Pot doctor convicted of illegal recommendation

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — A Loveland doctor who recommended medical marijuana for an undercover officer faces possible prison time. The Coloradoan reports Monday (http://noconow.co/18iPtau) that 75-year-old Dr. Dallas Devere Williams has been convicted of attempting to influence a public servant and faces up to six years in prison.

Williams was charged after a 2012 examination of an undercover officer wearing a wire. The undercover officer said the aching foot he reported was never examined before Williams gave him paperwork to obtain a medical marijuana license. State law requires physicians recommending pot to have “bona fide” relationships with patients.

The Williams recommendation was made before Colorado’s 2012 vote to legalize marijuana use without a doctor’s recommendation. Even if the recommendation had been made later, Colorado’s medical marijuana registry still requires a proper examination from a physician.

The defense argued that a recommendation for marijuana doesn’t require a diagnosis the way a prescription for OxyContin would. Denver defense lawyer John Martin said the public servant in question was an “unknown” person working in the Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s Medical Marijuana Registry, which issues the licenses.

Medical marijuana licenses in Colorado are allowed for people with a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, glaucoma or severe pain, among others, according to Colorado law.

Williams was convicted Friday in Larimer County. He faces a maximum penalty of two to six years in prison at sentencing Jan. 16.

Dr. Joseph Montante, who was arrested about the same time in a similar sting, was convicted in June on the same charge as Williams. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 450 hours of community service and three years of probation.

Larimer County authorities described the Montante conviction as the first successful prosecution and conviction of a medical doctor in Colorado for a crime related to marijuana certifications.

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Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan, http://www.coloradoan.com

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