The Colorado Medical Board took the largest disciplinary action against medical marijuana doctors in state history Tuesday when, in one fell swoop, it suspended the medical licenses of four doctors for allegedly allowing more than 1,500 patients to grow an excessive amount of personal cannabis plants.
Dr. Gentry Dunlop of Aurora, Dr. Robert Maiocco of Denver, Dr. Deborah Parr of Durango, and Dr. William Stone of Colorado Springs were collectively suspended from practicing medicine. The suspensions were handed down Tuesday at the same time the doctors first learned they were even under investigation.
The Colorado Constitution says medical marijuana patients can legally grow up to six marijuana plants, but allows higher plant counts under specific doctor recommendation. The four doctors are accused of the same thing for each of the collective 1,500 patients: allowing individuals to grow the maximum limit of 75 cannabis plants. According to the Board, the listed cases were not suffering from conditions warranting such a high quantity of plants.
According to the doctors, however, in many cases higher plant counts are necessary when a patient develops tolerance. Other patients may simply be bad at growing marijuana, and need more plants than necessary to make up for those they can’t bring to flower.
Attorney Robert Corry, who is representing Dunlop and Maiocco, told the Denver Post the suspensions are premature, handed down immediately before the doctors knew they were coming or were even allowed to defend themselves.
“It’s guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
Regardless of the outcome, these four doctors, with over 50 years of collective experience practicing in Colorado, will be tainted by these charges for the rest of their respective careers.
“This has nothing to do with medicine,” Atty. Corry told the Post. “This suspension has nothing to do with facts and nothing to do with the law. It’s all about politics.”