THE LOS ANGELES JOURNAL FOR EDUCATION ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA — January 2011
Change Language:
Sona Patel M.D

Over the last six months, California law has really gone crazy when it comes to medical marijuana, how has that affected you?<br /> <br /> To be honest, it’s been complicated. In some ways, it hasn’t affected me at all because the laws are almost exactly the same as they were six months ago. However, the potential for law changes over the last six months has been substantial, because of Prop 19, Los Angeles City zoning problems and more. The stress of trying to prepare for such great legal changes has been intense, but in the end, it all turned out to be nothing. So, to answer your question, I thought the potential legal changes were going to have an incredible impact on my medical practice, but in the end, there were really no changes whatsoever.The “beat goes on” as they say.<br /> <br /> How are you handling the challenging environment?<br /> <br /> My first priority is compliance. I want to make sure that I am providing my patients with extreme care, but that I am also providing them with as much as the law allows me to. My sister Mona Patel will be working with me to help make sure I am in compliance with every aspect of the law. Mona is a wonderful attorney with a great deal of experience in various areas of the law. She’s defended people falsely arrested for violating the law, even though they were obeying every medical marijuana law. So, she’s experienced, knowledgeable and because she’s my sister I know I can trust her.<br /> <br /> What else has changed for you and your industry?<br /> <br /> Well, the increased attention to California’s medical marijuana and non-medical marijuana laws has drawn a great deal of interest from the press. I was interviewed by CNN recently and they were highly interested in the fact that I not only am a doctor who prescribes medical marijuana, but I advertise to boot!<br /> <br /> CNN is a pretty popular news outlet, were you nervous and did they grill you?<br /> <br /> They were mostly interested in my practice.I plainly explained that medical marijuana is legal, so my practice is legal. For some parts of the country, this is hard to believe. I also reinforced my personal belief in what I am doing.I think there is a general perception that any doctor who prescribes medical cannabis is illegitimate. It’s a negative stigma that I’m hoping to change by treating my patients with extreme care and by speaking out whenever I have the opportunity. I also enlightened the reporter on how important the law is to me. I abide by every statute and limitation the law provides, and I screen my patients to make sure they are also in total compliance with the law. It’s important that both the mainstream press and those who read and listen to the news know that there are completely legitimate doctors who are willing to prescribe marijuana.<br /> <br /> Are you saying that the doctors who are brave enough to prescribe medical marijuana are under attack?<br /> <br /> No, it’s more that this is an ever changing area of the law and even of the medical field. What you have is two sides that are kind of battling it out when it comes to what is acceptable, what the guidelines are and so forth. Don’t forget that large pharmaceutical companies making billions of dollars on pain killers really don’t want to lose any business to doctors like myself willing to prescribe natural medicines instead of manufactured ones. However, there are an incredible number of doctors, politicians and other business people willing To take a stand and fight for the legality of medical marijuana. As my sister Mona will tell you, it’s important to stay on top of the changing political landscape, but to also make bold decisions as often as you can.<br /> <br /> So, in the midst of dealing with the various political changes and threats, what else have you been up to since we spoke to you last?<br /> <br /> Gosh, you know it’s been just a great year for me and the entire Doc420 team and we’re braving some new frontiers. We’re opening up new locations across the country, we’ve created a new price matching program to give our patients the best deals and I’ve even created a new line of Doc420 Foods. I feel that I’ve been very successful with my practice so far, and I’m such an ambitious person that just continuing on with my practice isn’t enough to satisfy me.<br /> <br /> Wow, that sounds like quite a bit of action going on. Tell me about the locations.<br /> <br /> We are looking to serve more people in need of high quality patient care and medical marijuana across the country, really from border to border and from shore to shore. Our new locations outside of California will include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Additionally, I am opening a bunch of new locations throughout California, including in Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, South Los Angeles, Victorville and many others.<br /> <br /> When will these new locations open?<br /> <br /> My Las Vegas office grand opening is on Jan 2nd, and then Washington and Arizona are next. In California, the new locations are opening on Jan 2nd as well. The Las Vegas location is right near the Spanish Trails, which is a great location and will serve a community that truly needs a high quality Las Vegas medical marijuana doctor. It will be a busy day, but I think the public needs highly qualified doctors willing to prescribe the medicines they both need and are crying out for. You know, whenever large media outlets do polls, the general Public overwhelmingly states that it wants medical marijuana completely legalized? I’ve read through the literature and the different media polls, and 70 to 80 percent consistently vote for medical marijuana, and it’s been that way for a while.<br /> <br /> One of the draws of your location on Melrose Avenue is that the décor is so unique, welcoming and relaxing. Will your new locations have the same ambiance?<br /> <br /> Of course; creating an inviting and soothing environment for my patients is extremely important.I’ve put the exact same amount of care into every location with the hope of providing everyone who enters a Doc420 with the same relaxing surroundings.<br /> <br /> Why are you going to all of these new areas?<br /> <br /> In working with people at our current Hollywood location, it’s become apparent to me That there are people who aren’t getting the care they need. There are so many dispensaries which really are just a place to buy pot and not a clinic to get quality medical care that integrates holistic medicine. In essence, people just aren’t getting the care and attention they deserve. So, I’m spreading my wings so to speak and really trying to help people in all sorts of areas to get the medical marijuana and medical coverage they need and deserve.<br /> <br /> And what is this “price matching” program you mentioned?<br /> <br /> I created the Price Match program so that my patients don’t’ get in trouble trying to go to a phony doctor. By that I mean there are people pretending to be medical professionals who are basically lying to the general public. That can lead to medical problems or legal problems for the patients that I care about. Price match is a program where we offer to match any other price from any other clinic or dispensary at all locations. After seeing how far people are willing to travel, we are willing to help our local community by giving them the Best price available for our medical marijuana.I have unfortunately seen people travel all over to save a few dollars, and they truly have no idea of the quality they are getting. At Doc420, they can be assured of very high purity medical marijuana as well as a doctor who can help them with any medical questions or needs they may have. You know, our prices are already very reasonable, but this assures all of our patients that they are getting a great deal as well as great medical marijuana and great medical care.<br /> <br /> And what about Doc420 foods? Are you going to sell a new line of pot brownies or something?<br /> <br /> That’s funny. No, what I’m doing is offering people an opportunity to directly combat the potential negative affects of THC. THC is pretty much the most active ingredient in Medical Marijuana, and there are certain people who have adverse reactions to it. Doc420 foods are filled with exactly the nutrients needed to combats any adverse side affects. They won’t stop people from being relieved of pain or stress, but they will fill your body up with the vitamins and amino acids that marijuana can rob from it. For example using marijuana can decrease memory by depleting the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, so the food would have a high amount of acetylcholine to counteract that side effect. We already help people find the best form to ingest medical marijuana, and there are other outlets that sell or distribute foods containing medical marijuana. I have not found any doctors or dispensaries selling or even teaching about foods which will help ensure a healthy body and mind while on medical marijuana. I was quite surprised by that.<br /> <br /> Are these foods exotic?<br /> <br /> Not really, they will possess the exact same nutrients, amino acids and vitamins you would find in fish, blueberries, Brussels sprouts and even green tea. Foods high in the kinds of proteins your brain needs can help you in both the short and long term. These Doc420 Foods will primarily focus on feeding your brain the nutrients it needs to keep you on the ball. They don’t contain any marijuana, but are perfect for marijuana smokers.<br /> <br /> Where will they be available?<br /> <br /> We will have Doc420 Foods available online and at our locations across the country. These will be foods they can purchase and eat while in with waiting room and also they can order these foods to takeout. In case you were wondering, these very same foods are prescribed by doctors and nutritionists to help people with all sorts of medical conditions. As I explain to each of my patients, my goal is to use the substances and products given to us naturally by God and the earth. I’m not interested in prescribing vitamins or unnaturally manufactured pills as supplements. Everything sold and prescribed here are natural products.<br /> <br /> It seems you’re pretty busy, anything else going on?<br /> <br /> Oh, that’s just the tip of the iceberg! A popular production company, the same one that films “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” is filming a reality show about my life. It will involve my family some, but they are going to focus on the adventures I’ll be facing as I go through the opening of each location. In my life, I’ve been a beauty queen, lived on a couch and now I’m making headlines as Doc420. I’m truly excited to have so many wonderful things going on, between these new locations, working with my sister who’s just dynamite and now this TV show. My life has been an amazing journey, and this is just another crazy part of it I guess.
VIEW ALL ARTICLES
Message
SEND