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Illinois: SIH, SIU Prohibit Physicians From Signing Medical Marijuana Certifications

Jacob Redmond

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In Southern Illinois, at least two major medical groups are prohibiting their physicians from signing off on the certifications required for patients to access an identification card to obtain medical marijuana, even if those patients have qualifying conditions as determined by state law and regulations.

Spokeswomen for both Southern Illinois Healthcare and Southern Illinois University say determinations have been made for physicians not to participate at this time in certifying patients because marijuana, including for medical purposes, remains illegal at the federal level and the legal risk is too uncertain.

Southern Illinois Healthcare, or SIH, operates hospitals in Carbondale, Herrin and Murphysboro, as well as the SIH Cancer Institute in Carterville, among other regional clinics.

SIU, through the SIU School of Medicine, operates the SIU Family Medical Center-Carbondale, and a rural health clinic in West Frankfort, in addition to adolescent clinic centers.

SIH communications coordinator Rosslind Rice said in an emailed statement that SIH Medical Group physicians "do not provide prescriptions for medical cannabis" given that "medical cannabis is not legal according to federal law."

SIU spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith said neither the SIU Board of Trustees, which oversees the School of Medicine, nor the school's administration have issued formal policy statements on certifying patients to access medical marijuana. But SIU doctors are not allowed to sign off on medical marijuana certifications at this time.

"The School of Medicine has internally discussed concerns related to lack of legal protection given the federal status of non-synthetic medical marijuana and lack of state legislative policy or protocol for prescribing it," Goldsmith said in a statement provided to the newspaper.

She concluded: "At this point, there are no plans for developing a policy given the uncertain legal environment."

President Barack Obama's administration, as a matter of policy, has chosen not to allow federal agents to raid retail operations in states where medical marijuana is legal. In December 2014, Congress passed a similar policy as medical marijuana advocates called for a federal policy regarding states' patchwork medical marijuana laws that would outlive a particular president.

The U.S. House and Senate this summer agreed to extend similar language set to expire in September, though the White House has reportedly threatened to veto the spending bill amendment that includes the policy extension over an unrelated issue, according to International Business Times.

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News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: SIH, SIU prohibit physicians from signing medical marijuana certifications; cite federal law : News
Author: Molly Parker
Contact: Molly.Parker@TheSouthern.com
Photo Credit: None Found
Website: thesouthern.com - Southern Illinois news, Carbondale, Marion IL
 
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