CO Health Board Backs Off Medical Marijuana Rule
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CO Health Board Backs Off Medical Marijuana Rule
Posted by CN Staff on November 03, 2009 at 16:30:09 PT
By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- Colorado health officials on Tuesday narrowed the definition of who may sell marijuana for medical reasons, reacting to a state court ruling that caregivers must have personal contact with clients and do more for their welfare than simply supply the drug.Medical marijuana users and suppliers said they worry the state health board's decision will make it harder for patients to obtain marijuana, and more expensive for dispensaries to operate.
The state constitution defines a caregiver as an adult who "has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition."In August, the health board of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment tried to clarify the rules by defining "significant responsibility" as simply supplying marijuana.Last week, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that medical marijuana caregivers must have personal contact with clients and do more than just provide marijuana to patients. That prompted the state health board Tuesday to suspend its August definition of "significant responsibility.""What we came up with is a definition that is now not legal," said board member Kindra Mulch. "We tried to clarify it, and it seems like we muddied the waters."The board will decide Dec. 16 whether to eliminate its "significant responsibility" definition. And although the board will take public comment before the vote, it doesn't appear the board has much of a choice but to make its decision final."We're falling back on the (state) constitution because at this point, we don't have anywhere else to go," said Jim Martin, executive director of the state health department.Patients and others attending Tuesday's meeting objected to the board's decision  and the fact the meeting was called with less than 24 hours' notice."I'm concerned that they're going to regulate it too tightly and in doing that, they're going to put a lot of the medical marijuana back in the black market," said Marena Collins, 53, who drove 60 miles from Colorado Springs for the meeting. Collins said she uses marijuana for back pain.Roger Ronas, 51, called the board's decision "sickening." Ronas said he is legally blind because of diabetes and suffers from severe nausea, muscle spasms and a lack of circulation in his legs that makes them "feel like they're on fire" at night.Ronas said he fears the decision could mean he'll lose his caregiver because "he would be fearful of providing me with medical marijuana because he's not doing some of the other things that the appeals court defined."The appeals court ruled in the case of a woman convicted of drug charges for supplying marijuana to registered medical users whom she had never met. The woman, Stacy Clendenin, argued that her conviction should be overturned because she was their caregiver.In their decision, based on rulings in California and Washington, the appeals court judges said a primary caregiver is someone who is consistently responsible for someone's housing, health and safety.Clendenin's attorney, Robert Corry, said Tuesday his client will appeal to the state Supreme Court. Corry criticized the health board for not allowing public comment Tuesday."This is a secret meeting," he said shortly after a board member told him he was out of order for insisting on speaking about the Clendenin case. "The people are not being allowed to participate. This is illegal, Mr. Chairman. And I'll see you in court!"The board said the public comment portion of the hearing is slated for its December meeting.Pierre Werner, president of the DrReefer dispensary, said if the ruling sticks it will increase his expenses."This is going to force me to hire more people to provide these (additional) services to the patients, and in the long run, those costs are going to be passed down to the patients," said Werner, who held a sign that read, "I need a doctor."Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Ivan Moreno, Associated Press Writer Published: November 3, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on November 03, 2009 at 19:22:18 PT
Go baby go!
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on November 03, 2009 at 19:03:57 PT
Breck does it.
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Comment #4 posted by MikeC on November 03, 2009 at 19:00:33 PT
They did it!!!!!
Breckenridge voters OK marijuana decriminalization
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 03, 2009 at 18:49:40 PT
NPR: Drug Policy Changes Under New Director
November 3, 2009 The Department of Justice will no longer prosecute medical marijuana users who comply with state laws. Some reform advocates hope the move means decriminalization of pot may be in the works. Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske talks about the direction of U.S. drug policy.URL:
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 03, 2009 at 18:20:27 PT
Results: Maine Medical Marijuana Act
Yes -- 17, 816 -- 65.38% No -- 9, 434 -- 34.62% 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on November 03, 2009 at 18:06:39 PT
US CO: Voter turnout high
US CO: Voter turnout high in Breck for marijuana question 
Webpage: 3 Nov 2009Source: Summit Daily News (CO)
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