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NIATTIIEvV

S. PAPPi'\S

A'l'TORNEY
1719 E. BROADWAY
90802

E-MAIL:

LONG BEACH, CA

OFFICE@Iv!ATTPAPPASLAW.COM

(949) 382-1485
FACSIMILE: (949) 382-1512

May 22,2015

VIA U.S. MAIL AND E-MAIL


Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
State Capitol, Suite 1114
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: 2016 California Marijuana Ballot Initiatives and


AB 266 (Cooley/Lackey)
Dear Lt. Governor Newsom:
In meetings held by your Blue Ribbon commission on marijuana legalization, the
differences between medical and recreational marijuana have been discussed. As you'll
recall, I was successful, with your help, in having numbers of federal asset forfeiture
cases dismissed with prejudice by the federal sovereign in 2013. To ensure the "black
market" concerns raised by the commission are addressed by any legislation that moves
forward, I ask that you please consider that any initiative or proposed law, including
now pending AB 266, incorporate the following or similar language:
"For purposes of sections 51 and 54 of the Civil Code and sections 12940, 12945
and 12945.2 of the Government Code, people who have been recommended marijuana
for medicinal use by a licensed physician pursuant to the provisions of Health & Safety
Code 11362.5 and who suffer from a physical or mental condition covered by sections
11362.7(h)(1)-(11) of the Health & Safety Code are hereby deemed disabled individuals
and meet the definition of a person with a disability under sections 12926 and 12926.1 of
the Government Code. "
"Any health insurance entity doing business in the State of California is
prohibited from refusing to credential or taking action against an already credentialed
licensed California physician based solely on the physician's recommendation of
marijuana for medicinal purposes to patients who, following examination by the
physician, have the conditions enumerated in or otherwise meet the requirements of
sections 11362.7(h)(1)-(11) of the Health & Safety Code. Within six (6) months of the

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom


May 23, 2015
Page Two

enactment of this section, health insurance entities in the State of California shall notify
affiliated and credentialed physicians that they may recommend medical cannabis in
accordance with state law and that such recommendation shall not, when made in
accordance with these provisions, result in action against the physician by the insurance
entity. "
"Health insurance entities, including worker's compensation insurance entities,
doing business in the State of California, excluding the federal Medicare program, shall
not deny reimbursement to patients they cover in accordance with the plan and copayment provisions of any policy issued that includes coverage for prescription drugs
for marijuana recommended by a licensed physician who is either credentialed by and
designated as the primary care physician for the subject patient or who is a specialist the
subject patient has been referred to by such primary care physician. Any
reimbursement made under this section for marijuana recommended for medicinal use
shall be subject to the co-payment and deductible provisions of the insurance policy
applicable to prescription drug reimbursement. "
"Drug and alcohol rehabilitation or treatment entities licensed to do business in
the State of California or that do business in the State of California and provide care or
services in states outside of California for California citizens shall not penalize a patient
or otherwise treat a patient in a more restrictive manner when the patient has been
recommended and uses marijuana for medicinal purposes pursuant to recommendation
by a licensed California physician made pursuant to Health & Safety Code 11362.5."
"Courts in the State of California making orders related to the custody or
dependency of a minor child shall not penalize or consider use of marijuana by an
individual recommended its use by a licensed physician pursuant to Health & Safety
Code 11362.5 when evaluating the individual's right to custody, visitation or any other
parental rights related to the minor child."
"A licensed California physician may recommend medical cannabis to a minor
child following physical examination of the child and determination by the physician
that the child suffers from a physical or mental condition enumerated in or otherwise
should be recommended cannabis for medicinal purposes under sections 11362.7(h)(I)(11) of the Health & Safety Code."

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom


May 23, 2015
Page Three

The aforementioned provisions ensure that marijuana recommended for medical


purposes will be part of any health care regimen a doctor believes is necessary for
specific patients. By removing the ability of health insurance organizations to
discriminate against doctors who recommend medical cannabis to patients, doctors who
may not be acting in accordance the Compassionate Use Act and who have given up
insurance company credentials and reimbursement will have to compete with the many
physicians who presently will not recommend medical cannabis because of fears their
credentials will be imperiled. Moreover, by prohibiting health insurance companies
from denying reimbursement for medical cannabis patients recommended marijuana for
medicinal purposes by physicians credentialed by those companies, the size of the
"black market" discussed by the commission during its meetings will be significantly
reduced.

Very truly yours,

L" J~

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Mattliew S. Pappas
MSP:jm
cc:

Cal. Assembly Members Cooley and Lackey


Ret. Dep. Chief Steve Downing, L.A.P.D.
Ms. Tamara Todd, Drug Policy Alliance
Mr. Kevin Saunders