Colorado hospital reviewing their policy of taking marijuana from patients after 11 News starts asking questions

Colorado woman claims hospital security stole her marijuana as she was being brought into the hospital suffering from a heart attack.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 10:17 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 5:04 AM MST
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - A southern Colorado hospital is reviewing its own policies after our 11 Call for Action team started asking questions.

A grieving mother contacted 11 News after she says her marijuana was taken by security officers when she was having a heart attack at Parkview Medical Center.

Just hours earlier, Chaffee County resident Lori Brochhagen says she learned her son serving in the U.S. Marines had taken his own life.

This all happened last summer and she says it was the worst weekend of her life. It landed her in her local hospital and then a helicopter ride for more emergency treatment at Parkview.

Waiting for her when she was wheeled off the helicopter wasn’t just doctors and nurses, the facility’s security team was there too for a surprise security search before treatment even started.

“They brought me out in a gurney. They pulled me in the door and there were two security guards,” Brochhagen told 11 News.

She was awake, alert, and in severe pain, suffering what doctors believed was a heart attack when she landed for emergency treatment.

“I was holding onto my bag, they pulled it out of my arms. I tried to pull it back. They took it from me and I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ I didn’t know what was going on. I’ve never been treated that way in a hospital before,” Brochhagen said.

11 News reviewed Parkview’s policies and publicly available information. Security guards are hospital employees, and a review of the qualifications listed on a recent job posting on Parkview’s website shows to get hired for the job that pays about $20 an hour, a person needs to be at least 21 years old and a high school grad, and a law enforcement background is preferred.

“She (the security guard) started going through things and she pulled out a satchel. I had a little pipe, maybe about a gram of cannabis and a lighter, and she held it up to everybody and was saying, ‘Look what we got,’” Brochhagen added.

Brochhagen claims the security guard put her property in her pocket and laughed as she was wheeled away for treatment.

Brochhagen says she asked hospital staff about when she would get her property back but was told it was not in the lost and found.

Parkview refused to do an on-camera interview but provided 11 News with this statement:

“Parkview was made aware of the patient’s concerns on January 13, 2023, 7 months following the patient’s admission to Parkview. Parkview has reached out on a number of occasions via phone, email, and written letters to help resolve the patient’s questions and concerns.

According to the Parkview Visitor policy, page 26, Medications from Home: “The nurse must be informed if a patient brings medication from home with them to the hospital...Prescribed medical and recreational marijuana are not permitted to be brought to the hospital. Arrangements should be made for a family member to take it home. If no arrangements are made, it will be destroyed.”

Parkview is currently in the process of reviewing this policy.”

-Todd Seip, Public Relations and Communication Specialist