California Hospital Board Member Submits Proposal for MMJ Use by Inpatients

Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California could be the first hospital in the state to allow medical cannabis to be consumed on premises under a plan by district board member Dr. Larry Bedard, the Mercury News reports. If the board approves Bedard’s resolution, hospital staff would begin reviewing the legal and medical implications of allowing medical marijuana use at the facility.

Bedard, a retired emergency medicine physician who once worked at Marin, said he wants the hospital to be the first “to openly and transparently” allow patients to use medical marijuana.

In the resolution, sent to Marin administrators, his fellow board members and other interested parties, Bedard acknowledges concerns that the federal government might retaliate by withholding federal funding for the Medi-Cal program, or even pull their Medicare provider number. However, he suggests that those fears are overblown due to federal rules that prevent the government from using federal funds to penalize physicians, hospitals, and patients that are complying with state medical marijuana laws.

District board member Jennifer Rienks said she has “a lot of questions” about the proposal and “needed to hear more about it” before she could determine whether or not she would support the plan.

Patients would not be able to smoke cannabis inside of the hospital due to a smoking ban in hospitals enacted in California in the late 1990s; however hospital administrators could consider alternative delivery methods such as vaping and edibles.   

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