The owner and operator of the Olympic Pain and Addiction Services plans to conduct monthly informational sessions about the use of medical marijuana.
“People have a lot of unanswered questions about the use of medical cannabis and I feel ethically obligated to educate them,” said Dr. James Kimber Rotchford about the seminars, the first of which will be at the Cotton Building, 607 Water St., at 7 p.m. Monday.
Rotchford plans to conduct the 45-minute seminar on the first Monday of every month.
Rotchford, who is a 2009 recipient of the Heart of Service Award for his work at the JC MASH free clinic, said he wants to provide patients with information about medical marijuana.
“It’s appropriate for patients to be informed about the indications, risks and side effects of using cannabis for medical purposes,” he said.
He developed the presentation along with a syllabus for his patients who are considering the use of medical cannabis, presenting it as a requirement before authorizing the medication.
He decided to offer the information to the general public and said that it has no bearing on his business.
In December 2010, search warrants were executed at his clinic at 1334 Lawrence St., in Port Townsend by law enforcement officials assisting the state Attorney General’s Office.
At the time, assistant Attorney General Aileen Miller would not provide information about the warrants, but said her department was concerned with Medicaid fraud.
No arrests were made. The office was closed briefly before it was reopened.
Rotchford said that the investigation is still open “but there have been no charges filed and I don’t expect there will be.”
State Attorney General Senior Counsel Carrie Bashaw said Friday her office has a strict no-comment policy regarding investigations in progress.
“We can neither confirm nor deny anything that Dr. Rotchford has said and have no comment whatsoever about what he perceives what is going on and an action that we may or may not be taking,” she said.
Rotchford’s website at Olympic Pain and Addiction Services in Port Townsend, WA says he has more than 25 years of clinical experience helping patients with complex chronic pain using both conventional and alternative modalities.
Cannabis can be an appropriate treatment for chronic pain since it can block receptors in the brain where the pain originates, but cannabis also is highly addictive, Rotchford said.
“Addiction is a devastating disease and marijuana causes a strong physical dependence,” he said.
“It’s less addictive than tobacco or alcohol, but its addictive aspects can still be very harmful,” he added.
As with any treatment, a physician must balance the potentially harmful effects of the addiction with the discomfort caused by not having the treatment.
Stopping cannabis treatment also can cause withdrawal symptoms, Rotchford said.
Rotchford said a common misconception about medical marijuana is that it is prescribed.
Instead a doctor can write out an authorization for its use based on an approved list of ailments, he said.
It is patient’s responsibility to administer treatment and monitor results, he added.
Chapter 69.51A of the Revised Code of Washington regulates the use of marijuana for a limited list of specified medical purposes.
Federal guidelines do not include the use of medical marijuana.
News Hawk- TruthSeekr420 420 MAGAZINE
Author: Charlie Bermant
Contact: Contact the Peninsula Daily News
Website: Doctor to begin series of free seminars on medical marijuana -- Port Angeles Port Townsend Sequim Forks Jefferson County Clallam County Olympic Peninsula Daily news