Pot doctors in trouble with medical board

November 2, 2010

A Central Valley marijuana clinic owned by a Morro Bay locksmith is under fire for hiring doctors on probation with the California Medical Board. [Fresno Bee]

Pacific Referral owner Kim Valois hired Dr. Juanita Gandy of Morro Bay and Dr. Bernard Smyle of Ventura to work at her Fresno based pot clinic. Valois told the Fresno Bee that both physicians are competent and are complying with the conditions of their probations.

Some experts contend medical-marijuana clinics attract doctors who have troubled histories. While many doctors fervently believe in the benefits of medical marijuana, just a few dozen doctors write most of the medical-marijuana recommendations in the state

And they can make $150 or more for each one — creating the potential for a seven-figure annual income. Valois’ clinic charges $75 for an evaluation.

“It’s an unregulated, highly profitable, quasi-criminal enterprise,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University.

Smyle, 54, a pediatrician, was placed on seven years probation on Sept. 30, 2009, for sexual misconduct with at least 30 female parents of his patients. He examined women’s feet to satisfy his sexual fetish, the medical board found.

During his probation, Smyle is required to have a third party chaperone present while examining or treating female patients or patients accompanied by a female. In addition, he is prohibited from working as a solo practitioner.

Gandy, an internist, was placed on five years’ probation on Dec. 21, 2009, for prescribing narcotics including oxycontin, ritalin and actiq to a boyfriend.

Smyle and Gandy are not the only medical-marijuana doctors practicing on the Central Coast who have faced disciplinary action.

Thomas Sazani, an Orcutt physician known for authorizing medical marijuana cards, was place on three years probation on June 1, for prescribing Viagra over the Internet to patients he had not examined. He is required to hire another physician to monitor his practice, enroll in medical courses in both ethics and prescribing practices and to maintain records of all controlled substances ordered.

Former co-workers accuse San Luis Obispo physician Atsuko Rees of writing medical marijuana recommendations for almost anyone who asked including a 15-year-old boy with a note from his mother, while not claiming the bulk of payments for the visits as income.

Rees is currently under investigation by several agencies, though at this time there have been no disciplinary actions taken, according to her former coworkers.

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I agree, Danika. Dr. Rees has been nothing but totally professional to me while trying to help me maintain my ability to work with severe pain. Kudos to her. SHE CARES!!!

“Former coworkers” who were fired always shine the light most favorable on their previouis employers, right? Sheesh! If you are gonna accuse, give the facts. What’s with the “Rees is currently under investigation by several agencies”?? What agencies? For what reasons? C’mon CCN. Please provide more info.

This to me is hilarious. Seriously a doctor is in trouble because he looked at women’s feet to satisfy his foot fetish. Now I truly have heard everything. There are some folks spending a whole lot of time and energy to denigrate, marijuana for medical purposes, recommending doctors.

People have the right to choose how they medicate and the doctors they want to provide their health care.

Abortion advocates have been standing on the principle of “choice” for years when it comes to murdering innocent children. I say we should be able to stand on the same principle of choice when it comes to our medication, after all it is all about the same thing: our bodies.

How sad if it is true only less than perfect doctors are willing to let us exercise our choice.

I stand behind Dr. Rees one hundred percent. You will hear nothing bad from me.

The issue is not the handing out of marijuana for medical usage. Its about who is handing out these prescriptions. These doctors have been suspended for things they did that were illegal. They violated the oath for which doctors practice medicine. They should not be allowed to practice medicine of any kind at this point. Would you want your daughter, son, mother or grandma going to these doctors? Doctors are supposed to take care of their patients and do the right thing. They are supposed to be patient advocates! Yet they continue to practice even though patient care is obviously not their priority. Not to mention, the owner of this business and Morro Bay Lock Shop, as well as her husband, have been in trouble with the law in the past, for things like drug possession and molestation. Perhaps we should be looking at why they would open a business like this in the first place. Probably not for patients who truly need it but for their own benefit and usage!

Well this certainly sounds opinionated. What’s the point? That there are doctors who have had trouble with their licenses and so they have started writing marijuana recommendations to make up for lost business? If that is the point, some of these doctors have trouble with their licenses because they were writing the MJ recommendations to begin with so which came first, the chicken or the egg? Even if they aren’t the sharpest MD’s around, so what, they are doing something that is perfectly harmless. Funny thing is that the Doctors that are concerned about writing recommendations but believe that their patients would benefit from the use of marijuana send their patients to these doctors! I voted yes on 19 today.