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Colorado Medical Marijuana News

Colorado: First to Legalize Marijuana
Colorado Named by Reuters News Agency
"First to Legalize"

A64 wasn't really legalization, but we are confident that Colorado will be the first to legalize eventually.

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Bob Crouse Not Guilty on All Charges

Verdict comes in on June 29, 2012 at 4:20pm

Bob Crouse Medical Marijuana Jury Acquittal

Medical Marijuana Cancer Patient Wins Freedom to Medicate!

Bob Crouse Celebrates Victory, But Can't Go Home Because of Wildfire Threat


March 5, 2013: Activists from C4CPR say they spent a few hours at El Paso County District Attorney Dan May's office in Colorado Springs last week. Dan May refused to see them, and refused to make an appointment to see them in the future. Afterwards, C4CPR found out that Dan May tried to have the medical marijuana activists arrested, and but the Colordao Springs Police Department refused. Here is the video:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiyRf8EVlcE&feature=youtu.be

PRESS CONTACT:
Audrey Hatfield, President C4CPR: 719-271-8430
www.c4cpr.org

ACTIVISM PROJECT:
Ask Dan May to Stop Prosecuting Cancer Patients!

District Attorney Dan May
Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller Counties)
Phone: (719) 520-6174
Email (DA's spokesperson): LeeRichards@elpasoco.com

Extra Credit
Send your letter to the DA as a Letter to the Editor of the local newspapers:
Colorado Springs Gazette: opinion@gazette.com
Colorado Springs Independent: letters@csindy.com

===============================================================

STOP THC/DUI BILL - HEARING AND PROTEST ON MONDAY (4/22/13)

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON HB1114
DATE: Mon., April 22, 2013
PROTEST: 1:00pm
West Steps of State Capitol Building, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO
HEARING: 1:30pm (The hearing may start later as there are two bills scheduled before it.)
Old Supreme Court Chambers, 2nd floor, state Capitol Building

HB1114, the THC/DUI bill, would allow convictions of citizens for merely showing the presence of 5ng/mL of THC in their whole blood, regardless of whether the citizen was actually impaired or not. Bill would also require forced blood draws.

ATTIRE: Dress to Impress
PROVISIONS: Bring food and water, as the hearing may last a while.
CALL FIRST: Capitol Bill Room (for last minute time and place changes): (303) 866-3055

No THC/DUI Bills

LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
You listen online to the Senate Judiciary committee hearing:
http://www.coloradochannel.net/
***You can email the Senators during the hearing on any issues they are discussing. Most of the Senators monitor their email during the hearing, so you can have a great impact countering false testimony as you hear it.***

SAMPLE LETTER TO SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

Dear Senator:

Please vote no on HB1114 and do more research on the bill to set a nanogram limit on cannabis. There is NO evidence showing a link between THC blood concentration and impairment. Other drugs that impair people, like oxycontin, do not have nanogram limits. This bill is unfair to medical marijuana patients, who will almost always be above 5 ng due to constant use, yet suffer no impairment in driving skills.

Since it is already illegal to drive under the influence of any substance that impairs your ability to drive in the state of Colorado, we simply do not need this new law. The only thing this bill does is reduce the ability
of the defendant to defend themselves and make convictions easier for the government.

In addition, a US Supreme Court Decision on April 17, 2013 (Missouri v. McNeely), outlaws forced blood draws of citizens without a warrant:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-1425_cb8e.pdf

Please vote NO on HB1114.

Sincerely,

<YOUR NAME>


*EMAIL SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE*
COPY AND PASTE EMAILS:
lucia.guzman.senate@state.co.us, jessie.ulibarri.senate@state.co.us,
irene.aguilar.senate@state.co.us, steve.king.senate@state.co.us,
kevin@kevinlundberg.com, info@cannabistherapyinstitute.com

Make sure you cc: info@cannabistherapyinstitute.com on any letters you
send.

*PHONE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE *
Special attention should be made to the Democrats, as the two Republicans
will likely vote in favor of HB-1114 regardless of the facts.

Senator Guzman, Chairman (D-Denver)
Phone: 303-866-4862
E-mail: lucia.guzman.senate@state.co.us

Senator Ulibarri, Vice-Chairman (D-Adams)
Phone: 303-866-4857
E-mail: jessie.ulibarri.senate@state.co.us

Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver)
Phone: 303-866-4852
E-mail: irene.aguilar.senate@state.co.us

Senator Steve King (R-Mesa)
Phone: 303-866-3077
E-mail: steve.king.senate@state.co.us

Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Larimer)
Phone: 303-866-4853
E-mail: kevin@kevinlundberg.com

*BACKGROUND*
Read HB-1114 and committee reports here:
http://www.leg.state.co.us/

HB1114 would declare that the presence of 5 nanogram/milliliters or more of THC in the bloodstream of a driver would create a "permissible inference" that the person is guilty of DUI. Under this proposed law, the mere presence of 5 nanograms/mL of THC is enough to prove guilt, regardless of any evidence that the person was not actually impaired.

HB1114 will require a "forced blood draw", forcing anyone suspected of driving under the influence of THC to submit to a blood draw forced by the state. Currently, alcohol levels can be tested through urine, breath or
blood. But under the THC/DUI bill, the nanogram count can only come from a forced blood draw.


April 2, 2013: Please copy and repost this announcement.

No THC/DUI Bills

Action Alert: No on HB 1114 (THC/DUI)

STOP THC/DUI - CALL AND EMAIL COLORADO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

HB 1114 passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary Committee on 2/26/13, and passed the House Appropriations Committee on 4/1/13.

*** Your calls and emails are needed NOW! The next step will be two votes of the full Colorado House of Representatives, called Second Reading and Third Reading. These votes will probably take place this week, so send your emails NOW.***

BACKGROUND
HB1114 would declare that the presence of 5 nanogram/milliliters or more of THC in the bloodstream of a driver would create a "permissible inference" that the person is guilty of DUI. Under this proposed law, the mere presence of 5 nanograms/mL of THC is enough to prove guilt, regardless of any evidence that the person was not actually impaired.

HB1114 will require a "forced blood draw", forcing anyone suspected of driving under the influence of THC to submit to a blood draw forced by the state. Currently, alcohol levels can be tested through urine, breath or blood. But under the THC/DUI bill, the nanogram count can only come from a forced blood draw.

CALL AND EMAIL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Sample letter to House Representatives

Dear Representatives:

Please vote no on HB1114 and do more research on the bill to set a nanogram limit on cannabis. There is NO evidence showing a link between THC blood concentration and impairment. Other drugs that impair people, like oxycontin, do not have nanogram limits. This bill is unfair to medical marijuana patients, who will almost always be above 5 ng due to constant use, yet suffer no impairment in driving skills.

Medical cannabis patients in Colorado are SICK of being treated like second class citizens! If you want to give them forced blood draws, you will have to show some evidence that there is actually a problem. Please at least include an exemption for medical marijuana patients in this bill.

Sincerely,
<Your Name Here>

Click here to find phone numbers and more information on Colorado's House
of Representatives:
http://www.leg.state.co.us/

LISTEN ONLINE TO FLOOR DEBATE
No more public comment will be taken when the House debates the bill, but
you can listen to the floor debate online.
Check here for the House Calendar to see when HB-1114 is scheduled to be
debated on Second Reading:
http://www.leg.state.co.us/
You listen online to the House debate when it is scheduled:
http://www.coloradochannel.net/

***You can email the Representatives during the floor debate on any issues they are discussing. Even though there is no opportunity for public comment, most of the Reps. do monitor their email while the floor debate is going on, so your emails during the debate will have an impact.***

NOTE TO A64 SUPPORTERS:
This bill is required by A64, which states "Driving under the influence of marijuana shall remain illegal." The groups that promoted A64 are also -in favor- of the 5 ng limit. They spent over $2 million promoting A64, but haven't spent a dime to prevent this THC/DUI bill. IF YOU VOTED FOR A64, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO WRITE AND SEND LETTERS, and to have 10 OF YOUR FRIENDS SEND PROTEST LETTERS, TOO! This bill is a direct consequence of your vote
for A64, and shows clearly why many long-time activists were against the language of A64 from the beginning.

Click here to read more

 


Medical Marijuana Classes

Sign up on our email list to be informed of all upcoming classes.
We have Colorado medical marijuana legal compliance training classes regularly.

Recorded Teleclass: Marijuana THC/DUI Laws in Colorado with Attorney Leonard Frieling

If you are a cannabis consumer, this teleclass recording contains everything you need to know BEFORE you get pulled over by a law enforcement officer while you are driving a vehicle.

Length: 46 minutes

Click here for more information and to purchase.

Legalize 2012

Fix the Constitution: Legalize 2012
Help fix the fatal flaws in Amendment 20 by rewriting Colorado's Constitution to provide more protection for patients and caregivers.


Colorado Medical Marijuana News

Colorado Marijuana Upcoming Events Calendar

Mon., Feb. 27, 2012

 

SB117 (THC/DUI) Hearing TODAY
Letters and Phone Calls Needed

The THC/DUI Bill is back this year. It is Senate Bill 12-117 ("Penalties For DUI Offenses") sponsored by Sen. Steve King (R-Grand Junction).

SB117 seeks to ban patients from driving privileges by setting a limit in THC in their blood that most patients will always exceed. Any driver with an amount of THC over 5 nanograms/milliliter in their blood will be considered impaired and guilty of DUI per se and subject to loss of their driver's license. This will greatly impact patients, because many of them will test over that limit due to their continuous need to take their medicine, but will not be impaired.

The hearing on it will be TODAY (Mon. 2/27). The public is encouraged to testify in person.

HEARING TODAY
State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee
Hearing on SB 12-117
DATE: Mon., Feb. 27, 2012
TIME: 1:30pm
LOCATION: Capitol Building, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO
ROOM: Old Supreme Court Chambers, 2nd Floor
Please come and testify if you can.

LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
http://www.coloradochannel.net

Capitol Bill Room
*** Always call the Bill Room before you come down to the Capitol for any last minute time changes to the hearing time/date.
(303) 866-3055

EMAIL SENATORS

State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee
rollie.heath.senate@state.co.us, bob.bacon.senate@state.co.us,
betty.boyd.senate@state.co.us, kevin.grantham.senate@state.co.us,
tim.neville.senate@state.co.us, steve.king.senate@state.co.us

Bcc: info@cannabistherapyinstitute.com

---
Sample Letter

Dear Senators:

Please vote today to kill SB117. There has been no evidence that marijuana has caused any increase in traffic accidents or fatalities in Colorado, so this bill is unnecessary. SB117 is also unfair, because it targets medical marijuana patients, who may always test above the 5ng limit for THC in their bloodstream because of their continuous need to take their medicine, but yet still be able to drive safely. SB117 wil also force patients to take dangerous and expensive pharmaceutical medications that do not have nanogram levels and are not routinely tested for by the police.

The Colorado Committee on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) studied the THC/DUI issue extensively after last year's bill was killed. The CCJJ was unable to come to a consensus on whether there was a need for this bill, so they did not recommend it to be re-introduced this year.

Please amend SB117 and replace it instead with an educational campaign like the CTI "Use Cannabis Responsibly" Campaign, which will educate patients about the types of cannabis, the potential side effects, and the time of onset and duration of these symptoms. Marijuana should be treated like Marinol, a synthetic THC approved by the FDA and widely-prescribed by physicians. There is no nanogram limit on Marinol.

The caution statement on Marinol prescriptions reads: "Patients receiving treatment with Marinol capsules should be specifically warned not to drive, operate machinery, or engage in any hazardous activity until it is established that they are able to tolerate the drug and to perform such tasks safely."

Please treat Colorado medical marijuana patients fairly and do not
criminalize the use of their medicine.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME HERE
COUNTY
---

MAKE PHONE CALLS
Please make a personal, polite call to each of these members, especially if you are in their District.

State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee

Senator Rollie Heath (D), Committee Chair
Counties: Boulder
Phone: 303-866-4872
E-mail: rollie.heath.senate@state.co.us

Senator Bob Bacon (D)
County: Larimer
Phone: 303-866-4841
E-mail: bob.bacon.senate@state.co.us

Senator Betty Boyd (D)
County: Jefferson
Phone: 303-866-4857
E-mail: betty.boyd.senate@state.co.us

Senator Kevin Grantham (R)
Counties: Baca, Bent, Crowley, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero
Phone: 303-866-4877
E-mail: kevin.grantham.senate@state.co.us

Senator Tim Neville (R)
County: Jefferson
Phone: 303-866-4859
E-mail: tim.neville.senate@state.co.us

SB-117 BILL SPONSOR
SEN. STEVE KING
Counties: Grand and Mesa
Capitol Phone: 303-866-3077
E-mail: steve.king.senate@state.co.us

--------------------------------------------------------
MORE INFORMATION:
General Assembly Home Page
Go to the state legislature's page to see the calendar or read the bill.
http://www.leg.state.co.us/

Capitol Bill Room (for last minute hearing changes):
(303) 866-3055

CTI's THC/DUI Educational Campaign
http://www.cannabistherapyinstitute.com/thc-dui/


Colorado Cannabis Marijuana Newsletter

For Updates on SB117

 

Fri., Jan. 27, 2012

 

Free Bob Crouse Protest
Fri., Jan. 27, 2012
Protest: 12noon to 1:30pm

El Paso County Courthouse, Colorado Springs

Protect Patient Bob Crouse, leukemia patient being prosecuted for legal medical marijuana use.

READ MORE HERE...

***ACTION ALERT***
CALL AND EMAIL THE EL PASO COUNTY DA
District Attorney Dan May
Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller Counties)
Phone: (719) 520-6174
Email (DA's spokesperson): LeeRichards@elpasoco.com
Ask him to drop the charges against Bob Crouse and stop prosecuting cancer patients.

Extra Credit
Send your letter to the DA as a Letter to the Editor of the local
newspapers:

Colorado Springs Gazette: opinion@gazette.com
Colorado Springs Independent: letters@csindy.com

Send copies of any letters you send to: info@cannabistherapyinstitute.com
We will forward them to Bob to show him how much support he has!

READ MORE HERE...

 

Wed., Nov. 16, 2011

ACTION ALERT: Board of Health Patient Rulemaking Hearing (11/16)

The Colorado Board of Health will hold a rulemaking hearing on Wed., Nov. 16, concerning changes to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's rules and regulations regarding medical marijuana. One of the main topics is a proposal to lower the patient Registry fee from $90 to $35. The Board will also discuss modifying the patient indigence standard and clarifying the definition of "in good standing" for physicians, in accordance with House Bill 11-1043

FULL DETAILS HERE:
http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/bh/

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1) ATTEND HEARING
Board of Health Public Rulemaking Hearing
Wed., Nov. 16, 2011

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Sabin Conference Room, Building A - 1st Floor
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South Denver, CO
Time: Approx. 10:30am. The agenda says the MMJ rulemaking hearing will commence at 10:30am, but this is only an estimate, so if you want to testify in person, please show up early.

2) EMAIL COMMENTS
1) Cut and paste the CTI's Sample Comments, or write comments of your own.
2) Email it before Nov. 16, 2011 at 9:00am to:
cdphe.edobohcomments_IndigenceFeesDoctorLic@state.co.us

SAMPLE COMMENTS

Subject: MMJ Rulemaking Hearing (Nov. 16, 2011)

Dear Colorado Board of Health:
I support lowering the fees for medical marijuana patients from $90/year to $35/year. However, I am concerned about the security of the Registry and its confidentiality. I understand CDPHE is currently working to make parts of the Registry accessible online to the DOR Medical Marijuana Criminal Enforcement Division and other law enforcement agencies. Once any portion of the Registry is available online to other agencies, it opens the Registry up to possible compromise. Given that there have been several unexplained breaches of the Registry security in the past, I would like to know how you will prevent hackers from going online and stealing the Registry or parts of it? What portion of the patient's fees currently goes to making sure the Registry remains confidential? Patients will only use the optional state Registry if they are certain their identity will remain private and secure.

Sincerely,

Your Name

3) COPY AND REDISTRIBUTE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Thurs., Oct. 2011, 2011

 

Free Bob Crouse Protest
Thurs., Oct. 20, 2011
Protest: 12noon to 1:00pm
Court Hearing: 1:30pm

El Paso County Courthouse, Colorado Springs

Protect Patient Bob Crouse, leukemia patient being prosecuted for legal medical marijuana use.

READ MORE HERE...

 

Wed., Sept. 14, 2011

 

CTI Launches THC/DUI Education Campaign

CTI is launching a THC/DUI awareness campaign based on fact, not fear. The campaign is based on the FDA warning for Marinol (synthetic THC). The CTI THC/DUI awareness campaign can be summed up with these phrases, "Use cannabis responsibly. If you medicate, then wait." The length of time a patient will have to wait after they medicate depends on many factors. But once a patient gets used to the effects of THC, they are likely to be able to drive safely.

READ MORE HERE...

 

Thurs., Sept. 8, 2011

 

Mile High Extravaganja and Revue



CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

extravaganja4941.jpg
Westword wins Silver Surfer Vaporizer at the Extravaganja.

Thurs., Sept. 8, 2011
7:00 pm to Midnight
Casselman's Bar and Venue
2620 Walnut Street, Denver, CO

Featuring:

  • Blunt Radio
  • Wild Gnomes
  • The Indulgers
  • Amphibious Jones

 

Wed., Sept. 7, 2011

 

CTI Letter to Drug Policy Task Force regarding DUI/THC

Drug Policy Task Force Meeting: Marijuana Per Se DUID Workgroup presents inconclusive findings to DPTF

Thurs., August 25, 2011

 

Activists Expose Secret THC/DUI Meetings

This week, the Cannabis Therapy Institute, along with activists from the Colorado Coalition of Patients and Caregivers (CCPC), helped expose a series of secret meetings held by a newly-formed state sub-committee called the Marijuana Per Se Workgroup, which will recommend the per se THC levels for a new THC/DUI bill to be introduced in the legislature in 2012.

Marijuana Per Se Workgroup members are:
- Grayson Robinson, Arap. County Sheriff
- Christine Flavia, Div. of Behavioral Health
- Heather Garwood, Colo. Judicial Dept.
- Rod Walker, Colo. Springs Police Dept.
- Laura Spicer, Drug Addictions Counselor
- Sean McAllister, Private Defense Attorney
- Mike Elliott, Medical Marijuana Industry Group
- Mark Hurlbert, DA, 5th Judicial Dist.

WATCH VIDEO


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc3a5IAJ3Tg

 

READ THE REST OF THE STORY

 

Thurs., Aug.
18, 2011

 

Defend Bob Crouse

Protect Cancer Patients' Right to Use Cannabis Medicine

Free Bob Crouse Protest
Thurs., Aug. 18, 2011
Protest: 7:30am to 8:00am
Hearing: 8:30am

El Paso County Courthouse
270 S. Tejon, Colorado Springs, CO
Courtroom of The Honorable Judge Tim Schulz, Division 9, Courtroom S503
Courthouse phone: (719) 448-7700

Click here for more info. and photos of the protest

 

Wed., Aug. 10, 2011

 

Great Legalization Debates of 2012 -- Round Two

Join us in shaping Colorado Cannabis Policy for the 21st Century!

Click here for more information
VENDORS WANTED!!!

CTI News Release
June 27, 2011

 

New DOR Rules Effective July 1

The article below by the Associated Press details some of the new regulations going into effect on July 1 regarding medical marijuana in Colorado. These new regulations have patients very concerned about their privacy.

MMC-applicants are now required to have video cameras record every transaction in an MMC or a production facility. MMCs are also helping the Department of Revenue track every patient purchase from "seed to sale" in a massive law enforcement database to ensure that patients do not get "too much" medicine.

These videos and transaction records will be available to all law enforcement, including the DEA, on demand, without a warrant, and without notification to patients that their information has been released to the police.

The AP story also details a stunning new revelation that the DOR apparently does not intend on issuing any licenses to MMCs until July 2012. This means that every dispensary in the state will continue to operate in a gray area of the law: MMCs have no state license, and they also have no Constitutional protection. (MMCs revoked their right to be a caregiver under the Constitution in order to apply to become an MMC.)

If an MMC is selling marijuana in Colorado without a license, there is the potential that the DOR will at some point deny them a license and target them as a criminal enterprise. If this happens, anyone that shopped or worked at the unlicensed MMC may be put under criminal investigation as well.

MMC employees are being asked to surrender large volumes of personal and financial information to the DOR and submit to an extensive criminal background investigation, including photographs and fingerprints sent to the FBI. Westword reported in two articles today about the rush for employees to register with the DOR. But many are questioning the intelligence of this, because none of the MMC-employers have been granted state licenses. This means employees are signing up to work at UNLICENSED, potentially "criminal" businesses, for the next year.

Westword Story 1

Westword Story 2

CTI encourages all patients and MMC-applicant-employees to CONSULT AN ATTORNEY before they continue to shop or work at an MMC after July 1 to make sure that their privacy rights and 4th and 5th amendment rights are preserved.

The Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project is working to overturn these laws. Please contribute to:
http://www.cannabislawsuits.com/

-----------------------------------------
http://www.cnbc.com/id/43540260

CO pot shops face surveillance, shorter hours

Published: Sunday, 26 Jun 2011 | 11:57 AM ET

By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press

DENVER - Colorado's marijuana industry will become the nation's most regulated later this week, and pot shops are scrambling to comply with new seed-to-sale tracking, shorter business hours and mandatory video surveillance for growing plants and finished products.

Some of the requirements, such as a grow-your-own regulation forcing pot shops to grow 70 percent of the pot they sell, have already taken effect. But most rules will kick in Friday, including background checks for everyone working around medical marijuana to screen out drug felons.

Other rules include video surveillance of both growing marijuana plants and finished pot products, a move to make sure medical pot doesn't end up on the black market. The state also plans to enforce a statewide 8 p.m. closing time for pot shops.

Colorado also is imposing registration requirements on caregivers, people who grow for up to five patients. Caregivers fought unsuccessfully in the state Legislature this year to keep their growing sites and what they're growing private. Some pot growers vow to drop out of the system rather than face state oversight.

"I see the caregiver model pretty much evaporating," said Adam Mayo, an attorney in Steamboat Springs who advises marijuana patients, growers and shop owners.

Instead, Mayo said, caregivers may choose to stop growing plants for patients and instead offer them warehouse space to grow their own allotment of six plants each. Because patients are not required to tell the state where they're growing their pot plants, Mayo said a marijuana collective such as a communal warehouse wouldn't violate state law.

"You could charge them just like you'd charge a tenant," Mayo said of patients.

It's an option a few caregivers and even dispensary owners are taking seriously.

"I'm not crazy about going on a registry that might be obsolete in a couple years," said Bret Kantola, a Denver caregiver who currently raises plants for two people but said he's getting out rather than register. Kantola cited shifting signals from the federal government on marijuana and a confusing state regulatory framework.

"It's been very, very turbulent, and it's been one thing after another," Kantola said of Colorado's efforts to regulate the pot business.

The owner of two dispensaries in Lafayette, Veronica Caprio of 420 Highways, said she plans to close her shops and start a collective. She decried Colorado's regulations as intrusive for marijuana patients.

"It's complete unknown territory, this Big Brother tracking," Caprio said.

A spokeswoman for the state's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, which oversees many of the pot regulations, said collectives may be illegal. Julie Postlethwait said a collective growing site would fall under state regulations if the site were under a single person or group's control.

Caregivers who want to try collective growing say they're prepared to test the state. Timothy Tipton, a Denver caregiver, says he's starting a collective and plans to sublease plots to patients who won't be allowed to sell or even give away pot they grow so they can avoid state oversight.

"It allows patients who are upset with all the regulation going on here to maintain their constitutional rights" to grow and use pot, Tipton said. "We have the constitutional right to do this, and we're not giving up."

Maybe so, but not all caregivers are as outspoken as Tipton. Tipton organizes an annual pot-tasting contest called the Caregivers' Cup, which planned its final contest in Denver on Sunday. He said about 1,000 patients a year have shown up at the celebration to sample and rate pot strains -- but caregivers are wary of public attention and have said they won't participate after the registration requirements take effect.

Marijuana advocates, along with state officials and lawmakers who approved the rules, are divided about what the oversight will mean for medical marijuana in Colorado. Sponsors of the regulatory bill last year boasted that the rules would drive half the state's 800 or so dispensaries out of business. But more than 700 of them have applied for state licenses, due to be issued in July of 2012.

Ryan Cook, general manager of three dispensaries in Denver called The Clinic, said patients haven't complained as much as he feared about increased video surveillance, a mandatory 8 p.m. closing time and a requirement that patients' marijuana registry cards be scanned every time they buy pot.

"I get a sense from patients they're accepting the requirements," Cook said. "We'll see how it evolves, but right now, people just want a safe and affordable way to get their meds."

But at a recent marijuana legalization debate in Denver, pot advocate Rico Colibri of the Association of Cannabis Trades warned that increased tracking and surveillance could turn out badly if the federal government hanges course on deferring to states that allow medical pot.

"There could be scary things happening to people here very soon," Colibri said.

 

Updates on Colorado Medical Marijuana Legislation

Colorado's Anti-Medical Marijuana Bills

 

 

Legislative Wrap-Up 2011

Colorado Patients Win Victories in Legislature

Activists Put Focus on 2012 Legalization Ballot Initiative

Report from the Cannabis Therapy Institute

May 16, 2011

Photos
HB1250 #1 | HB1250 #2 | More pix

Colorado patients won some big victories in the state legislature this year. Three bills were introduced this year that further eroded the rights of patients and caregivers under the Colorado Constitution. With the Cannabis Therapy Institute leading the way to oppose these bills, patients were able to kill two of the three bills.

The first bill, HB11-1250, would have banned all edible cannabis products. This fell relatively quickly, as the entire patient community spoke out very strongly against a ban on edible therapy.

HB 11-1261 was a DUI/THC bill. It would have set a limit of 5 nanograms/millileter of THC in the whole blood. Anything over 5 ng/mL would automatically be considered DUI per se, and patients would have faced losing their drivers licenses in addition to criminal DUI charges. The bill would have eliminated the requirement for the prosecution to prove that the driver was actually impaired. Through intense grassroots lobbying efforts, the bill was watered down to just a study of whether THC causes impairment. However, 3 days before the session was scheduled to end, the 5 ng DUI per se language was put back into the bill. Last minute lobbying by law enforcement seemed to ensure a victory for this bill. However, when the final vote was taken, the bill was killed altogether, scoring a huge victory for patients and justice!

CTI argued that most patients would always be over 5 ng because of their constant use, but would not actually be impaired. Local reporter William Breathes, from the Denver alternative weekly Westword, voluntarily submitted to a blood test for THC after fasting for 16 hours, and the test returned at 13.5 ng! His physician affirmed that Breathes was totally unimpaired. This was one of the factors that helped kill the bill. Another factor was that the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) could provide no evidence that THC was the cause of any accident in Colorado, and admitted that she based the 5 ng on an "intuitive feeling" rather than hard research.

Unfortunately, the third anti-cannabis bill, HB 11-1043, passed with no opposition in the legislature. This was the "cleanup bill" from last years massive legislation, which created a statutory entity called a "Medical Marijuana Center" (MMC). HB 11-1043 completed the removal of MMCs from the protection of the Colorado Constitution, by adding a line to the statute that said the Constitution did not apply to MMCs. This is concerning, because the US Attorney's office in Colorado has indicated that the feds consider the Constitution to afford greater protection than the MMC statute. Colorado was among the medical marijuana states that received threatening letters from the feds, but no MMCs have yet been targeted for federal raids.

HB 11-1043 also extends the statewide moratorium on new MMC applicants for another year. Over 1,000 people applied to become MMCs last July 1, but the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division (MMED) of the Department of Revenue has not granted any licenses.

Another disturbing aspect of HB 11-1043 is the Caregiver Grow Location Registry. For the first time in the history of Colorado's ten-year-old medical marijuana law, caregivers will be required to register themselves, their patients' ID numbers, and the locations of their grows with the Department of Revenue. This has many caregivers and patients nervous that their confidentiality rights will be breached, and that more regulation of caregivers is on the way.

HB 11-1043 goes into effect July 1, as do 77 pages of new regulations from the Department of Revenue. MMC applicants are getting tired of existing in legal limbo. They are forced to comply with an ever-growing list of restrictions, but they have no guarantees that they will ever be granted a license for their efforts.

The MMC law that passed in 2010 was designed to put 80% of dispensaries out of business. Every week, MMCs shut down because they can't comply with the pages of new restrictions. No other industry in Colorado has ever seen this kind of deliberate over-regulation. Activists with the Patient and Caregivers Rights Litigation Project are working on an injunction against all the laws and regulations, to be filed before July 1. (cannabislawsuits.com)

The Legalize2012.com Project is building a grassroots coalition to bring a legalization initiative to the 2012 ballot in Colorado. Polls show 50% support for legalization in Colorado, so it's not a question of when cannabis will be re-legalized, it's a question of how it will be re-legalized.

Get on the CTI Email List for updates

Contact Colorado General Assembly


HB 11-1043, Caregiver Registration and Patient Rights Elimination "Cleanup" bill

Some parts of it may be good in that it clarified HB 10-1284, but none of it addresses patient privacy concerns. It also continues on the path of separating the medical marijuana program from the health agency and the Constitution, removing Constitutional protection for MMCs explicity.

- Eliminates Constitutional protection for the actions of MMC licensees. Licensees "shall not be subject to the terms of" Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution (Colorado's Medical Marijuana Law).

- Extends the moratorium on new Medical Marijuana Center applicants in the state for another year, until July 1, 2012. This harms patients and industry by artificially eliminating competition.

- Restricts an MMC to sell only 6 non-flowering plants to a patient every 3 months

- Limits Medical Marijuana Infused Products Manufacturers to 500 plants

- Allows law enforcement to destroy plants and cannabis that they seize, in violation of Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, which requires law enforcement to preserve patient medicine.

- If an MMC license is revoked, that MMC's marijuana will be immediately considered to be a "controlled substance." Presumably, then immediately the owners and employees would be subject to criminal prosecution, since the marijuana they possess would no longer be considered legal medical marijuana.

- Requires caregivers to register the location of their grows with the Department of Revenue.

- Requires caregivers to surrender the Registry ID numbers of their patients to the Department of Revenue.

- Allows the Department of Revenue to share locations of caregiver grows with law enforcement and local governments with an address-specific request, and exempts them from public records )?_.

- Appropriates $1 million from the Medical Marijuana Program Fund to hire 14.5 additional full-time employees (FTE) for the "Circle Program", an inpatient substance abuse treatment facility in Pueblo that only has 20
beds.

- Clarifies that residency applies to owners only

- DOR may deny license for good cause

- Felony drug convictions are licensing disqualifiers

- MMC may provide samples to laboratory that has a testing license

- DOR can promulgate rules for testing

- Procedures for license revocation

- Product may be destroyed or given to indigent patients

- If multiple centers, can grow all mmj at one cultivation site

- MMC subject to prohibitions on unfair business products - selling below cost

- Physician who owns a valid license only without condition or restriction may provide medical marijuana recs

- Indigent patient does not have to pay fee. Changes it to the federal poverty line

- Land that's used for cultivation cannot be considered agricultural land for tax purposes

- Medical marijuana are medical records for purpose of theft


HB1261 (THC/DUI) : KILLED

HB1261 sought to ban patients from driving privileges by setting a limit on THC in the blood that most patients will always exceed. Any driver with an amount of THC over 5 nanograms/milliliter in their blood will be considered impaired and guilty of DUI per se and subject to loss of their driver's license and other criminal penalties. This will greatly impact patients, because many of them will test over that limit due to their chronic use, but not be impaired.

This bill was killed. It will be sent back to the state Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) for more study, and likely brought up again when the Legislature convenes in Jan. 2012.


HB 11-1250, Cannabis Edible Bill
Originally sought to ban MMCs from producing or selling any edible cannabis product. Amended to only address packaging requirements. Since the Department of Revenue already has the authority to set labeling standards, this bill is unnecessary.


SCR001: Super-Majority to Amend Constitution
If approved by voters, this would require a 60% majority of voters to amend the Colorado Constitution. This bill would make it virtually impossible for changes to be made to the state's Medical Marijuana Amendment.

 

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Current News and Action Alerts

Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project
Patients concerned about new government tracking database and invasion of patient privacy.


Fix the Constitution: Legalize 2012
Help fix the fatal flaws in Amendment 20 by rewriting Colorado's Constitution to provide more protection for patients and caregivers.

Legalize 2012

Colorado Medical Marijuana News
Cannabis Therapy Institute Recent Updates

June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010: UPDATE: These rules all passed unamended. Thanks to all those who sent in comments.

ACTION ALERT: Board of Health Patient and Caregiver Rulemaking Hearing

The Colorado Board of Health will hold a rulemaking hearing on Wed., June 15, at 9am concerning sweeping changes to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's rules and regulations regarding medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

ATTEND HEARING
Board of Health Public Rulemaking Hearing
Restrictions on Patients and Caregivers
Wed., June. 15, 2011
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Sabin Conference Room
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South Denver, CO
Time: 9am and 12noon (They have inexplicably broken up the Patient and
Caregiver comments. The hearing on caregiver rules will be in the morning and the hearing on patient rules will be at 12noon.)

SEND EMAIL COMMENTS
1) Cut and paste the following text, or put it in your own words.
2) Email it to the two email addresses in the letter.

SAMPLE TEXT:

Mailto:cdphe.edobohcomments_patientrules@state.co.us
cdphe.edobohcomments_primarycaregiverrules@state.co.us

Subject: Patient and Caregiver Rulemaking

June 14, 2011

To the Board of Health:

In regards to the proposed Amendments to Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Medical Use of Marijuana (5 CCR 1006-2) for patients and caregivers, please accept these comments for the official record.

Rules for Patients

1) I object to Regulation 12 (C) (6), which states that a patient shall not "operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of medical marijuana." There is no proof that marijuana causes impairment in operation of a motor vehicle. This criminalizes patients with debilitating medical conditions, who must continuously medicate to control their chronic conditions. The state statutes regarding "driving under the influence of drugs" (DUID) is already adequate. The CDPHE does not have the authority to create a new crime called "DUIMM".

2) I object to Regulation 12 (C) (1), which states that a patient shall not "undertake any task while under the influence of medical marijuana, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice." This regulation is vague, unenforceable, and potentially harmful to patients. It is without any rational basis.

3) I object to Regulation 2 (B) (2), which states that the Patient Confidential Registry application may now contain a space for a Medical Marijuana Center to be listed. The CDPHE has no authority to collect information on Medical Marijuana Centers (MMC). Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, Colorado's medical marijuana amendment, only authorizes the CDPHE to collect the name of the patient and the patient's caregiver, if designated, and to keep this information confidential.

Additionally, the CDPHE has no regulatory authority over MMCs, which are regulated through the Department of Revenue. The collection of MMC information by the CDPHE shows their intent to share this information with the DOR, in violation of patient privacy guarantees in the Constitution. The Board of Health shall pass no rules that infringe on patient's constitutional right to confidentiality or that allow the CDPHE to share information with the DOR.

4) I object to Regulation 2 (E), which states that a patient may change his primary caregiver once per month. First, the CDPHE has no authority to state how often a patient may change caregivers. Additionally, under DOR rules, a patient cannot change his MMC more than once every 120 days. The CDPHE Regulatory Analysis stated that the reasoning behind this was to protect the investment of the cannabis medicine provider, by allowing the plants to get through a 3 to 4 month grow cycle. In this light, this provision is unfair to caregivers, as they will not have their investment protected for as long as MMCs.

5) I object to Regulation 2 (I), which states that patients who have been convicted of a criminal drug offense, ordered by a court to drug or substance abuse treatment, or sentenced to the division of youth corrections must reapply to the registry if they wish to continue in an active status on the registry. This regulation unfairly punishes patients who have been convicted of, or forced to plead guilty to, any kind of drug offense. Drug convictions do not have any bearing on a person's right to use medical marijuana under the Constitution. There is no rational basis for this regulation.

Rules for Caregivers

1) I object to Regulation J (6), which states that a primary caregiver shall not "operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of medical marijuana." There is no proof that marijuana causes impairment in operation of a motor vehicle. This criminalizes patients with debilitating medical conditions, who must continuously medicate to control their chronic conditions. The state statutes regarding "driving under the influence of drugs" (DUID) are already adequate. The CDPHE does not have the authority to create a new crime called "DUIMM".

2) I object to Regulation J (3), which states that a primary caregiver shall not "undertake any task while under the influence of medical marijuana, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice." This regulation is vague, unenforceable, and potentially harmful to patients. It is without any rational basis.

3) I object to Regulation 9 (C), which states that the CDPHE is going to start collecting names of people who want to be primary caregivers, but don't have any patients, and allow the CDPHE to give names of caregivers to any registered patient. The CDPHE has no authority to collect names of primary caregivers. This appears to be another way for the CDPHE to help the DOR create the database of everyone even remotely interested in growing medical cannabis in Colorado. There is no authority for this in the Constitution or in statute.

3) I object to Regulation 9 (L), which states that if patients do not require caregiver service other than the provision of medical marijuana, then the patients shall not designate a primary care-giver. This violates patient's Constitutional right to use their caregiver of choice. If a patient does not need additional services, the CDPHE has no authority to deny the patient the right to use their husband, wife, brother, sister or anyone from serving as their caregiver. This regulation is cruel and malicious and has no rational basis.

I respectfully submit these comments.

Sincerely,


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Click here to read the rules in their entirety:
http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/bh/index.html
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