physicians publicize, he said, and he only knows of one physician because a member of NORML is a patient.
The state Department of Public Safety, which oversees the medicinal marijuana registry of physicians and patients in Hawaii, does not provide such a listing.
Hawaii legalized the use of medicinal marijuana in 2000.
A physician must certify that a patient is qualified for such use because of a debilitating medical condition specified in the law.
But before a physician is allowed to certify a patient, he or she must also meet certain qualifications: be licensed to practice in Hawaii, have a controlled substance registration and be authorized by the state to participate in the program.
If such a physician certifies a patient, the patient must also register with the state, then is allowed to possess three mature plants and four immature plants at any time, plus one ounce of processed marijuana per mature plant.
At last check earlier this month, there were 164 practicing physicians who are allowed to prescribe marijuana use: 53 on Oahu; 42, Big Island; 32, Maui; 23, Kauai; four, Niihau; and three, Lanai.
What kind of "grown-ups" throw beer bottles from cars to harm the tires of others and the feet of dogs and cats? What kind of people toss their litter for others to pick up? What kind of kids have nothing better to do than to deface public and private property with their ugly "tagging"? Can we please be responsible and, even though WE didn't commit these offenses, clean them up? -- Nancy Bey Little
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