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Medical marijuana: Rob Corry calls Dept. of Revenue draft regs "death by 1,000 cuts"

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Rob Corry.
At 9 a.m., Colorado's Department of Revenue will begin two days of public hearings at the Jefferson County Justice Center, Hearing Room 1, about its draft regulations for the medical marijuana industry. Among those hoping to speak is MMJ attorney Rob Corry -- but he's already fired off a six-page letter outlining his objections. Read it and hear more from Corry below.

When asked to synopsize his problems with the regs as written -- all 99 pages of them can be perused on the next page -- Corry says, "It's hard to pick out the more significant ones, because there are so many. But I think probably my greatest concern is the cameras.

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"This is an intrusive, Orwellian proposal. Every single patient who comes into a center and purchases any amount of medicine has to place his or her registry card on an overhead projector, and that person's name, address, Social Security number, the amount of the purchase and where they live will all be recorded. And there may be some discussion of confidential medical issues and how the medication affects the patient. All of this will be publicly accessible and subject to being hacked by a criminal enterprise. And any police officer at any level -- federal, state or local -- can obtain either live video or on-demand recordings and track these people down."

For people who live in Denver, he believes this prospect "may be slightly less scary. But if you live in a small town where everybody knows everybody else and the local sheriff knows exactly where and when you purchased medical marijuana and details about your private medical history... Well, that's just beyond the pale."

As a result of such surveillance, Corry believes "you going to see patients opting out of the center system: going back to caregivers or going underground. People who've started centers, very well-intentioned people, have invested thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands, to set up these centers and comply with expensive requirements. And these people are going to be left out in the cold, because their patient base is going to be voting against these regulations with their wallets and with their feet. Dozens of patients have told me they're no longer going to be shopping at centers if they're going to be filmed and their local law enforcement officer will be watching them while they're getting their medication."

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The cameras are only one of the elements of the regulations that concern Corry. "The overall tone reveals an intent to overrule the Colorado constitution, which as a legal matter cannot happen," he argues. "Standing alone, some of the regulations may seem reasonable. But the cumulative effect of things like perpetual labeling and filing a document anytime you transport medical marijuana is going to be death by a thousand cuts, especially for smaller centers. They simply don't have the resources to label everything and consult the government anytime they want to go to the bathroom."

His conclusion? "This is too much, too soon. We need to let the industry grow and flourish and then look at some limited regulations."

Page down to read Corry's entire letter to the Department of Revenue, as well as the most recent draft of the regulations:


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29 comments
STINGER
STINGER

i mentioned signing to get sudafed, for christ sake that was an example, i have made several comments in past all that were pro were received well, however any that were in the least bit inquisative were met with ridicule and rudeness, for god sake let both sides express their views without all the snide remarks, i voted for this and feel i have a right to express views

Alohas420
Alohas420

did any one go to todays hearing? and if so what happend??

Guest
Guest

I wish "the state" AKA "employees of colorado citizens" would devote their efforts to more important issues. MEDICAL marijuana should not be a POLITICAL issue. Big brother needs to get a life.

Possession of small amounts of marijuana in colorado is already decriminalized...these rules and regs put stress on patients and marijuana entrepreneurs and do nothing to curb recreational use.

If marijuana were in the same drug class as st john's wart and all the other herbal medications nobody would care. Reschedule marijuana and move on.

seabourne
seabourne

One would think the DEA and ONDCP has doctors or scientists on staff.Sadly this is not so - we would like to see that changed and believe it is a step to change.

Please sign the letter petition to appoint a doctor or scientist to the DEA and ONDCP.

http://criminaljustice.change....

Thank you!

AncientMedicine
AncientMedicine

If the regs aren't quickly disposed of -- entirely -- the patients and caregivers will have to have regular meet-ups, where all caregivers and patients are welcome and lasting relationships are made.

Guest
Guest

Only the last four digits of your social security number are listed on your card.

AncientMedicine
AncientMedicine

Thanks for putting so much time into this, Rob.

I'll admit, I've been quite vocal and quite upset that more centers and more attorneys didn't fight the attempts to regulate with everything they had right from the start, in large part because I have gotten most of my medicine from centers, since the regulations ran out my caregiver. And I want to be able to continue to frequent the centers, but I don't want to be filmed, recorded and micro-tracked by a "former" DEA agent.

But I recognize that there are many well-meaning center owners who justifiably thought that they needed to "go along to get along" with the regulations, in order to stay in business. It is unfortunate people didn't listen more carefully to what Romer stated on record he intended to do. But I can also appreciate the bind many of these dispensaries were in: close up the shop, lose all their money, and end their dream.

OR, do everything they could to stay compliant (or risk potential, serious legal consequences) in order to stay in the game.

The regulations and political goals of Robbers like Romer will destroy patient privacy and patient access and have divided this community; but we must seek common ground or we will perish.

And I also know that Rob Corry has done a TON to help medical cannabis patients, caregivers and owners in Colorado, which I greatly appreciate. Seeing Rob's objections today gave me hope. I hope some center owners also realize they stand to lose a substantial percentage of customers, if these regs are implemented.

When I've used the expression, "the cat's out of the bag," Simple, I am referring to the fact that the medical truth regarding the medical efficacy and medical safety of cannabis is a well-known fact that will never go away.

NEVER. No matter how much evil people try to distort the facts and/or divide the community..

Robert
Robert

I agree with Rob's objections -- I was not aware of the Dirty Hippie Rule, but it is part of a larger pattern of disdain for cannabis as medicine, indeed a refusal to acknlowedge the constitutional fact that it is medicine. Several speakers made any number of excellent arguments against both the constitutionality and the rationality of the regulations. I learned drom Dan Hartman that the D.O.R. plans to skirt the confidentiality requirements by not taking over and abolishing the Registry (Fern, their consultant, was apparently being paid to expound about matters she did not understand), or even to duplicate it through voluntary submition of patients' personal information; all they want to do is maintain a video record of 1) close-ups of patients' cards, and 2) the entire transaction, in case Ernie Martinez or Special Agent in Charge Bacon WANT to look at them (no reference to the constitutional requirement that law enforcement only be able to verify patients' presence on the Registry pursuant to being stopped or arrested was made, unsurprisingly). Patients and caregivers NEED to opt-out of a system which makes their confidential medical information freely availble to any law enforcement officer for the asking. My letter to the D.O.R. (somewhat amended) follows; I plan to submit more comment on the proposed regulations; the D.O.R. is accepting comments through Feb. 11 at MMEDRulecomments@dor.state.co.us and at the address below:

Robert D. ChaseColorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers1141 Emerson St. #3Denver, CO 80218(720) 213-6497

Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division Attn: Mia Tsuchimoto - Rulemaking Public Comments 1881 Pierce Street – Room 108 Lakewood, CO 80214

January 27, 2011

Dear Sirs:

As one reflects on the absolute mess Colorado government has made of medical cannabis, two instigators spring to mind: Denver’s pathetic excuse for a daily newspaper, which continues to wage a campaign of yellow journalism against dispensaries, and one candidate for Mayor of Denver, who, in a psychotic break from local political reality, hopes to profit by having grandstanded about closing 80% of dispensaries. Former Senator Romer and his colleagues’ arrogant determination that medical cannabis should be regulated like gambling and alcohol disregards the plain language and clear intent of Article XVIII, Section 14 of our Constitution, in which the People of Colorado designated the “state health agency” (and none other) as the body responsible for the medical marijuana registry; there are fully thirty-six (36) references there to the “state health agency” and its responsibilities, and none whatever (0) to the D.O.R. Until and unless the People elect otherwise, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (C.D.P.H.E.) will remain responsible for administering the medical cannabis program. Utter disregard and disrespect for the supreme Law of Colorado is the foundation of quicksand upon which you propose to make rules today.

Whatever disingenuous and unsound arguments might be advanced in favor of the Department of Revenue (D.O.R.) having statutory authority to regulate any aspect of medical cannabis, it is explicit in the Constitution and in statute that the Medical Marijuana Registry is confidential and strictly the responsibility of the State health agency. Article XVIII, Section 14 (3) (a) states: “No person shall be permitted to gain access to any information about patients in the state health agency's confidential registry, or any information otherwise maintained by the state health agency about physicians and primary care-givers, except for authorized employees of the state health agency in the course of their official duties and authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies which have stopped or arrested a person who claims to be engaged in the medical use of marijuana …” – in particular, it is illegal for D.O.R. employees to gain access to the “information about patients in the state health agency's confidential registry, or any information otherwise maintained by the state health agency about physicians and primary care-givers”, or to permit anyone else to do so. There is no exception in the Constitution allowing the D.O.R. to create its own database of patients or caregivers, but a paid, outside consultant to the D.O.R. recently proposed eliminating the Registry maintained by the C.D.P.H.E. in flagrant disregard of the Constitution. Under C.R.S. 18-18-406.3.(5) “Any person … who releases … any confidential record or any confidential information contained in any such record that is provided to or by the marijuana registry of the department without the written authorization of the marijuana registry patient commits a class 1 misdemeanor.” – transferring data contained in the Registry to a D.O.R. database is explicitly criminal under this statute. On behalf of patients, caregivers, and doctors, and every taxpayer in Colorado, I enjoin the D.O.R. from attempting to breach the confidentiality of the Registry.

Ignoring the unconstitutionality of HB1284 and the proposed regulations altogether, proceeding to promulgate these regulations now would be untimely in light of the fact that the General Assembly is actively considering legislation which could conflict with their provisions. Irrespective of the fact that HB11-1043 as introduced may have been intended not to conflict with most of the present regulations, we can have no confidence that the General Assembly will not significantly alter the supposed legal basis for any regulations before those now proposed could be implemented. To use any more of the resources of D.O.R. developing, much less introducing regulations for dispensaries, growers, and manufacturers of cannabis-infused products before there is legal foundation for them would be irresponsible. I urge the D.O.R. to withdraw the regulations for further consideration until the end of the legislative session, or at least until it becomes clear as to whether the General Assembly will make significant changes in the statutes relating to medical cannabis.

Sincerely,Robert D. Chase

Simple
Simple

WOW

Rob Corry,

This is ALMOST comical. I was a big supporter of you when I first came to Colorado about five years ago. Now, your comments pretty much make me laugh. This is your statement now? How is this new news?

Its obvious that you are now realizing that your "investments" were beesters at best. You all thought that people would have no problem being on camera, you thought, naw, they're bluffing they wont do this. But you all "hundreds of thousands of dollar spending" dispensary owners are now reaping the true benefit of what you have done to "patients" and caregivers.

Let me ask you a question sir. Do you think that before marijuana was in the constitution that people got their "meds" from a dispensary? No way. Whats the biggest reason for a red card? "pain" meaning where is your true customer base? its obvious that you don't make your money from sick and dying people its obvious now that your business is lacking and the big customer base is going elsewhere. The cat is out of the bag people. And yet now all of you "dispensary owners" whom most of you weren't here in the first place, thought that once Obama said he wasn't going to go after people who are in compliance with the laws, you all were in the free. But now there are audits going on in Cali that could ruin the whole entire "Cannabis Business." News flash dispensary owners: wake up and realize that were not in the old market anymore.

Rob Corry, you are a greed hungry person who wants the fame and fortune. Why are you saying this nonsense now and basically complaining about how this sucks? Its completely too late for dispensaries. There is nothing here but a piece, basically saying these rules suck. Like a child being treated unfairly at a highschool pick up football game and going and telling the school newspaper to print a story about how the "other side" are being bullies.

This age of advocacy is over. The age of consultants should be over. I believe obama said it best: we grant visas and green cards where people can come and get the best education in the world, and then we send them back over to be our competition. You "consultants" trained these caregivers just to get a few hundred dollars. now all of the people who buy weed are going to the caregivers (growers) or the black market dealers. Its odd how we care about our money in the now but seem to lack the confidence and competence to sustain a wealthy future. Its obvious now the dispensary owners and the advocats and consultants that they are listening to, are ruining the "business" of "Medicinal Cannabis."

I have no sympathy for the subjects in this report. Ive said it before and ill say it again... you "dispensary owners" had a chance, when these rules and regulations starting being a reality, to either ban together and try to strike down these obtuse and intrusive laws. Or go at it alone. Well is seems that you made a bad decision, eh? It will take years to get this business going again, well on paper that is. And if you couldn't see that before and are now blabbing about it, well then Rob, I don't think you belong. And if you did see it coming and didn't do anything about it, well that's just worse.

Hope the new high times cup is fun for all of you! I wonder who will buy first place in Colorado?

STINGER
STINGER

I HAD TO SHOW I.D. THE OTHER DAY TO GET SUDAFED, I DON'T SEE A PROBLEM AS LONG AS IT IS LEGAL , DOESN'T WORRY ME A BIT, LOOKS OVERBLOWN BY A FEW PEOPLE

Shredder M
Shredder M

I've been stocking up on seeds since I first heard about the proposed monitoring system. As of today, I'll never step foot in an MMC again. Mission Accomplished Timer - one way or another you will close 80% of the MMCs. Underground dealers, lawyers, prison industry and cops are the only people who benefit from this legislation. Heckuva job Romey!

anonymous
anonymous

What has Corry's Colorado Wellness Association been up to this past year? They dropped off the radar after a promising start.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Mother Nature's Call to Arms against the DOR on http://mypot.co where we've been surveying guests since July if they will still purchase at a dispensary if they are being recorded and monitored......60% say they won't go to dispensaries if their purchases are tracked.......see the report via Wufoo on http://marijuana.wufoo.com/rep...

dp
dp

maybe you' should check out the DP?

Guest
Guest

stinger...there are several issues here. one point is that marijuana is federally illegal and medical marijuana patients fear federal prosecution even though they are within state law....sudafed has federally recognized medical uses, isn't a schedule I drug, and to my knowledge isn't federally controlled. at medical marijuana centers id's are always checked you must have a special license for marijuana (on you also) so it's not really comparable to sudafed. and now, big brother wants to breathe down our necks even though we've jumped through all the hoops going to doctors, notaries, and paying fees annually. where does it end? people should not have to sacrifice the right to privacy in order to receive medication.

as a patient i appreciate your support of medical marijuana. please don't take responses as personal attacks.

Robert
Robert

Both institutions (and especially the DEA) are illegitimate and should be closed.

Andrew
Andrew

Depends on when the card was issued, I believe. Newer cards have the first 5 digits redacted, but older cards do not. Not sure when that change was implemented by the CDHPE, but there may be some not yet expired cards out there with the full SSN. And who's to say the CDPHE won't start printing the full SSN on cards again anyway? It seems every time I blink some bureaucrat is making up a new rule.

Patient
Patient

telling it like it is. it may seem harsh, but it's pretty accurate. rob corry has won many court cases but he promised everyone a lawsuit last spring to kill 1284 and where is it?

i thumbed up you, Simple, it didn't register. perhaps robert (poster) thought you included him in the advocacy part, because he does do allot of advocating (and he probably doesn't make any money off of his work.)

the ones who should be taking responsibility are the business owners (it's their business that will be lost when no one shops there.) and the attorneys.

Robert
Robert

Please don't be simple. Your response to Rob's points against the regulations is completely inappropriate. "This age of advocacy is over" -- and the age of blather begun (one must suppose). I'll take a winning advocate for the cause over some maunderer with a grudge any day.

kathleen chippi
kathleen chippi

One packet of Sudafed does not get you a 5 year mandatory minimum like one cannabis plant can.

patient
patient

Sudafed kills. It has a LD50.

AncientMedicine
AncientMedicine

And when you buy Sudafed you are not committing a federal crime, for which you could possibly do time, like if the DEA guy decides your medicine needs are more than he thinks you need.

Denvercruiser
Denvercruiser

Was law enforcement watching you on camera while you purchased the Sudafed? Was your purchase documented in a permanent file that's accessible to Federal agencies that deal specifically with Sudafed transactions? Did you have to hold your ID up to a camera so that Law enforcement officers could see your license number and address? I think it's a little bit different, I"m pretty sure the clerk just wanted to verify your age.... kinda like they do with that REALLY SAFE DRUG, ALCOHOL. (I wonder if the recent death of that valet had anything to do with good old harmless booze?)

Simple
Simple

I do apologize to you Mr. Chase and anyone else I offended, for my harsh comments, I, in no way want to cause harm or distress to you or your friends. So please don't take my harsh realistic viewpoint of the cannabis business, personal.

I have lost the faith in advocacy. Im simply trying to make the point that I truly believe some of us have been blinded by big dollar signs. Let our ego get control. And maybe even drifted a bit on the moral/ethical side. It seems being an advocate, lawyer, consultant, whatever you could call it... is not helping the Industry, as much as it used to. Sometimes one needs to switch gears, change, evolve, revolutionize... But hey man, it is what it is. It just seems like were playing the wrong game and what not. I believe Kathleen Chippi said it best: "You can't play games with these people because they change the rules of the game, as you play it."

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