DEA Leaning On Massachusetts Docs with Dispensaries Ties

The Boston Globe is reporting today that the DEA has been visiting Massachusetts doctors involved with yet-to-open medical marijuana dispensaries and giving them an ultimatum: Cut your ties with the dispensary or lose your DEA-issued license to prescribe drugs.

The heavy-handed tactic from the prohibition enforcers is working.  The Globe interviewed two physicians who promptly severed their ties with dispensaries and a third who instead surrendered his license to prescribe (he said that as part-time surgeon, he didn't need it, although he'd had it for 40 years).

That could have an impact on the opening of some dispensaries, and that could have an impact on Massachusetts patients, who've already been waiting nearly a year-and-a-half for them to open since voters approved medical marijuana there in November 2012.

The DEA's actions to screw around with medical marijuana in Massachusetts come even as, in a historic vote, the House just a week ago voted to bar the DEA from interfering with medical marijuana in states where it is legal. Stories like this one from the Globe are only going to add pressure for the Senate to go along.

The DEA doesn't get it. It has already lost this war. It's time for the agency to get out of the way, or better yet, go the way of the dinosaurs.  But while the DEA and the prohibition regime it enforces may be dying dinosaurs, those final twitches of the tail still have the power to inflict injury. Better to put the beast out its misery.

Boston, MA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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What is the Senate Bill

What is the Senate Bill number to correspond with the House vote last week  on the DEA, and is there a projected date for a Senate vote?  It would be good to know so we can call our Senators without sounding ill-informed.  Thanks.

The next Massachusetts governor is going to be a cannabis hater

The Democrat running is the notorious Martha Coakley, the Republican is equally bigoted against weed. Doesn't matter that the majority of MA voters want it legalized. Sigh.

FSPHP, Physician Healh Programs, and willful ignorance

Until the ASAM, FSPHP, and Physician Health Program complex is recognized this is going to continue.  The American Society of Addiction Medicine is a phony specialty that is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  The ASAM is a front-group that represents prohibitionists,  the drug testing industry, and the 12-step drug rehab racket.    The FSPHP is unregulated, accountable to no one, and essentially unseen but they have cultivated relationships with key players including State Medical Societies, Health Departments, Regulatory Agencies, Law enforcement, and the DEA.

It is the ASAM/FSPHP/Physician Health Program complex that pulls the strings behind closed doors.  They control physicians by coercion and fear.   Most physicians in MA are open to Medical Marijuana but few are involved.  Most won't even discuss it. Why? Because the state PHP can arbitrarily call any physician in without due process or appeal. The medical board and medical society have given them complete power, autonony, and  police like power.   It is this power to instill fear that has prevented the majority of physicians from having anything to do with MM.  And if you pull a few doctors in who are involved in MM that reinforces the fear.  It is interesting that this happened at a time that would cause maximum damage to the physicians involved.  Whey here?   Because the FSPHP presence is very strong.  

Physicians Health Services, Inc. is a part of the Mass Medical Society.   Past President of the FSPHP is Dr. Luis Sanchez who retired as Director of PHS in  2013 after 14 years  and was replaced by Dr. Steven Adelman (you may recall Adelman blamed the Boston Marathon bombing on "marijuana withdrawal--a sentiment echoed by Robert Dupont who is also heavily involved in the ASAM/FSPHP.

The office manager of PHS,inc., Linda Bresnahan is the current Secretary of the FSPHP.

And lastly,  an   administrative services contract was signed in 2013 between the FSPHP and the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) subsidiary Physician Health Services, Inc. to provide administrative support to FSPHP leadership, members, and their executive director.  In summary, Massachusetts is a FSPHP State and that influences everything.  

Take a look at FSPHP member Maureen Dinnan's  presentation on the impact of medical marijuana on PHP programs.


Collaboration between Physician Health Programs and Regulatory Bodies in Policy Development to Promote Public Safety

On April 21, 2013, a panel presentation was made at the Federation of State Physician Health Programs’ (FSPHP’s) annual meeting concerning medical marijuana, as well as issues pertaining to the legalization of marijuana for recre- ational use in several states — most recently Colorado and Washington. The participants included Maureen Dinnan, JD, and executive director for Connecticut’s Health Assis- tance Intervention and Education Network (HAVEN), James Broadhurst, MD, a family practice physician with added qualifications in addiction medicine who is affiliat- ed with the UMass Memorial Medical Group in Massachu- setts, and Doris C. Gundersen, MD, medical director of the Colorado Physician Health Program (CPHP). 


All panelists expressed concern about the increased acceptability and perceived safety of marijuana by the public and the risk to public safety, particularly given the known cognitive impairment associated with regular use of marijuana. The fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and that physicians using marijuana may face unanticipated professional consequences, including risking participation in federally funded programs, such as Medicare, was emphasized. Finally, panelist encouraged members of the audience to be pro- active in their states and with their individual physician health programs in addressing new legislation proposed for the legalization of marijuana.

— Doris C. Gundersen, MD Colorado Physician Health Program Denver, CO 

The FSPHP front-grop needs to be dismantled at the State but no one is even paying attention to this.  No progress will be made until these prohibitionist corporate front-groups are acknowledged and dealth with.


As long as the old guard is in charge of these politically charged medical groups, doctors will be scared into submission.  That is, unless they don't care that these people can pull their license to practice, essentially making them destitute!  It happened with pain management doctors. It will happen to any that take the chance to act like they have a single bone of compassion left in their body!

intimidation and threats

I have seen the medical system go from caring people who want to help others to the current model where people become doctors for the money.Into this we add the federal agencies responsible for the law getting into what the doctors can prescribe and how much of it they are allowed to prescribe.My current family doctor would not take over the prescribing of my pain medications,forcing me to rely on methadone doctors who work under an agenda and are just in it for the extra money.He also refused to sign for my renewal of my cannabis license so that expired and I refused to put out the $500.That's the cost of an on line prescription that is necessary because BC's college is against cannabis.I'm sure they use threats and intimidation as that's what every doctor claims.It's also how they run the methadone program which they have set up as a monopoly.There were once doctors who prescribed methadone because they believed in it.They all had their licenses stripped away and they refused,to a man,to sign on under the system the college introduced.They saw that it was an ideology based plan that ignored the fact that addicts,like everyone,are individuals and that cookie cutter one size fits all medicine was a bad deal all around.The current crop are sadistic,antagonistic and truly primitive in the way they deal with people.

DEA is no longer needed

Since the borders are open and drugs flowing like a river into the US, the DEA needs to be fired and sent home. We don't need them anymore...


I agree with one Senator in a southern state that said ..." DEA needs to be cut off at the knees disbanded and their ashes scattered was Richard Nixon"...

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