Colorado Medical Cannabis Policy Group Announced
For immediate release: August 23, 2009
Read the open
letter sent to all Colorado government officials
[Boulder, CO] -- The Cannabis Therapy Institute is dedicated to
medicinal cannabis education, research and advocacy. We are announcing
the formation of the Medical Cannabis Policy Group composed of the
top experts in Colorado on the legal, medical and societal aspects
of medicinal cannabis. The Policy Group will develop model policies
and best practices guidelines for medical cannabis caregivers, dispensaries
and collectives that can be used to clarify the current law. These
guidelines will value patient safety and privacy foremost, but also
take into consideration the concerns of the local community and
law enforcement. Our goal is to bring all interested parties together
so we can develop a mutual understanding of what it takes to be
compliant under the law for patients and caregivers.
Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, Colorado's
Medical Marijuana Amendment, allows a patient to possess cannabis
for medicinal needs. If the patient cannot obtain the medicine for
themselves, the Amendment allows them to have their primary caregiver
obtain or grow it for them.
To better serve the needs of the many patients who are now using
cannabis as medicine, caregivers have opened medicinal cannabis
dispensaries. Unfortunately, Colorado's Medical Marijuana Amendment
does not regulate caregivers in any way, leaving a large gray area
in the law. For instance, matters related to proper tax collection,
security, and dispensing standards are not defined.
In addition, federal law still does not contain an exemption for
medical cannabis, creating further confusion about the law. However,
the Obama Administration has promised not to enforce federal
law in states that have medical cannabis laws, as long as the
dispensaries are following their state and local laws.
For these reasons, it is important to clarify the rights and duties
of caregivers, so that they may be compliant with state and local
law, and thereby be (hopefully) tolerated by federal law enforcement.
We have sent an
open letter to all Colorado government officials asking them
to participate in this discussion. We look forward to opening a
positive and productive dialogue with them so we can move forward
with our mutual goal of helping patients achieve safe access to
medical cannabis within the guidelines of the Article XVIII, Section
14 of the Colorado Constitution. We hope the government officials
will take advantage of this opportunity to clarify medical cannabis
policy and protect safe access for patients.