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ONLY ON 3: Highs And Lows Of Medical Marijuana

next tuesday, california voters will decide if marijuana should be legalized. at first, many people backed proposition 19. but, now, polls show support is slipping. no matter what happens at the polls on election day — you can get marijuana if you have a serious medical problem — and a doctor’s recommendation. how easy is it to get? tonight — our undercover investigation reveals the answer. news channel 3’s mike daniels brings us the inside story on the highs and lows of medical marijuana. john and karen, medical marijuana became legal in california in 1996. since then, more than 40-thousand people across the golden state got a medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor. the question is, how easy is it to get a doctor to sign off on these recommendation s? we went undercover to find out. it’s a special investigation you’ll only see right here on news channel 3. more than 28- hundred people in riverside county carry a medical marijuana card. in the last year, an estimated 157 people got one. you need it to buy medical marijuana. we wanted to find out how easy it is to get a card by sending a healthy patient, a news channel 3 photographer, undercover to a medical marijuana doctor. this is dr. anthony streutker, a los angeles doctor who spends a couple days a month in the coachella valley. he’s been practicing medicine for over 12 years. he doesn’t have an office here, so he uses the back area of this hydroponics supply store in north palm springs. the store sells equipment to grow marijuana. “you’re getting a letter for what” it’s hard to see doctor streutker because of an object in front of our undercover camera, but listen closely as our photographer tells the doctor he’s healthy. “what’s your medical issues?” “honestly, i don’t have any” “well, you can’t tell me that, if you don’t have a medical issue.” doctor streutker continues to prod our undercover patient, so the doctor can give him a recommendation for marijuana. “you’ve seen a doctor before?” finally, our photogapher mentions a wrist injury. “i twisted my wrist” “and, you used painkillers for that once in awhile? it keeps you up at night and you don’t want to take pills? when did it happen?” “2001.” you heard him right, almost 10 years ago. california law clearly states a doctor can only prescribe medical marijuana for serious medical conditions. after a 10 minute exam, and handing over $100 in cash, our news photographer gets a recommendation from dr. streutker. “paul chabot, coalition of drug free california.” chabot is also an expert in drug enforcment. he’s worked with the government and the military he’s not surprised by dr. struetker actions. “there’s a lot of money out there. doctors charge anywhere from $75 to $125 they’ll give it for hair loss, itchy skin, high heel pain.” dr. streuetker is popular here in the coachella valley. three out of the four collectives we visited recommended him. one of the palm springs permitted collectives desert organic solutions gave us his card. we sent another news channel 3 photographer undercover. question: “is it easy to get your card?” answer: “yes, very.” that’s what an employee of desert organic solutions told us. it is one medical marijuana collectives doing business in palm springs. question: “what if like i don’t have actual medical issues?” answer: “well, everybody has medical issues.” after hearing what his employee said, gary cherlin, who runs the collective didn’t want to talk to us on camera. “we just wanted to give you a chance to talk to us about your employees response when we said we didn’t have a medical condition.” “the intent and purpose was never to help the terminally ill, they are standing on the back of sick people in order to get overall drug legislation.” stacy hockenatal founded cannahelp, another medical marijuana collective in palm springs. when we went undercover there, an employee gave us a business card to alternative care clinics in palm springs. a-c-c did the right thing and wouldn’t see our undercover patient unless he suffered a medical problem. “when you have doctors not operating to the ethics standards, it’s a disheartening fact to know.” our investigation revealed dr. streutker has practiced medicine for almost 13 years. california law states a doctor must have medical records proving a condition in order to give recommend a patient for a medical marijuana card. our patient didn’t provide any. dr. streutker told our patient to say he’d bring them in sometime soon. i’ve spoken with local medical marijuana experts who say our other top story tonight — criminal charges

KESQ News Team


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