SALEM, Ore., June 12 - Oregon's medical marijuana program failed to
verify doctor signatures on applications, regularly missed its
deadline for processing applications and has no clear procedure for
denying incomplete applications, an internal audit has found.

The review was ordered after the state discovered that three forged
doctors' signatures had been used to obtain registration cards.

Four applications carrying the same forged signature were caught
before cards were issued to patients. All seven cases have been
turned over to the Oregon State Police.

"Oregonians expect our agency's services to meet the highest
standards," said Bob Mink, director of the State Department of Human
Services. "Unfortunately, our management of this program has fallen
short of this goal."

From now on, Mr. Mink said, every application will be verified in
writing with the patient's doctor. He also pledged to eliminate a
backlog of about 780 applications by adding staff members.

Oregon's Medical Marijuana Act, which was approved by voters in 1998,
allows people with cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and other conditions to use
marijuana with a doctor's permission.

Newshawk: Amanda
Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jun 2001
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2001 The New York Times Company
Author: The Associated Press
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)