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Lifetime Recommendations In Spokane, Wa


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#1 DonJones

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 01:12 PM

There are two clinics currently issuing lifetime recommendations to people with qualifying conditions that will not improve or go away. I do not know just which specific conditions they consider qualifying for lifetime recommendations. Lifetime recommendations are initially significantly more expensive than the normal one year one (I paid $350 for a lifetime versus $200 for the one year recommendation, but after the second year, then the cost per year decreases drastically.).

They are:

Green Hope located at 2510 N. Pines Rd., Suite 207, phone 509-924-7933, Fax 509-924-3676. Note: They often are very busy so it may take several calls to reach them.

Best Medical No permanent physical location -- They hold clinics in various rented facilities. -- phone 509-953-1447

Of the two clinics, at least one dispensary claims that Best Medical is the easiest for them to confirm recommendations with.

My personal experience has been with Green Hope and I have been very pleased with them. They had a substitute doctor flown in from Seattle the week I went to clinic and he flat refused to write for more than a year, wrongfully claim recommendation longer than that were illegal. I talked to Loretta about that and she arranged for me to see her regular Nurse Practitioner and got me the lifetime and credited me the original $200 against the $350 for the lifetime. That was only fair, but in our current environment, not everyone is interested in being fair.

In my humble opinion, the reason the other clinics refuse to issue lifetime recommendations is the profit of repeat business not the legality when the State Department of Health's official website states that a recommendation never expires unless your doctor puts an expiration date on it. Another possibility is that they and/or their doctors are ignorant of the difference between writing a recommendation, which is controlled by the medical marijuana statue, and writing a prescription, which is controlled by other state laws/regulations and/or federal laws and/or regulations. I believe, but don't know for sure, that prescriptions are limited by law or regulation to 1 year because of changing treatment and/or medication options, but prescriptions are not the same as recommendations because it is illegal under both state and federal law to write a prescription for a Class 1 controlled substance like MJ and PCP.
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#2 Curtis

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 01:36 PM

I wouldn't go with a lifetime recommendation. WA law states that you must have an ongoing relationship with your health care provider in order to validate your MMJ recommendation. I cross my fingers that you never need to test your recommendation in court.
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#3 DonJones

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 05:24 PM

Curtis, Not to be argumentative, but what is the RCW/WAC source for your position? I have read and reread every MMJ RCW and WAC code and I can find that requirement. Could you be confusing the requirement that before a doctor (now enlarged to include almost any health care specialist) can issue a recommendation they must have an ongoing relationship to issue the recommendation? Incidentally, under that requirement no recommendation issued on the first visit would be legal if you are constructing it literally. Also, the Department of Health's official MMJ website under FAQ in answer to the question of when my recommendation answered never unless your doctor puts an expiration date on it. Now why if your on-going relationship is required do they say unless the doctor puts an expiration date on it your recommendation never expires?
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#4 DonJones

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 04:59 PM

For those interested in the issue that Curtis raised, here is the link to the State of Washington Department of Health's official website on Frequently asked Questions regarding the question

"Does my written recommendation expire?"

along with their answer of

"Your written recommendation only expires if your health care provider has included an expiration date on it. If you change providers, you may want to consider obtaining a new recommendation."

found at hxxp://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/medical-marijuana/FAQmore.htm#Expire (change the hxxp to http or just start with www to reach the site.)

I asked him for a legal source for the position that recommendations are only good for 1 year in case he knew something that I had missed, but evidentally he has no official source only hearsay. None of htis is meant to belittle or put down Curtis in any way because most people out there have not bothered to research the laws, regulations and other official statement of the state government, but are relying on some private individual or private attorney's opinion.

If anyone needs a link to the actual laws and regulations, just ask and I'll be glad to provide them. Now you have the State of Washington's official statement on expiration of recommendations. Follow your own judgment in what you do with it.




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