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Many users of medical marijuana in Colorado have had a growing concern regarding their personal information becoming public through state-maintained databases. This concern grew with the passing of legislation in 2010 assigning regulatory authority of medical marijuana centers, Infused Product Manufacturers and growers to the Colorado Department of Revenue. This legislation required the Colorado Department of Public Health to share limited, non personally identifying information to the DOR in order to verify the number of patients a marijuana center is serving as a provider. There is currently no such database which allows the two agencies to share information. Should this database be created, it will be intended for law officials to have access to verify whether individuals have a valid ID card. However, they can only access the system using information provided by the patient directly and no names or personal information will be shared.
According to House Bill 1261, drivers in Colorado using medical marijuana while driving may be subject to a DUI arrest. The bill is intended to set limits on the amount of THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that a driver is allowed to have in their system while driving. House bill 1261, stating the amount of THC can only be 5 nanograms, has one more vote in the House before it moves on to the Senate. The Cannabis Therapy Institute, a Colorado-based medical marijuana advocacy organization, is currently urging supporters to oppose House Bill 1261, claiming the bill to be unnecessary and unfounded and is aimed at targeting medical marijuana patients for DUI arrests.
Two recent controversies have been tied to Colorado medical marijuana and Colorado marijuana dispensaries. In Denver, police are investigating an alleged connection between a residential shooting and Denver Medical Marijuana. According to police, although the shooting happened in a private residence, the shooting may have been related to a medicinal marijuana transaction. Denver police are not giving any more information at this time. In Weld County, a Colorado marijuana dispensary owner is receiving a daily citation from police due to a paperwork issue. Apparently, the owner’s paperwork was not processed in time to avoid the 75 day moratorium imposed by the county. As a result, his business is receiving a daily citation until he either closes his business or the matter is resolved in court. The legitimacy of both cases could be argued, but the fact remains that more controversy and litigation will be on the horizon. For now, the court of public opinion is still in session as lawmakers, businesses, and caregivers prepare for the inevitable increased regulation of medical marijuana in Colorado.
A crowd of approximately 10,000 people
gathered recently at the University of Colorado to celebrate the use
of both Boulder medical marijuana and the overall use of marijuana.
As more states are beginning to legalize medical marijuana, Colorado
and other states are beginning to see more and more rallies to
support overall legalization of the drug.
The Boulder rally, knows as International Cannabis Day, was also celebrated in Civic Center Park in Denver with approximately 3,000 people gathering together to show support. Police were stationed at the events to ensure public safety, but no arrests were made. The holiday has gained attention over the last several years as issues of medical marijuana use have been put more and more in the spotlight.
Although a voter-approved amendment to
the state constitution has deemed medical marijuana in Colorado
legal, conflicts still arise. The City of Ft. Collins refused to pay
a couple’s claim for over $200,000 after plants that were seized in
a raid were left to rot and die.
The confiscated plants were returned to the couple over a year later when a judge ruled that the couple qualified as Colorado medical marijuana growers. The claim was later filed by the couple who stated the plants were dry, dead and moldy, but the Police claim they were not required to keep them alive because the couple did not have the proper permits. According to the couple’s attorney a civil suit will probably be filed in state court in an attempt to force the city to pay for the damages.
Medical marijuana in Colorado has found another roadblock. A young Brighton High School student and her boyfriend, who is not a Brighton High School student, were denied access into the Wings Over The Rockies Museum in Denver, where Brighton High’s prom was being held.
According to police officers on duty, there was a prominent marijuana smell present, although searching provided no results. Jason Schweinsberg, who was attending the prom with Brighton High student Sarah Heideman, states he is registered as a Colorado medical marijuana user to manage long-term pain caused by a car crash, but had not used the marijuana since early that morning. Although marijuana use in Colorado is illegal, medical marijuana use is legal for registered users.