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Hawaii law lets nurses certify medical marijuana patients

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  • STAR-ADVRTISER / DEC. 17, 2014

    Medical marijuana plants grow at a home in Mililani.

Hawaii patients may have easier access to medical marijuana now that nurses can certify them for the drug. Advocates say the change was needed because there’s a shortage of doctors willing to certify patients.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill today updating the state’s medical marijuana dispensary law.

The bill also fixes a tax loophole that would have entitled dispensaries to tax exemptions if they set up in enterprise zones.

Some advocates want further changes to Hawaii’s law to allow dispensaries to sell edible marijuana products.

State law allows dispensaries to open July 15, but many dispensary owners are saying they won’t open before the end of the year. That’s because they haven’t had enough time since licenses were awarded in April.

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  • Yes, weed takes time to grow once you set up your indoor growing facilities. Also they will need to set up security for these growing facilities and the dispensaries themselves.
    The experience on the mainland is that these dispensaries are being targeted by the usual low life, criminal types who see them as easy places to rob.
    Lots of cash and lots of weed and related consumable products. Fairly sure, you are going to see the same problems here as we have no shortage of low life types just waiting
    to make their move on these places.

  • Wow, Ige/the State really is allowing this to get out of control. I can’t get penicillin unless it is prescribed by a doctor, but a nurse can prescribe medical marijuana? Reason: The State feels there will be a shortage of doctors willing to certify patients. So this is the answer?

    • I think it’s still a Federal crime. At’s why docs are scared. When the drug companies educated the benefits of opioids they said only 1% would get addicted. They recommended that it was their duty to give as much medication as needed to fulfill their duty to relieve pain. Lots of doctors got arrested making lots of money do ing so. Lost their licenses. Bad advice ruined them financially and destroyed their reputation. If I were a doctor I’d wait a couple of years to see if anybody gets hurt. Until then I will prescribe what is legally okayed by the DEA and FBI. And that is still Opiods. Personally I do swallow Vicodin that my doctor prescribes for my back pain. Everybody will get this in later life. Comes with the act of evolving from the horizontal walk of apes to the erect Homo sapiens. i take only a half to a whole pill a day and don’t use it most days. Don’t know what the good feelings description comes from. I don’t want to get addicted at all. i used to have addictions. Cigarettes, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. The middle two are the hardest to kick because they are cleverly hidden in foods that taste so good. Kinda like sex.

      Smoked my last pot back in ’80 and quit cigarettes in ’90. Had to. I graduated from medical school. It was my responsibility to be alert whenever I was called to the ER. Another reason to abstain is in Asian countries they like to violate your privacy and force you to urinate into a cup on the sidewalk in public places. If you are positive you go to the police headquarters. they will make you sit and sweat with fear. Then you will be required to sign a form admitting your guilt and pay a fine of maybe US$20. You learn this is the way cops supplement their measly salaries. All the money is divided up by the number of cops after the top brass takes a bigger cut. So laughable. So if you go to goombah places like the Philippines or Thailand, do take your prescription bottles with the labels with you. Now Thailand is requiring you to bring a signed doctor’s letter indicating the drugs you are bringing with you, the date, the number pills, and reason for dispensation. They also want to know all of you bank account numbers and all your email addressed and passwords. Thailand wants to bypass the P.I. as the stupidest nation in the world. I will visit Kuala Lumpur, Bali, and Singapore to let you know if they are the same. Fun to observe dumbness in foreign lands, and what makes the USA the best country in the world.

      I do NOT like this legalization of MJ. It will increase crime, stupidity, psychological problems, gayness, homelessness, and attract the wrong kind of people to Hawaii. Just you wait and see.

      • Pot makes you gay! Who knew. And then if you drink something with sugar and caffeine in it — Coca-Cola from the bottle, let’s say — pot will make you do something indiscreet with the bottle. OK, doc.

      • Blunt, I think you could use a blunt after all that. Gay, really?? And attracting the wrong kind of people to Hawaii. Is this the first time marijuana will be here in Hawaii? Or did you just want to brag about the fact that you are going on a trip? If so, then travel safe and don’t hurry back.

  • Since when does a nurse get to practice medicine? Yes they are, “certifying” the need for medijuana, instead of “prescribing” as a doctor is licensed to do, but that’s just word semantics, it’s really the same thing. The state is going mighty far to get medijuana up and running; I’m surprised the state’s medical board isn’t pushing back on this, as the state sua sponte is taking over and changing the practice of medicine.

  • Legalized recreational + Visitor Industry = $$$$$$$$
    Stop messing around already. With Alaska, Washington, Oregon….and California in this fall — the entire west coast will be legal recreational. C’mon Hawaii. Stop dragging your feet.

      • Das’ right! We got “high” quality standards: Kona Gold, Maui Wowie, Puna Butter, Kauai Electric; and soon perhaps Hamakua Heaven, Wailua Windfall, Kahuku Kite, Kaimuki Grinds, Mililani Munchies, Kakaako Kreme,….

  • I think you need to clarify the nurse comment. From my understanding it is not RN,LPN but only APRN with prescriptive authority that can sign off on this certification.

    • Yes, the new law applies only to licensed nurse practitioners with authority to write prescriptions –i.e., Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
      APRNs are clinicians with much more extensive professional education and training than “regular” registered nurses. APRNs diagnose patients and prescribe treatments for them, including prescribing medications, just as physicians (MDs and DOs) do. Patients are generally more satisfied with care provided by APRNs than by primary care physicians.

  • Medical marijuana is exactly what it says a drug. So why has the State started allowing nurses to prescribe drugs? Why not allow them to do surgery next!

  • Advocates say the change was needed because there’s a shortage of doctors willing to certify patients for use of so-called medical marijuana. Why is that? I believe it is because most real medical doctors know that medical marijuana is not real medicine and is just a way for users to get high legally. But don’t tell that to liberals. When they discover there is a shortage of nurses willing to certify patients for use of medical marijuana, the law probable will be changed to allow janitors to do the certification. It is nuts.

    • Actually, I think I have a better idea: employ the homeless to certify MJ use. They should be paid a base salary with a piecemeal bonus incentive for per user certification for medical MJ. This will reduce unemployment, may reduce homelessness, and a lot of people will be flying kites, err, be high as a kite.

  • I am a proponent of medical marijuana but I don’t think this should be in the hands of a Nurse. I know high level nurses and any with any integrity would not accept this responsibility.

  • If doctors are not willing to “certify” patients, why would a nurse be willing to do it? There are specific detailed reasons why a person can be given medical marijuana. If a doctor feels that a person should not get medical marijuana, shouldn’t a nurse feel the same way? Or, are we saying that a nurse doesn’t know any better? That makes this a dangerous situation.

  • Allowing nurses to prescribe MJ defies all rationalization! Why stop at MJ, why not let the nurses to prescribe all drugs? The Governor bowing to the “shadow” financial interests that control the lives all Hawaiians? Legitimizing MJ as a recreational medication?

  • A HA! Supplemental income for nurses. Down side, will nurses who prescribe have to carry high costs liability insurance just like doctors do? The “devil-made-me-do-it” after using MJ causing auto accidents? The issues can only increase! Good for the tourist trade! Who will profit? Only the licensees that are licensed to operate in Hawaii! How many and who are licensees?

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