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.



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