For immediate release: September 30, 2010
Department of Revenue Makes Patients Wait for Medicine
New Patient Collective Business Model Announced
Contact: Cannabis Therapy Institute
(Denver) -- On Monday, Matt Cook, head of the Colorado Department
of Revenue's new Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, released
a memo that states the DoR will require patients to wait 35 days
after they have applied for their medical marijuana card before
they purchase medicine from any of the new Department of Revenue-controlled
"Medical Marijuana Centers (MMCs)."
Click here to read the memo:
According to Medical Marijuana Amendment in the Colorado Constitution,
the Department of Health has 35 days to deny a patient's application
to the Medical Marijuana Registry. If they do not deny it within
35 days, the application is "deemed to have been approved."
The Cook memo states that MMCs cannot legally sell to patients until
35 days have passed because there is still a chance their application
will be rejected.
HB1284, passed by the Colorado legislature last summer, created
a new business entity called the "Medical Marijuana Center".
Before 1284, patients purchased medicine from caregivers and dispensaries
under protection of the Constitution. Caregivers and dispensaries
were given an affirmative defense to marijuana charges even if they
provided medicine to a patient without an actual Registry ID card,
as long as the patient could prove they had been previously diagnosed
with a debilitating medical condition. Under the Constitution, applying
for a Registry card is optional for an affirmative defense. This
affirmative defense clause allowed patients to begin receiving their
Unfortunately, HB1284 outlawed the caregiver model, by limiting
caregivers to 5 patients or less and requiring MMC applicants to
forfeit their Constitutional right to be a caregiver.
HB1284 took caregivers away from patients and substituted the "statutory
privilege" of purchasing medicine from an MMC. But this means
that patients must to give up their Constitutional rights to acquire
medicine as soon as they need it.
"This is not about compassion, this is about control,"
says patient advocate Timothy Tipton. "Caregivers have taken
care of patients and patients have taken care of patients for over
10 years now in Colorado with no problems. This new policy of restricting
medicine to patients until they have been sick for over a month
creates unnecessary pain and suffering for thousands of Colorado
"This is extremely unfair to patients," says attorney
Danyel Joffe, author of several medical marijuana action alerts
on the subject. "Other medical patients do not have to wait
35 days before they can buy their medication."
Denver medical marijuana attorney Lauren C. Davis said the memo
"demonstrates how wrong certain portions of the legislative
policy underlying HB1284 are." Lauren continues, "This
rule effectively denies patients' access to medicine, even after
they have jumped through all of the hoops the State has put in their
way. Amendment 20 does not even require patients to apply for a
registry card. HB 1284 not only illegally imposes that requirement
on patients, it requires patients to wait even longer to get medicine
once they have applied. This is another clear example that the legislature
and the Department of Revenue do not care about patient's rights
or their safe access to medicine. We must challenge the provisions
of 1284 that hurt patients and caregiver rights."
Attorney Adam Mayo of Steamboat Springs is also concerned about
the erosion of patients' Constitutional rights. On October 25, Adam
will be in Boulder to give a legal seminar titled, "Overcoming
HB1284: Forming Legal Patient Collectives". Adam will present
a new business model that allows patients to continue to help other
patients without worrying about the restrictions created by HB1284.
The Patient Collective business model (protected by Constitutional
rights) may actually offer more legal protection than the MMC model
(protected only by statutory privilege). Like MMC's, patient collectives
can be run as for-profit organizations. Unlike MMC's, Patient Collectives
are not regulated by HB1284 & enjoy 100% protection under the
CLICK HERE TO ENROLL:
UPDATE: DOR PATIENT TRACKING SYSTEM PLANS ANNOUNCED
An AP article today announced another assault on patient rights
in the form of the DoR's new patient tracking system which would
require fingerprinting patients, using radio frequency identification
tags (RFID), photographing patients as they make each purchase,
and tracking to see if "too many" purchases were made
by a patient. This system would be shared by the Department of Revenue
and law enforcement.
The Cannabis Therapy Institute is committed to fighting for the
rights of cannabis patients to have safe, affordable and confidential
access to quality medicine as soon as they need it.
BECOME A CTI SPONSOR:
If you would like to fight for your Constitutional rights, please
send an email to:
Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project
Describe your particular case and how you would like to be involved
in this project. They are currently seeking plaintiffs and funders.
For 10 years prior to HB1284, caregivers in Colorado were allowed
to provide medical marijuana to their patients in a safe, compassionate
way. It is time for the industry to fight back against these un-Constitutional
laws and take the industry back from government regulators, who
only seek ways to put dispensaries out of business and open patients
to unprecedented levels of scrutiny.