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The transaction was quick.

In the parking lot of a pastry shop, a patient handed Dr. Kachun ClementYeung $400. Yeung handed the patient a prescription for 800 milligrams of OxyContin. It took less than five minutes.

The exchange was part of 23,000 milligrams worth of the addictive painkiller that Yeung prescribed to patients who were never properly diagnosed with chronic pain during a 168 day period in 2002.

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Dr. Igor Grant is a professor and executive vice chairman of the psychiatry department at the UCSD School of Medicine. He also serves as director of two important research programs at UCSD: the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC), a clinical research center designated and funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health; and the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR), headquartered at UCSD and a collaborative effort of UCSD and UCLA to rigorously study the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis to treat certain diseases.

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