Dr. Deborah Parr, a psychiatrist who practices in Durango, had her medical license suspended Tuesday in connection with her recommendations regarding medical use of marijuana.
Parr is one of four Colorado doctors whose licenses to practice medicine in the state was suspended, according to a release from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. The doctors in question were allegedly recommending higher-than-normal plant counts for medicinal purposes to hundreds of patients.
The release said Parr “recommended the medical use of marijuana, which authorized the possession of at least 75 plants for at least 300 individuals without medical necessity.”
The suspension order from the Colorado Medical Board states that recommendations for plant counts in excess of 75 is “below generally accepted standards of medical practice and lacks medical necessity,” unless the diagnosis being treated is cancerous in nature.
The suspension went into effect at 4 p.m. Tuesday and will remain until proceedings for suspension or revocation conclude.
A person who answered the phone at Parr’s office said there would be no comment.
Parr was licensed to practice medicine in Texas in August 1998 and received her Colorado license in February 2009, documents show.
In a letter regarding a previous investigation by the Colorado Medical Board in 2010, Parr was admonished for prescribing opiate-based drugs to patients with history of substance dependency. The case was initiated in Texas, and the Texas Medical Board issued a letter of reprimand on June 4, 2010. Parr signed the letter, and it was notarized in La Plata County, according to documents.
According to the letter, two patients were harmed and her actions contributed to their substance addictions as well as “increased potential of harm to the public.”
The Colorado Board did not pursue proceedings against Parr’s license for that case and limited disciplinary actions to the letter of admonition, which cautioned that “repetition of such practice may lead to the commencement of formal disciplinary proceedings” against her license to practice medicine.
In addition to Parr, Gentry Dunlop of Aurora, Robert Maiocco of Denver and William Stone of Colorado Springs had their medical licenses suspended for also recommending plant counts outside of accepted standards.
Dunlop made recommendations below generally accepted standards of medical practice to more than 700 patients, Maiocco to more than 190 and Stone to more than 400, according to orders of suspensions addressed to each of them.
Of the four doctors, only Parr and Stone have histories of investigation by the board.
Stone was issued a letter of admonition on March 10 for preforming “evaluations for medical marijuana via the internet,” for several patients in June and July of 2015, according to the letter.
Luke Perkins is a student at Fort Lewis College and an intern at The Durango Herald. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.