Bismarck News

Medical Marijuana May Not be Available to Everyone Who Needs It

Woman will have to change doctors in order to receive medical marijuana

Medical marijuana is expected to be available in just a few months. Here at KX News we've been reaching out to healthcare providers to see if they will prescribe the drug once available. Tonight we talk to a patient in limbo. 

Her hospital and caregivers have already said they won't prescribe it but, she feels the medicine will give her a fighting chance at better health. Our Malique Rankin looks at the choice between doctor and drug.
 

Jody Vetter has Cervical Spinal Stinosis, a condition that causes headaches, nerve pain, and muscle spasms.

Jody Vetter: "Unbearable. It's scary."

She's eligible for medical marijuana, but her doctor works at a hospital that won't allow prescriptions.

Jody Vetter: "Administrative rules shouldn't supersede patient care."

Vetter says CHI St. Alexius' no medical marijuana policy has put her in a difficult position.

Jody Vetter: "So what am I faced with? Having to basically doctor shop to find a different doctor."

The medical marijuana program laws say there needs to be a bona fide relationship between a healthcare provider and their patient. There is NO specific time period associated with the provider-patient relationship. Medical records need to be reviewed and a full assessment completed.

Medical Marijuana won't be available until December. To cope with her debilitating condition, Vetter takes Motrin, CBD hemp, Tylenol, and muscles relaxers. She's allergic to opioids. 

Malique Rankin; KX News: "Do you think that's doing enough to give you the quality of life you want?"
Jody Vetter: "Absolutely not. Not even close."

Vetter says the Department of Health should have made a better system for patients who's doctors refuse to prescribe.

Jody Vetter: "It shouldn't be my responsibility to call around to every doctor around the state in ND and inquire if they prescribe medical marijuana."

Malique reached out CHI St. Alexius, asking if they were concerned with losing patients because of it's policy. CHI sent a statement saying they'd do whatever they legally can to help their patients achieve their healthcare goals, including transferring charts to a new provider. CHI St. Alexius also said if marijuana is made legal on a federal level, they'd reconsider their own prescription policy.

The medical marijuana division expects registry ID cards will be printed and mailed in December, closer to the date that products are available.
 


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