BAY COUNTY, Fla. - The medical marijuana industry began with a slow start after the state passed usage of the medicinal drug last year.
Now, a rare doctor with the license to prescribe and administer medical marijuana is in legal trouble and patients are worried about how they'll get their medicine without her.
"We can't let it happen. Our community, like I said, needs her. We need more Dr. Skidmore's," one patient, who preferred to remain anonymous, said.
Dr. Skidmore is a rarity in the panhandle, and she's not easy to reach, either.
Patients must be recommended to her by another primary care physician. That's how one retired business analyst stumbled upon her practice.
"She made my quality of life 99 percent better than it has been in the last ten years," she said.
A serious car accident, rare sleep disorder, and other injuries started her on opioids and other medications.
"I was on nine prescription medications," she said. "I'm now down to two.
She said Dr. Skidmore changed her life.
The doctor legally prescribes and administers medical marijuana to more than 500 patients on the panhandle but that could all end.
Her lawyer said she's been accused of giving an unlawful marijuana recommendation to a patient back in 2015, but the lawyer says no crimes were committed.
The patient said many suffering from pain moved from opioids to marijuana after opioids failed to help or they became addicted.
"They're fearful they're going to need to go back to opioids. There's a group of her patients that are Facebook messaging with their concerns.. and they are scared.
Dr. Skidmore's first hearing is Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Many of her patients plan to attend, wearing white, in support of the doctor.
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