How many patients you say??…well here are their names, addresses, and card numbers

In another sloppy example of government errors made in the war on drugs, Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety amazingly emailed the entire list of state authorized medical marijuana patients to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. The paper ran a front page story mentioning how the state had provided the names, addresses, card numbers, and recommending physicians of all Hawaii’s registered patients.

Needless to say the over 4,200 people who find marijuana helpful with a doctors recommendation were not impressed with the breach.
"Nobody here was a very happy camper," said James Propotnick, the department's deputy director for law enforcement. "People started calling. ... We were notified immediately. I don't think the paper was hot off the press 15 minutes and we started getting calls."

From what the editor is saying it looks like this all arose because of someone being lazy with very secure information.
"We just wanted to know the number of people in Hawai'i County who were currently receiving medical marijuana, and they erroneously sent us the list with the actual names."
So from this perspective it seems the Department of Public Safety just sent the whole list out instead of actually counting the number of patients. The information requested clearly was not that complex and rather then taking ten minutes to answer a media inquiry, they have threatened the security of Hawaii’s patients and their medicine.

Thankfully Hawaii’s best and brightest are on the case.

"It has to do with safety," Propotnick said. "Let's say that there's a whole lot of people who want to steal marijuana and you publish the list with the names and addresses. Now what have we done?”

Thank you Captain Obvious.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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police are just wanting to create crime

crime where there wasnt any .that way they can say there is violence associated with marijuana .undoubtedly there will be armed robberies now of these poor patients all blamed on marijuana .police may seem dumb but they are some of the cleverest criminals afoot

This is why...

... I never got a card. Once you're on the map... you're on the map. Now the feds AND criminals have all these names and addresses too. I'm wondering how this is going to pan out.

unequal protection?

If the names got published, then they could sue the state for releasing the names -- as it violates their privacy and safety. The only way to protect those users from criminals targeting the list of patients -- is to legalize pot for everyone -- then no one will have an excuse for being "without" -- and need to steal from others -- 80% of the whole drug war would go down the tube.

Seriously -- if patients start becoming targets, then the only way to seriously protect the patients is to make the substance others are trying to steal "worthless" -- if it was suddenly legal, it wouldn't be worth the money it is now, and it wouldn't be worth stealing. No one could sell stolen pot -- because -- what's the point? Why buy black market when you can grow your own, or buy some reputable source -- black market always has the problem of being tainted or of unknown quality.

Class Action

Sounds like we should start a class action lawsuit!!!!


How do we go about filing a lawsuit?

Get a lawyer. Right away!

While I am not an attorney and nothing I say here should be construed as legal advice, this sounds to me like an egregious breach of HIPAA’s Privacy Rule.

It seems obvious to me that a patient’s prescription for medical marijuana constitutes PHI (Protected Health Information) under HIPAA’s rule. Disclosure of that information whether it is accidental or intentional constitutes a failure to exercise appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards.

In my opinion both Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald should be subject to prosecutions under HIPAA’s Privacy Rule. The paper for publishing what they must have known was PHI and the certainly Department of Public Safety for failure to exercise appropriate safeguards.

Every individual on that published list has been victimized. Get an attorney and pursue these entities in the courts. That is the only way those who are charged with PHI safekeeping that any breach of confidentiality is serious and expensive business.

Good luck!

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