Israeli doctor arrested in prescriptions for cannabis bust

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A senior Israeli doctor was arrested on suspicion that he took bribes to write recommendations for patients to receive medical marijuana.

The doctor, an anesthesiologist, 64, manages a department dealing with patient pain at a hospital in central Israel, according to police.

An accomplice also was arrested. The accomplice is accused of bringing in the “patients” and of cutting the deals. Ten other accomplices also were arrested, according to police.

Patients must obtain a doctor’s recommendation to receive medical cannabis, which is  then approved by  the Health Ministry.

The doctor allegedly received more than $3,000 per recommendation for a few dozen patients, according to reports.

Over 22,000 Israelis are medically approved to use cannabis, about two-thirds for chronic pain and another nearly one-third for cancer treatments.

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