Want medical marijuana to succeed in Pa.? End draconian physician registry

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is moving at full speed trying to implement an extremely limited medical cannabis law, but there may be a poison pill planted by legislators: Making doctors join a special list.

Only two states operate a similarly draconian “physician registry” scheme for marijuana: New York and New Jersey.

This single provision has proved to be the most difficult obstacle for patients trying to gain access in both states because only a handful of doctors have joined.

Just 474 out of 38,500 practicing physicians in New Jersey and 1,123 out of 96,000 doctors in New York have signed on to write cannabis recommendations. Patients can’t get into the program without one of those doctors. This has kept participation by qualifying residents in both states at a minimum.

Notably, there are no such registry lists for other drugs. We trust anyone with a prescription pad to have...

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