Limits on Medical Pot Up for Hearing in Colorado
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Limits on Medical Pot Up for Hearing in Colorado
Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2009 at 14:00:34 PT
By Colleen Slevin, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- Backers of medical marijuana are protesting a proposal to limit marijuana providers to five patients each, a change which could affect dispensaries that have sprouted up to serve a growing number of patients around Colorado. The state health board is set to consider the five-patient limit on Monday during a hearing on several changes to how Amendment 20, passed by voters in 2000, is carried out. The board voted to limit caregivers to five patients in 2004 but a Denver judge threw that out three years later because the board didn't hold a hearing first.
Colorado is one of 13 states that has passed laws allowing people to use marijuana for medical reasons. Amendment 20 allows people who suffer from debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV and multiple sclerosis, to smoke marijuana in private once they get a doctor's note and register with the state, paying a $90 fee. As of June 30, there were about 9,100 people registered to use medical marijuana, according to the Department of Public Health and Environment, which maintains the registry. That's a 1,500 increase over May. The names on the list are confidential and the department doesn't keep track of caregivers which has led to confusion in law enforcement over which growers are truly legal and which aren't. The law says patients and their caregivers can grow six marijuana plants themselves or possess two ounces of marijuana. Caregivers are defined as people who have "significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient." However, it doesn't discuss the details of where pot should be grown. In a draft of the proposed rule changes, the health department states that there's nothing in Amendment 20 that allows for the creation of dispensaries and that caregivers supplying patients with marijuana must be people, not businesses. The department also states that home health nurses typically see no more than five patients a day. Department spokesman Mark Salley said the proposed changes are in keeping with the spirit of Amendment 20 but declined further comment. Health board member Jeanne McGinnis declined to comment on the reasons for the five-person limit and other board members didn't return phone calls seeking comment. Robert Corry, a lawyer who has represented medical marijuana patients, said it's already difficult for patients to find people who can provide them with marijuana and the proposed change will make it more difficult. He said some people have complained to the state that they can't get a consistent supply. "The remedy for that problem is, if they don't like their caregiver, is to go find another," he said. Corry said he hoped the board would keep an open mind on the proposed changes but he also said he's prepared to sue to block the five-patient limit if the board approves it. The board is preparing for a large crowd for Monday's hearing. They'll meet in a room that can hold about 450 people on the Auraria Campus near downtown Denver. The board is expected to vote on whether to adopt the changes following the hearing, which is scheduled to last seven hours.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author:  Colleen Slevin, Associated Press Writer Published:  July 19, 2009 Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 20, 2009 at 12:06:23 PT
Colorado's Top Doctor Backs Pot Restrictions
July 20, 2009DENVER (AP)  Colorado's chief medical officer said Monday the state's medical marijuana program will "continue to grow out of control" unless more restrictive rules are adopted.Dr. Ned Calonge testified before the state health board in support of proposed new rules that would limit marijuana providers to five patients each.Currently, a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution allows designated caregivers to grow marijuana for an unlimited number of patients.Calonge, chief medical officer for the state health department, said those rules are creating confusion and the program is susceptible to fraud. He said large-scale marijuana growers busted by police are claiming to be medical marijuana suppliers.Calonge also said one doctor recommended that 200 people get medical marijuana cards in one day. The cards allow patients to grow their own marijuana or get it from a designated caregiver.Opponents say the limits would make it harder for patients to get medical marijuana.More than 300 people attended the hearing, and the vast majority opposed the rules.Copyright: 2009 Associated Press
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on July 20, 2009 at 09:24:07 PT
This caregiver definition is getting goofy. Supplying medical cannabis is clearly a specialized service.I don't expect my pharmacist to clean my toilet and I wouldn't expect a nurse/caregiver to formulate medical compounds. Nor would I expect a nurses aid to do so.A maid, I may expect to clean the toilet but, I wouldn't expect that person to fill a prescription.Silly politicians. Could they be less knowledgeable or less understanding? At least try to be informed and intelligent.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 20, 2009 at 05:23:38 PT
Colorado Board of Health May Revise Marijuana Law
The definition of "caregiver" could limit medical-marijuana dispensaries in Colorado.By Claire Trageser, The Denver PostJuly 20, 2009The Colorado Board of Health today will vote on a proposal that may cut off some of 7,360 registered patients' access to medical marijuana. The proposal would shut down small and large medical marijuana dispensaries by limiting them to selling their medical herbs to five patients at a time. Currently there is no limit to how many patients they can supply.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on July 19, 2009 at 18:11:18 PT
Who has complained about the current situation? I wonder if any actual citizens of Colorado complained or advocated at all to add restrictions - other than police and prosecutors, and of course "public health" authorities.It's fascinating, as soon as marijuana reform measures pass the government immediately begins trying to weaken them.>>>Department spokesman Mark Salley said the proposed changes are in keeping with the spirit of Amendment 20 but declined further comment. Why are we "keeping with the spirit" at all? Why not just accept it the way it is? The majority didn't vote to "keep within the spirit" of the law, they passed the law - as is!
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