July 1, 2011

Lawsuit Filed To Overturn Restrictive Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws

July 1, 2011
colorado cannabis amendment 64

colorado cannabis

Patients and caregivers want new restrictions declared un-Constitutional

A complaint was filed in Denver District on Thursday, June 30, 2011, court asking the court to overturn large parts of laws passed by the Colorado legislature over the past two years (HB 10-1284 and HB 11-1043) because they restrict patient access to medicine and violate patient privacy rights guaranteed by the Colorado Constitution. These laws are set to go into effect on July 1.

The goal of the lawsuit is to restore Constitutional protection that patients and caregivers enjoyed prior to the passage of these new laws. The new medical marijuana laws severely restrict caregivers from serving
patients, by limiting how many patients a caregiver can serve and denying caregivers the right to charge for their services. The lawsuit asks the court for a declaratory judgment on whether the Constitution allows a
patient to choose any caregiver they wish. The lawsuit argues that no limits were set on caregivers in the Constitution, and that the patient has the ultimate right to decide who will provide his cannabis medicine.

Click here to read the complaint:

The complaint was filed by Andrew B. Reid, a prominent constitutional attorney, who is senior counsel for Springer and Steinberg, P.C., a Denver law firm. The plaintiffs are Kathleen Chippi, Damien LaGoy, the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project, the Colorado Patient Alliance, the Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative, and the Greenfaith Ministry. This is an adaptation of the Supreme Court original jurisdiction petition regarding some of these same issues that was filed in January 2011 by Andrew Reid on behalf of Kathleen Chippi and the PCRLP.

Kathleen Chippi is a Nederland caregiver and dispensary owner and founding member of the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project. The PCRLP is a coalition of patients, caregivers, and dispensary owners who have been harmed by the passage of these new laws. Kathleen has been at the forefront of cannabis politics since 1993, when she formed Colorado’s first hemp foods company. She became a provider of medical marijuana for patients and opened a caregiving business in 2009. The new laws forced her to abandon her patients and turn her energy into raising money to file this constitutional challenge.

Colorado Marijuana“The constitution allows patients to choose their caregiver. The state cannot deny patients their constitutional rights by forcing them to purchase medicine at a retail marijuana store and give up all their
confidentiality rights. The patients have a right to pick any compassionate caregiver they chose to provide their cannabis medicine, as long as the caregiver is over 18 and not the patients’ physician. The Constitution is very clear on this, and I am confident our judge will agree,” says Chippi.

Damien LaGoy, has been Colorado’s most outspoken patient for years. Damien is concerned about the state’s new database system that will replace the formerly confidential registry information with a massive database and surveillance system and open to law enforcement and other government agencies. Damien is also concerned about the possible theft of his confidential medical information by other criminal elements, who may use the information to harm him.

Damien has been living with HIV/AIDS since 1985 and uses cannabis to treat a variety of symptoms.

“We went through this 20 years ago with HIV/AIDS patients when the government decided to create a national AIDS database. People were afraid to come out and get tested because they feared their information would be made public. A lot of my friends died because they were afraid to get treatment because they didn’t want to get on the list. The same thing is happening now with medical marijuana. I don’t want to see patients die because their confidentiality is no longer protected and they are afraid to get their medicine,” says LaGoy.

Colorado Patients’ Alliance is a non-profit organization working for the rights of medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Colorado. Members include a broad base of patients, caregivers, MMCs, other organizations, and companies that believe that a responsible and constitutional approach to the regulation of medical marijuana that benefits patients, caregivers and the medical cannabis providers.

Rico Colibri, spokesperson for the CPA says, “There has been much talk of compliance with the new regulations, but it is our contention that HB 10-1284 and the resulting rules must be compliant with the Colorado constitution. Just because an MMC applicant was forced to give up their constitutional rights to apply for a license, does not mean a patient has given up their rights.”

The Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative is a private cannabis patient collective, which is over eight years old and maintains relationships with over 1,000 patients throughout Colorado. Many RMCC patients lost their
caregivers when the limits in HB 10-1284 were passed.

The Greenfaith Ministry is a compassionate care and spiritual church located in Northern Colorado and led by Rev. Brandon Baker. Rev. Baker was the caregiver for over 20 low income and indigent patients before the
passage of HB 10-1284, when he was forced to give up almost all of his patients. In addition to being forced to abandon its former patients, the Ministry has been faced with increasing demand from more patients who have lost their caregivers or who have had medical marijuana banned in their community.

Attorney Robert J. Corry, Jr., a medical marijuana legal expert who will be filing amicus support for the lawsuit, says, “This lawsuit will give Colorado’s suffering medical marijuana patients a fighting chance to obtain their doctor-ordered medicine at a reasonable cost, with a reasonable selection, while protecting their privacy and their constitutional rights.

The massive regulatory regime created by HB 101284, HB11-1043 and SB 10-109 is without precedent in America, and it is a violation of the law.”

The PCRLP lawsuit filed in Denver District Court seeks to resolve the
following issues:
1) Are patients allowed to choose any caregiver they want, or can the state enact restrictions on caregivers?
2) Do the information disclosure provisions of HB 10-1284 violate patients Constitutional rights to privacy?


Click here to read the complaint:

A wise man once said, “It is better to be a plaintiff than a defendant.” Only plaintiffs or members of the PCRLP will enjoy the benefits if an injunction is issued by the court. Why wait for the government to criminally-prosecute you, when you could become a plaintiff in this litigation? http://www.cannabislawsuits.com/

This is a press release of the:
Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project
P.O. Box 1794
Nederland, CO 80466
Phone: 1-888-328-4367
Email: patientlawsuit@yahoo.com
Web: http://www.CannabisLawsuits.com/


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