A controversial medical marijuana doctor from Michigan has been charged with five separate felonies in a case where he is accused of improperly issuing certifications to three undercover officers. It is alleged that on February 5th and the 12th, Dr. Edward Harwell was at his office in Cadillac and signed fraudulent medical marijuana recommendations for the three officers who were working with the Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT).
The charging documents allege that, on three separate occasions, Harwell “did intentionally or willfully place in a patient’s medical record or chart information that he … knew was misleading or inaccurate in regards to the diagnosis, treatment, or cause of the patient’s condition…”
Harwell is also charged with two felony counts of conspiring to “verify severe chronic pain and a specific diagnosis on a ‘Physician Certification’… which constituted a debilitating medical condition without establishing a bona fide physician-patient relationship and/or without establishing a factual basis to form a professional opinion that the person is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of marijuana …”
The three undercover officers allegedly only spent between five and eight minutes with Harwell before he issued them medical marijuana recommendations. Prior to Harwell’s arraignment, an unidentified, undercover officer told the court that the doctor falsified medical marijuana forms by indicating that the officers suffered from chronic and severe pain.
After authorizing the five felony charges against Harwell, visiting Missaukee County Judge Charles R. Parsons set his bond at $20,000.
Back on September 15, 2012, the Traverse City Record Eagle reported that Michigan's Attorney General's office had filed a similar complaint against Harwell seeking to have his license to practice medicine revoked. The Record Eagle piece stated "John Wright, an assistant attorney general with the Licensing and Regulation Division of the Attorney General's Office, alleged that Harwell failed to require patients to produce medical records and failed to maintain those records. Wright alleges negligence, incompetence, a lack of good moral character, failure to respond to a subpoena, failure to maintain medical records and "promotion for personal gain of an unnecessary drug.""
The video of Dr. Harwell's February 13 arraignment can be viewed here: http://vimeo.com/59618851 (NOTE: I did not record this video. It was provided to me by 9&10 News because the Judge Parsons only allowed one pool camera in the courtroom)