Long Beach Doctor on Probation After Being Caught in Medical Marijuana Sting
May honestly just be legal in a few years, but until then, CYA (or visit Seattle, it's a nice city)
Photo by Erik Fenderson
Here's a tip to all of you doctors out there: If you're going to be indiscriminately writing scrips for medical marijuana, at least put some leg work into it, or you're going to end up like Long Beach doctor Dennis Larry Clark. Clark was put on one year probation earlier this month, as well as being barred from making any medical marijuana recommendations.
Why? Well, he got caught indiscriminately giving recommendations, and he didn't even try to make it look not shady.
Below, I give you a part of the text of the accusation against Clark, which he agreed was true:
On or about September 12, 2010, an investigator of the Medical Board of California (using an alias with the initials, B.H., conducted an undercover operation at Hempcon convention in Los Angeles, California. While there, B.H. approached the marijuana medical evaluation booth named Epicone Medical Center. ... B.H. sat down at a small table across from Respondent and handed him forms he had filled out. Respondent asked if he had any history of cancer or diabetes in his family. B.H. responded, "No, not that I know of." Respondent then asked B.H. why he wanted medical marijuana. B.H. told Respondent that he was stressed out and marijuana calmed him down. Respondent asked B.H. had anxiety. B.H. replied that he did not even know the definition of anxiety. Respondent also asked if there was any reason he should not give B.H. a medical marijuana card. B.H. replied, "No, none." Respondent then handed B.H. the forms that he had filled out, and said, "Here you go, the recommendation is good for one year." At no time did Respondent take B.H.'s vitals or give him a physical examination. In all, the conversation B.H. had with Respondent lasted approximately one minute.
Emphasis mine, but that's not all, it actually gets worse. At least then Clark had some face time, not so on Feb. 3, 2011.
B.H. and another Board investigator using an alias with the initials, J.W., conducted an undercover operation seeking medical marijuana recommendations ... J.W. told D.M. that her license had just been suspended for driving under the influence. D.M. asked J.W. for any other form of identification and she explained that she did not bring any with her ... D.M. then asked B.H. and J.W. to come over to his desk, and told them that the recommendations were ready and that they owed a total of $100. Each recommendation listed Respondent as the physician issuing the recommendation ... J.W. was instructed by D.M. to fill in the portion of the recommendation that requested her driver's license number when she got her license back. At no time during this operation did B.H. witness Respondent on premises.
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Emphasis again mine. The accusation is a good two dozen pages long, and incidences where Clark issued a recommendation in abstentia or over the phone or Internet happen at least an additional four times.
To top it all off? Clark issued recommendations through clinics whose locations he didn't even know across North and South California. He did so by giving Epicone blank, pre-signed recommendations which patients or staff would fill out after collecting some basic information.
Come on man, at least try a little bit.