Colorado Medical Marijuana Program Working

  Colorado Medical Marijuana Program Working

Posted by CN Staff on February 21, 2008 at 05:24:01 PT
By Steven Wells 
Source: Rocky Mountain News 

Colorado --  Election day November 2000 was monumental for many who suffer debilitating pain, cancer, nausea, seizures and glaucoma, HIV/AIDs, and persistent muscle spasms. Why? The electorate of Colorado voted to allow the medicinal use of cannabis by a vote of 53 to 47 percent. Many patients who have needlessly suffered from these conditions were allowed to exercise their own course of care outside the realm of analgesics, NSAIDs, narcotics and other means the institutional medical field may prescribe.
This was by no means a free pass to just puff away in public, no smoke shops opened and entertained hordes of folks sampling their wares. In fact the state has established specific rules about all aspects of the law. The atmosphere of a black market has not engulfed the state, cannabis is not sold in vending machines and the entire program has the oversight of the state of Colorado Department of Health and Environment.Currently more than 1,700 patients legally have the right to use and grow marijuana for their own medicinal use. The ages range from 18 to 90 and the average age is 43. For those who are unable to grow their own they may choose to access their medicine from a caregiver. Patients may have no more than two ounces of useable marijuana, they may grow up to six plants of which three or fewer can be flowering. The state of Colorado maintains a confidential database of patients and caregivers.The state will only verify that a patient is on the registry when approached by law enforcement officials. The application process is streamlined and cards must be renewed annually. A MD or OD must fill out the forms stating the diagnosis for the need and recommend that the use of cannabis is a legitimate medicine for these conditions. These forms are then sent to the Department of Public Health and Environment along with the annual $90 fee.Typically the patient will receive the card within 15 days. But there are concerns — local law enforcement in several jurisdictions have chosen to ignore the law, when they have arrested patients and caregivers, confiscated medicine and private documents of those who possessed the legal documentation. In this regard, it is unfortunate that the state’s attorney general and the local sheriffs have decided upon their own to neglect and ignore their duty. This has resulted in a number of cases being dismissed, yet the medicine was ruined. This of course may be lead to civil suits to recover costs for the unwarranted and illegal seizure and loss. We have yet to see. Scientific studies have been provided from many reputable labs and schools of study that clearly indicate the medicinal properties of cannabis.These are available from many sources. Throughout Colorado there are a number of support groups and clinics that have risen to provide the facts so that patients can approach their physicians regarding the use of cannabis for their condition(s). Twelve states now allow the medicinal use of cannabis and during this legislative session it appears Michigan, Arizona, New York and Illinois may join those ranks.Though none of these states has a reciprocal agreement to allow the use by patients from one state in another, as more states come online with this legitimate medical practice we can hope that will come to fruition. As a patient myself this has proved to be a non-addictive means by which to control chronic pain and the often nasty side effects of narcotics. For further information regarding the use of medical cannabis I would suggest you visit the following Web sites: These are but a few of the sites that could educate the public on the responsible use of medical cannabis.Steven Wells is a resident of Longmont.Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)Author: Steven WellsPublished: Thursday, February 21, 2008 Copyright: 2008 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #5 posted by ekim on February 21, 2008 at 16:53:54 PT
Willie Nelson will be singing at the convention
he was on Democrcy now for a hour today.said many good things about cannabis.
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Comment #4 posted by RevRayGreen on February 21, 2008 at 16:39:43 PT
I'm looking
forward to the Democratic Convention in Denver this year, I think awareness of an issue to all of us but a constant non-issue in the campaign
will become an issue in/outside the convention. I hope SAFER has taken out some billboards.
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Comment #3 posted by tintala on February 21, 2008 at 16:33:17 PT:
I thought it was around 3,000 patients
last time i heard it was around 3, 000 patients that have been accepted into the Colorado Medical marijuana registry.
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on February 21, 2008 at 10:32:03 PT

finally ... 
but not far enough ... one of the two repug senators here in OK.'prob a mistake, but let's kill some more kids before we leave by methods he can't name.Sen. Coburn says Iraq war 'probably a mistake'Associated Press - February 21, 2008 12:35 PM ETOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Senator Tom Coburn says President Bush's decision to go to war against Iraq was probably a mistake.Coburn supported the decision to go to war while running for the Senate in 2004 but said during a town hall meeting in Muskogee he's changed his position.His comments came less than a week after he returned from his second trip to Iraq since entering the Senate.But he does NOT believe the U.S. can now withdraw. He says the U.S. has to finish the job in Iraq and those who want to bring troops home right away are wrong.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 21, 2008 at 07:34:32 PT

Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance
Maryland Campaign Seeks to Change Flawed Medical Marijuana Law***Thursday, February 21, 2008An upcoming series of events in Maryland will raise awareness about major flaws in the state's medical marijuana law, and mobilize people affected by the law to advocate for change. 
Maryland passed a medical marijuana law in 2003, but it does little to protect patients. If legitimate medical marijuana patients are arrested, they are slapped with a criminal conviction--even if a court determines that they are using marijuana out of medical necessity. This means that even a successful court defense results in a permanent criminal record, which poses barriers to financial aid, housing, employment, and more. 
DPA will hold teach-ins and trainings about this issue around the state in March. The events, which are taking place in partnership with patient organization Americans for Safe Access, will gather patients, their families and medical professionals to review Maryland's current law and discuss how to exercise their rights under that law.From there, the focus will shift to how attendees can help fix the law and how they can get more involved in advocacy--both at the local level and at an upcoming Patient Lobby Day in Annapolis.
 The events will take place in Baltimore on March 11, Salisbury on March 18, Silver Spring on March 20, and Hagerstown on March 25. If you live in Maryland and want more information, you can contact Naomi Long, director of DPA's DC Metro Area office, or you can sign up for DPA's action alerts. Make sure to include your full address to get information on the event closest to you!
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