New Pot Rules Torched
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New Pot Rules Torched
Posted by CN Staff on July 21, 2009 at 11:06:18 PT
By Peter Marcus, DDN Staff Writer
Source: Denver Daily News 
Colorado -- Medical marijuana advocates walked away from a 12-hour Board of Health hearing yesterday hooting and hollering over the fact that the board preserved rights already afforded to medical marijuana patients. The nine-member board’s 5-4 vote came after a marathon of testimony from opponents of the health department’s proposal to limit so-called caregivers to five patients and require them to perform “significant” care for their patients, including far-reaching services like cleaning patients’ houses and picking up groceries.
But with nearly 200 speakers taking to the microphone in favor of current medical marijuana laws set by voters in 2000, the board ultimately voted in favor of medical marijuana advocates.The usual stereotypes associated with marijuana users went up in smoke yesterday, as the crowd came well-dressed in suits and ties — they even left their demonstration signs at the door. Despite pleas from organizers to “be on your best behavior,” some, however, let emotion get the best of them as they occasionally hissed and booed at supporters. Overall, though, the meeting yesterday was a demonstration of democracy at its best, on both the part of the board and the public.The throngs of more than 500 advocates — including lawyers, patients, caregivers, war veterans and doctors — gathered at the Auraria Campus and spoke one after the other of the harmful affect the new rules would have on their and their patients’ lives. It was the largest health department hearing in history.Damien LaGoy, an HIV and Hepatitis C patient, said the new rules would force him to the street to find marijuana, which helps him fight nausea caused by the plethora of medications he takes to keep him alive.“Imagine what happens to me if all 100 pounds of me goes looking for marijuana on Colfax Avenue?” LaGoy asked the Board of Health.He was named as a plaintiff in a 2007 lawsuit filed against the state for imposing similar rules. District Judge Larry Naves ruled at the time that the state had imposed the new rules illegally by not holding public hearings, and that the state had made a “capricious decision” to enact the rules. Naves’ decision is what brought the board to hold a public hearing yesterday. Opponents of the proposed rule changes cheered the twist of fate in their direction.LaGoy said it would be difficult for him to find a caregiver if they were all capped at five patients. He said his apartment is too small for him to grow himself, and he’s often too sick to grow.Despite losing once before, state health officials still attempted to pass the new rules, bringing to the hearing yesterday a handful of law enforcement officials who support the change.Marijuana laws overall hard to enforce?Police officials and district attorneys said the current law makes it very difficult for them to enforce overall marijuana laws.They called the current law “vague” and said the system makes it difficult to determine which caregivers are legitimate. “While Amendment 20 is clear in its intent, which is to provide for the use of medical marijuana, the definitions are vague enough that the deputy district attorneys can’t meaningfully give advice to those people on the street who are responsible for enforcing the marijuana laws,” said Helen Morgan, chief deputy district attorney for Denver’s drug prosecution unit. Two accounts were also given at the hearing yesterday of medical marijuana ending up in the hands of school children, including one student who found his father’s medical marijuana lollipop and shared it with friends. But supporters did not present reports or documents yesterday with details.Dr. Ned Calonge, chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, made the argument that capping caregivers to five patients is necessary to ensure quality of service. “We define a primary caregiver as significantly participating in a patient’s everyday care,” he said. “If those caregivers are making home visits to each patient, considering travel time, they could visit five patients a day.”Calonge added that it is not uncommon for dispensaries to advertise that they will pay the cost of medical bills and fees to add individuals to the medical marijuana registry. He called it a marketing ploy to gain customers. The doctor also testified that marijuana is an “unproven public health benefit with modest private health benefit.”One board member, Joan Sowinski, asked Calonge why his department didn’t push for rules on how to dispense marijuana in 2000 when the law was crafted.“Why is there nothing in the definition about providing medical marijuana,” she asked, as the room burst into applause.Calonge simply replied, “It didn’t seem necessary to put that in the definition.”Another board member, Dr. Philip Mehler, asked Calonge for the definition of chronic pain, then alluded to the broad definition that comes with it.Supporters of the rule change pointed out that the majority of patients use medical marijuana for chronic pain, which can be overly encompassing.Proponents also argued that the medical marijuana registry is getting out of control. Ron Hyman, registrar for the Colorado Department of Vital Statistics, said his office is seeing at least 1,000 additions to the registry every month.There are currently more than 9,000 Coloradans on the medical marijuana registry; state officials expect that number to climb past 15,000 by the end of the year.Hyman said one significant problem with the system is that there is no regulation process for medical marijuana dispensaries. He also added that his office is seeing incidents of fraud. But when asked by a board member for statistics on fraud, Hyman said he did not have those statistics.The board said that it will engage in discussions with stakeholders to possibly reach a compromise on regulating medical marijuana practices. Was board trying to overstep its authority?They were inspired by hundreds of opponents to the new rules who stood in unison to show their concern. Beyond concerns raised over the impact on patients, attorneys say the Board of Health does not have the authority to make changes to the law since it was approved by voters. They say only the Legislature, or a vote of the people can change the law.Attorneys representing opponents had planned on filing a lawsuit this morning if the vote did not go their way.“If you base your decision on all these premises that are wrong, then your decision will be wrong,” Sean McAllister, an attorney and co-founder of medical marijuana advocacy group Sensible Colorado, said to a room full of cheers.Caregivers also pointed out that they are a revenue booster to the state, paying all applicable taxes. Michael Lee, owner of Cannabis Therapeutics in Colorado Springs, the state’s largest dispensary with 400 patients, said he pays more than $30,000 in taxes every month. Attorney Rob Corry, who has a practice defending medical marijuana patients and was one of the lead attorneys planning on filing a lawsuit, said the state would have ultimately lost anyway.“I had the honor of suing Gov. Ritter and other state officials the first time they tried this regulation,” he said. “I’m a big supporter of recycling. But in this particular case, this is the wrong thing to recycle.”“People are going to be harmed,” he continued. “This is a life or death issue for this board.”Board President Glenn Schlabs called the meeting to a close after just over 12 hours, thanked the public for speaking, then reflected on his role in the process.“This was the greatest public service I’ve ever done in my life,” he said.Source: Denver Daily News (CO)Author: Peter Marcus, DDN Staff WriterPublished: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Denver Daily NewsContact: editor thedenverdailynews.comURL: Articles:Health Board Nixes Change To Colorado Pot Use, Dispensaries Oppose Colo. Pot Changes
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on July 22, 2009 at 08:25:13 PT
OT: This song made me think of Robin-mai bong city
Showdown At Big Sky lyrics by Robbie Robertson
see "The Lights" Video at top right!
]The video was a surprise bonus. It seems Robbie Robertson is from Native descent: I did not realize that before.museman & others, here are some other Robbie Robertson Native-themed songs available at the above link:
 Peyote Healing lyrics by Robbie RobertsonCherokee Morning Song lyrics by Robbie RobertsonGhost Dance lyrics by Robbie RobertsonGolden Feather lyrics by Robbie RobertsonBroken Arrow lyrics by Robbie RobertsonBig Sky was unkind to Robin, but Colorado has triumphed. The Native view is reawakening in mainstream society.Stand together. Be strong. Stand up for our rights.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 22, 2009 at 04:13:31 PT
Oakland Voters Approve a Tax on Medical Marijuana
July 22, 2009URL:,0,7339976.story
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 21, 2009 at 19:22:48 PT
Oakland Votes On Pot Tax To Boost City Coffers
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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on July 21, 2009 at 19:05:09 PT
I believe; of the original 13 states which have RE-legalized cannabis for sick citizens, Colorado is the only one which has put it in it's Constitution.One reason prohibitionists were unable to limit "caregivers" to 5 may be due to that fact.-0-Let Us also realize another fact.This state registry thingy amounts to extortion. It's better than what exixts in bumbfuck everywhere else but it's still extortion. Coercing sick citizens to fork over $$$ to government to use what God says He created and indicates is good on the very 1st page of the Bible is TWEAKED to say the least.But I guess that's another indication of just how good cannabis works; people will pay government for the privelidge...Completely RE-legalizing the SUPERPLANT ends government extortion directed toward the sick.We still have a load of dirt to move.Still have a lot of monsters to fight.But rejoice, We slayed a monster yesterday!
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 21, 2009 at 18:09:15 PT
One More Off Topic: The Eclipse
This is a better link from India.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 21, 2009 at 17:53:34 PT
OT: About The Eclipse
I'm watching the Eclipse on a webcam live and I thought some might want to check it out. I think this is from India.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by RevRayGreen on July 21, 2009 at 17:50:26 PT
George burns one down today.....
Govt IND patient smoke joint outside Iowa Board of Pharmacy today........sorry about the other link
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Comment #7 posted by RevRayGreen on July 21, 2009 at 17:19:56 PT
Maybe...........just maybe......
Medical Marijuana 2010 Iowa........."Iowa Officials agree to hearings on medical marijuana
By TONY LEYS • tleys • July 21, 2009Iowa pharmacy regulators will hold a series of public hearings, starting next month, about whether the state should legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.The Iowa Board of Pharmacy, which previously has expressed doubts about the idea, voted unanimously Tuesday to hold hearings on the issue. After the hearings, it will decide whether to make a recommendation to the Legislature next spring."below video from CCC.....good audio I promise Govt IND patient with his can in hand...
George McMahon on Carl's Cannabis Corner today
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on July 21, 2009 at 15:23:19 PT
That's pretty amazing. The truth unleashed.
"Board President Glenn Schlabs called the meeting to a close after just over 12 hours, thanked the public for speaking, then reflected on his role in the process.“This was the greatest public service I’ve ever done in my life,” he said."That must have been something to see and participate in. It's really something in the way of an awesome good feeling, a renewal of hope, just reading about it.Way to go people!Thank you for stepping up and standing up and being awe inspiring amazing.Thank you.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 21, 2009 at 14:55:13 PT
DPFCA: MMJ Resolution SJR14 Passes Committee
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 The State Senate Judiciary Commitee approved Mark Leno's resolution calling for federal recognition of Cal's medical marijuana laws by a vote of 7-3 last week.  The vote was along party lines, with Democratic Senators Alquist, Cedillo, DeSaulnier, Leno, Pavley, Wolk and Negrete-McLeod voting aye, and Repbulicans Strickland, Aanestad and Cox voting Nay. "Moderate" Republican Abel Maldonado was absent for the vote. As usual, the GOP remains stoutly in favor of big federal government over personal freedom and state's rights when it comes to drugs.   - Dale Gieringer (ex-Republican)-- Dale Gieringer - dale canorml.orgCalifornia NORML, 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114 -(415) 563- 5858 -
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 21, 2009 at 12:26:50 PT
Marijuana Laws are Enticing, but Remain Pipe Dream
July 21, 2009URL:
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Comment #3 posted by museman on July 21, 2009 at 11:49:33 PT
the real deal
“People are going to be harmed,” he continued. “This is a life or death issue for this board.”Yup, all you fake 'representatives' out there better start looking for some real work, and your little dogs (cops) too. 'Harm' indeed!Good going Colorado!Even I am starting to get excited!FREE CANNABIS FOREVER
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 21, 2009 at 11:37:11 PT
We are moving forward. I am really impressed with what the people accomplished in Colorado yesterday. They did a good job.
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Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on July 21, 2009 at 11:25:52 PT
O.T. News from the Huff Po
I was gone for a couple days romping in the woods!!!! Glad to hear all is still moving forward in the cannabis arena.I know, not all like the Califorication of the cannabis discussion, but they are moving US forward in a big way!!I lived in Colorado a couple of years back when Denver decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis for adults, needless to say it was a long and happy night watching the polls come in!!! I hope Colorado can keep the momentum going forward and show the rest of the country, California is not the only example of a well executed plan to make cannabis available to those who need it.
California Sprouts 'Green Rush' From Marijuana
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