Marijuana: Google Maps categorizes medical pot with hospitals, urgent care facilities

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The federal government might not accept marijuana as a form of medicine, but Google sure does.

Entering the search terms "hospital" or "health center" brings up multiple medical marijuana dispensaries and evaluation centers, as do searches for "wellness center" and "health services." Here's a Google Maps screen capture as an example:

The dispensary listings pulled up by Google all feature the same red "H" symbol shared by hospitals, urgent care centers, chiropractors and other healthcare providers on the mapping service. Among many others, A Cut Above MMC, Altitude Wellness Center, Citi-Med, Colorado Alternative Medicine and Satica MMC pop up right along places like the Medical Center of Aurora and University of Colorado Hospital.

Check it out for yourself:

When asked about the red "H" designation by Westword, representatives from the pot shops listed above said they knew nothing about it and hadn't registered their businesses with Google to achieve such a distinction -- but all of them were amused by it.

Google Maps did not respond to our requests for comment.

This mark isn't exclusive to Colorado. Dispensaries and evaluation centers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C. all show up under the same symbol as hospitals and other health centers.

Google may need to change these symbols from red to green, or some unsuspecting patient needing a splint for broken bones may find a completely different kind of treatment. Although maybe it would help...

More from our Marijuana archive circa October 2011: "Marijuana: Colorado to formally ask DEA to designate pot Schedule II controlled substance."

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