Weigh Costs and Benefits To Set Policy
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Weigh Costs and Benefits To Set Policy
Posted by CN Staff on June 19, 2010 at 05:09:51 PT
By Larry Abrahamson
Source: Coloradoan
Colorado -- In 2000, Colorado voters approved an initiative that permitted the use of marijuana as a medical aid in easing the pain and discomfort experienced from specific chronic or debilitating diseases. After all, why shouldn't a doctor be able to authorize marijuana?It seemed to make sense to many - as long as it was restricted to six or fewer plants and less than 2 ounces of pro-cessed marijuana in the user's possession.
Since initiatives do not afford the benefit of debate and testimony that the legislative process provides, many did not see the unintended consequences looming on the horizon. Although law enforcement and district attorneys, including now-Attorney General John Suthers, were vocal about the possible adverse impacts, the amendment still passed.In retrospect, they may have been right in nearly every aspect of their prediction.The unintended consequences: A loosely defined "primary caregiver" was interpreted as a person supplying marijuana to another. Doctors were charging up to $500 per authorization without physicals or verification of the severe pain. The six-plant, two-ounce maximum was being ignored by new establishments called "dispensaries." Dispensaries were protected by confidentiality rules in the Department of Health from revealing the names of their patients, thus thwarting law enforcement efforts to detect violations and abuses. No quality control or testing standards for marijuana strength, dosage or frequency of use.Note: Larry Abrahamson is district attorney for the 8th Judicial District in Larimer and Jackson counties. Snipped   Complete Article: Coloradoan (CO)Author: Larry AbrahamsonPublished: June 19, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Fort Collins ColoradoanWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on June 19, 2010 at 06:51:01 PT
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