This was just sent to me from our friends in Colorado.
(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
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 medicine immediately.
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 patients."
"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.
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