Do you know what you’re signing?

Collette D. Prescribing Corner Leave a Comment

Do you know what you’re signing?

 “Do not fill marihuana in my name.”

“I acknowledge that Patient X uses marihuana.”

“As informed by the patient, they have been on the above medication for the past year.”

Think you’re not prescribing marihuana? Approximately 20% of physicians who have completed a Patient Medical Document Form were unaware that they were authorizing the use of marihuana for their patient.

As of April 1, 2014, federal regulations permit the use of marihuana* for medical purposes. This has created an influx of organizations representing patients seeking marihuana for medical purposes within Alberta. These organizations often obfuscate the purpose of the patient medical document form, which allows the patient to purchase marihuana from a licensed producer and to possess it legally.

Prior to signing a medical document, please be aware that:

  • Patient medical document forms are similar to traditional pharmaceutical prescriptions in that they authorize the use of a controlled substance.
  • Your signature on the document makes it valid, regardless of any notation to the contrary.
  • Patients, third-party organizations and others may offer ambiguous reasons for signing the medical document.
  • The sole purpose of the document is to authorize the use of marihuana. It is not to acknowledge you are aware the patient is using marihuana.
  • If you choose to complete the document, please ensure you fill in all fields
  • If you sign a blank patient medical document it is the same as signing a blank prescription; the patient may then choose any quantity or period of use.

* The College has chosen to spell “marihuana” with an “h” (as opposed to the alternative spelling of “marijuana”) to align with Health Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

Comments or questions? Join the conversation below.