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Virginia’s curiously meaningless benefits for marijuana prescriptions and physician distribution for glaucoma and cancer

Feb 26, 2013 Virginia’s curiously meaningless benefits for marijuana prescriptions and physician distribution for glaucoma and cancer

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Under Virginia statutory law, marijuana is lawful to possess pursuant to a physician’s order or prescription (VA. Code § 18.2-250.1(A)), and physicians are not criminally liable for providing patients with marijuana for treating glaucoma and cancer (Va. Code § 18.2-251.1). However, physicians will not prescribe nor order marijuana use — versus recommending marijuana (in states whose laws allow such recommendations) — lest they lose their federal Drug Enforcement Agency license to prescribe drugs. For the same reasons, I do not expect to see physicians dispensing marijuana before it is legalized federally.

The foregoing considerations do not stop me from arguing that it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove at trial that the marijuana allegedly possessed by my client was not pursuant to a physician’s prescription or order.

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