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Why ACC?

March 20, 2010

You may be wondering: Why should I go to Alternative Care Clinics for my medical marijuana evaluation? Why can’t my regular doctor write my recommendation?

First, to clarify the law, a written letter of recommendation for medical marijuana is required by law for a patient to use, produce, carry or consume marijuana. A doctor’s diagnosis of a condition that generally qualifies is not sufficient to protect you under the law.

Alternative Care Clinics are reputable specialized clinics primarily set up to assist patients who, for various reasons, prefer not to consult their primary care provider about medical marijuana, or who have a primary care provider who is unwilling or unable to write a letter of recommendation. Unfortunately, many– perhaps even most– doctors will not recommend cannabis, often for reasons that have nothing to do with the efficacy or appropriateness of the treatment. Because of the policies of many clinics, hospitals, or insurance companies they contract with, doctors are often contractually obligated to avoid any treatment that might be deemed controversial. In some cases, doctors may worry that further changes in the law could make actions that are currently legal cause them problems down the road.

If you have a regular physician that is comfortable recommending marijuana, that letter of recommendation would allow you to legally use cannabis medicinally, and some people do use a recommendation from their regular physician. However, often even patients in this situation prefer to seek an independent, reputable, specialized clinic like ACC for their recommendation for a number of reasons.

First, many people are concerned about the privacy of their records, and that their insurance companies may not respond well to the recommendation. Because medical marijuana is not legal on a federal level, insurance companies are under no obligation to cover or even honor a recommendation for cannabis. Reputable specialized clinics like ACC adhere to the same privacy laws as all other medical offices, but because we don’t deal with insurance companies at all, patients can be certain that disclosure of their personal information is determined entirely by their own discretion.

Second, patients often prefer the convenience afforded by being a patient at Alternative Care Clinics. Often, law enforcement and dispensaries require patient verification. At ACC, we have systems in place to allow dispensaries to confirm patients efficiently and with confidentiality, online and or/over the phone, 24 hours a day. A regular physician can take hours or even days to locate records and follow up.

Finally, many patients prefer to see a medical marijuana specialist for the same reason they seek the services of any specialist: to know that they are getting the most accurate, up-to-date, and thorough information related to their treatment that is available. Doctors who specialize in marijuana recommendations can discuss dosage and methods of administration as well as possible drug interactions and side-effects in great detail, and many patients take comfort in that confidence.

If you would like more information, you can click the following links to: email us a question, find out if you pre-qualify for an appointment, or contact us!

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