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Colorado medical marijuana caregivers may be under tighter scrutiny in the near future as state legislators work to pass bills requiring caregivers to be more open about the product they grow. Lawmakers in Colorado are concerned that it may be harder to disseminate between legitimate caregivers and what they consider to be basement drug dealers. A bill currently pending in legislature is aimed at creating a database of the estimated 40,000 registered caregivers in the state who currently are not under the same kind of security or reporting requirements as commercial dealers. Caregivers are concerned this may put them at risk for police harassment as well as increased crime.
Boulder cannabis enthusiasts are enjoying stronger turnouts for the annual 4/20 rally. Last year, a crowd of around 10,000 people gathered together in what is referred to as the Norlin Quad near the University of Colorado campus. Approximately 20 to 25% of that number was estimated to be students of CU. Many cannabis users claim Boulder provides a more comfortable setting than Denver though spokespeople for CU tend to find the event annoying and not a very good representation of what the college is about. In the past, efforts have been made to deter the crowd of marijuana gatherers such as fertilizers on the lawn and turning on the sprinklers, but attempts have been unsuccessful. Police officials will be keeping an eye on the crowd but keeping a distance. However, any littering will be met with steep $1,000 fines.
The use of medical marijuana in
Colorado, while legal, still poses problems for people who have been
recommended by doctors to use the drug to manage pain caused by
accidents or long-term illnesses such as cancer or AIDS. Access to
the drug remains difficult, since most users reside on the western
slope and travel to dispensaries on the Front Range is hard for some
who are too sick to travel or grow their own.
In 2000, Colorado voters passed an amendment to allow patients who were recommended by a doctor to possess less than two ounces or grow up to six plants to help with the management of pain. Although doctors are allowed to recommend patients to the State Health Department, they are not able to prescribe medical marijuana in Colorado. With over 5,000 registered medical marijuana users in the state, getting from the recommendation to the actual product has been a difficult process.