Medical marijuana amendment shredded by lawmaker after confrontation with advocate

torn up bill cropped.JPG
Big pic below.
Passions were aflame in the medical marijuana community yesterday, with both a department of health MMJ advisory committee meeting and a judiciary committee hearing on cleanup bill HB 1043 stirring controversy. Now, we learn Representative Jerry Sonnenberg actually tore up a 1043 amendment after a verbal set-to with advocate Miguel Lopez.

Let's start with Representative Sonnenberg's recollections of the incident.

jerry sonnenberg.jpg
Jerry Sonnenberg.
According to Sonnenberg, he had drafted an amendment to HB 1043 that "would have excluded the use of video tapes or recording devices in medical marijuana dispensaries" -- an aspect of the bill that MMJ attorney Rob Corry described as intrusive and Orwellian in a post published last month. "It's a liberty thing for me... an invasion of our privacy," Sonnenberg maintains.

After drafting the amendment, Sonnenberg says he followed his usual procedure by sharing it with stakeholders on all sides of a particular issue to get their feedback. But when he was doing so with law-enforcement representatives, a camera operator who seemed to him to be affiliated with Lopez began recording the conversation. "I said, in a very calm voice, 'Could you please not video me while I'm having these discussions?'" Sonnenberg recalls.

In response, Sonnenberg says both the camera operator and Lopez, a pro-marijuana legalization gubernatorial candidate in 2010, as well as an organizer of events like the Mile High NORML Cannabis Rally, objected. "They said they didn't have to," Sonnenberg notes, "and I said, 'I know you don't have to. I'm just asking you to.'"

torn up bill.JPG
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute
The amendment, retrieved from a Capitol trash can.
When Lopez didn't back down, Sonnenberg invited him to talk over the matter in his office, and they moved into a hallway. En route, Sonnenberg "said, 'I'm trying to help here' -- and that's when he really blew up. So I said, 'Fine,' and tore up the amendment and dumped it in a trash can."

Sonneberg then told a lobbyist from a pro-marijuana organization -- he declines to identify her -- "that I wasn't going to run the amendment. She said, 'Why?' And I said, 'It's apparent they don't need my help.' She said, 'Tell me who you talked to,' and I pointed him out. And she went out to try to have a discussion with these people, saying, 'Do you understand what you've done?' And Miguel spit on her."

Somewhere in the midst of all this, state troopers were called to intervene, and while Sonnenberg didn't personally witness what took place at that point, he says one officer subsequently gave him a card on which he wrote that Lopez had been kicked out of the Capitol.

miguel lopez photo cropped.jpg
Miguel Lopez.
Lopez's take on what happened is notably different from Sonnenberg's -- but there are some similarities. "We were asking for transparency, and one of the representatives ripped up a bill in front of us and threw it in the trash," he says. Afterward, he says he was confronted by "one of Josh Stanley's lobbyist thugs" -- Stanley being the owner of Budding Health dispensary and a former principal in Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation, an advocacy organization that was shaken by finger pointing and assorted accusations of financial impropriety in May 2010. Betty Aldworth attempted to revive CMMR during the second half of last year, but she recently closed down the organization after deciding that its reputation was beyond saving.

Interview requests have been forwarded to Stanley. When he gets back to us, we'll update this post.

According to Lopez, the lobbyist "started screaming that I had messed things up -- messed up things for their plan. And Josh Stanley began instigating name-calling in the hallway." At that point, he says, "the state troopers came, and they took sides with him. But I calmed down. I was not banned from the capitol. I was not escorted out" -- and he makes no mention of spitting on anyone.

In Lopez's view, Sonnenberg's decision to shred the amendment "was an amazing display of what we suspected all along -- that big business is coming in to try to monopolize the industry and make it so we don't have fair trade... They're neglecting to hear the people's voice. All we want is fair, common-sense equality for all business people, including small caregivers and people who got squeezed out from the five-year felony rule. But now, all the big players who are already in there don't want the little guys to have the opportunity to come in and organize their businesses."

With this incident behind him, will Sonnenberg revive the amendment? In a word: no. "They made it very clear they don't need my help," he says. And while he stresses that "I believe in personal freedom and believe these video recordings would indeed be an intrusion on those personal freedoms," he's not ready to commit to supporting such an amendment if it's submitted by another lawmaker -- at least not until he's had a chance to read it over.

"I do take some responsibility in this," he allows. "I should have left it alone. I shouldn't have tried to explain to him that I was trying to help." As he sees it, "confrontation on either side is not a good thing."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana HB 1250 bill would outlaw MMJ edibles: Read it here."

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Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana Addiction

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Baldwinchris30
Baldwinchris30

To all I hope it concerns,

I am a cancer patient who has been labeled terminally ill. Although I do not accept this diagnosis, this is unfortunately where I stand at this point in my life. This letter is written to inform the medical marijuana public of the utter scam that I have uncovered within the Colorado Medical Marijuana “advocate” movements. On February 10th, I went to the capital to speak out against House Bill 1043. I had admittedly not read the entire bill which was, as I understood was an effort to clean up last years mess of a bill. I was slated as one of the last to testify, yet upon having the opportunity to read the entire bill as I waited and heard testimony from the opposition, I had a sudden change of heart. I immediately noticed that the opposition were there to not refute items in 1043, yet rather cause discourse and angst against what they believed to be against their civil rights. Well, these rants had nothing whatsoever to do with the contents of 1043 or it’s predecessor 1248. These opponents were simply there to oppose any and all regulation regarding to medical marijuana. As I decided to abstain from my opposition testimony, I further wanted to hear what the people had to say who were in favor of this bill. Upon doing so, I immediately realized that I have been on the wrong side of the coin. Hearing testimony from Law enforcement, and members of the group that they call MMIG, I realized what was at play here…..There are two diametrically opposed groups who are at each other’s throats. Those being that of Laura Kriho, Timothy Tipton, Miguel Lopez, (the Cannabis Therapy Institute, a group which I have been a member of for quite some time). I was witness to a confrontation at the break in the hearing, which involved a lobbyist from the group MMIG, Miguel Lopez, and a Representative, (Sonnenburg?) (SP?) And one of the members of MMIG, Josh Stanley. This confrontation peaked my interest to say the least. I witnessed Miguel Lopez, Laura Kriho, and another woman whom I can only assume was a party to Laura and Miguel, involve in a battle of words. Laura Kriho was persistently asking Josh Stanley how much he had to pay to write the legislation that harmed every medical marijuana patient in the state of Colorado. I further stayed for Josh Stanley’s testimony. I was intrigued by what he had to say. He made it abundantly clear that he was not here to talk about legalization or recreational use but rather to define a clear line between what the voters intended for medicinal marijuana. His testimony struck me as something that I could certainly benefit from should the research and development portion of the bill be passed. That he was working on not simply raw product, but rather having the capability to extract THC from the plant and conduct test studies in order to treat cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, and many other forms of diseases. This struck me between the eyes. This is the exact type of research that I have been seeking. While marijuana in it’s raw form is extremely helpful to me, I do not wish to receive the “high” associated with the ingestion of it let alone continue to have to smoke or vaporize it. I was fortunate enough to have to the opportunity to set a meeting with Mr. Stanley on Monday, Feb 14th. He took the time to explain the difference between his goals and that of other advocacy groups. Josh offered to introduce me to a myriad of people who are in my current situation. Further, he expressed that he would be honored to produce his new formulas in a trial effort to assist in the treatment of my stage of cancer once Congress passed the language of the research and development portion of the bill. I have a new understanding of the two sides, which are at odds. I understand that they both have their own agendas and do not seek to judge either. However, I must say that after being educated by Mr. Stanley and his staff, that the people truly in need of this form of treatment would do much better to support the cause of research and development rather that what I know consider to be the radicals who simply want zero regulations. Zero regulation offers no advancement of treatment for people like me. I intend to be around for some time to come. After reading and seeing the video that was published on CTI’s website in regards to the negative side of this group MMIG, and after witnessing Miguel Lopez’ and Laura Kriho’s outbursts against the lobbyist and the representative, I have formulated my own opinion that it is better to be on the side of those who truly seek to expand and research this alternative medicine rather than side with those who wish to continue to keep this out of the hands of regulation without regard to persons such as me who truly desire further medicinal benefit as opposed to smoke able raw product. On a side note, the person operating the camera should have kept it on long enough to witness Miguel’s true actions. I was embarrassed personally by the way he acted and he should be ashamed of himself.Respectfully,A fighting cancer patient from Colorado.

Commjexpert
Commjexpert

Ashamed you have it SO DISTORTED, "WE", the Laura Kriho's, Timothy Tipton's, and others in our almost decade old community of real patient (non-business owners) have been pushing for real science and research. I suggest you visit http://www.phoenixtearsfoundat... to be educated on some of our efforts. Josh Stanley and his ilk, are clearly on the side of big business, big pharma, and an effectively legion of lobbyists and paid off legislature. His lies about the science and medicine of mmj are insane, sorry. AND, "we" are not for NO regulation, just an effort which takes into consideration privacy, confidentiality and the safety of patients and caregivers, alike. This continuation of a law enforcement bill gone wrong is NOT the side a fighting cancer patient from Colorado should be on, your misdirected anger should be removed to understand what is really going on......not just some quips from a smooth talking COMMR embezzler, or MMIG BIG MONEY interest. PLEASE get educated on WHO is in the field with the actual patients, and who is too busy in legislature paying off, and making up lies and negative PR. THE patients and caregivers in this state DEMAND nothing more, truth, justice, compassion, privacy and confidentiality. Stanley's quote of his 3,000 patients 'liking' cameras to keep them safe and have their information available throughout the net to government entitites is NUTBAG!!

SSJERRY
SSJERRY

I have seen Miguel in action and it is truly embarrassing to watch. I know he tries to come off as a advocate but when people try to respond he shuts them down before they finish with belligerent expletives and makes an ass out of himself and the patients he is trying to advocate. I also notice when walks to a microphone people start to cringe. If he was a true advocate then he should pass on the knowledge he is trying to put out to someone with better linguistic and personal skills.

Robert
Robert

Miguel tries. Whatever his failings, he mostly has the sense not to attack other activists in public. In reading the comments here it is apparent that most people don't.

Robert
Robert

Chris, I did not witness the confrontation, and I do not endorse every word or action of every radical (if I may so term the group to whom you alluded and of which I count myself a member), but I maintain that we represent patients far better than Stanley, CMMR, the MMIG, etc. We oppose the unconstitutional transfer of responsibility for medical cannabis from the State health agency to the D.O.R. The People made the CDPHE responsible because they endorsed the medical use of cannabis; they did not regard it as a vice to be regulated like alcohol or gambling, and put medical professionals in charge instead. I won't go into all the recent history which has shown the CDPHE to be actively hostile to its constitutional responsibility, the political establishment determined to curtail the commerce in cannabis while squeezing as much money out of it as possible, and Mr. Stanley et alia committed to the cartelization of that commerce -- if you are buying his sales pitch at this late date, you have not paid enough attention up till now. We oppose HB11-1043 on the same grounds as we did SB10-109 and HB10-1284; it is a continuation of Romer's unconstitutional scheme to deprive caregivers and doctors of their prerogatives and to de-medicalize medical cannabis. If Colorado's doctors were not so determinedly ignorant of the science demonstrating the utility and promise of cannabis and cannabinoids; did more of them have a social conscience; were patients far better politically informed, radicalized, and organized -- then we might realize the intent of Article XVIII, Section 14 of the constitution and compel our State health agency to develop this important medicine. Letting Stanley and his cronies control what is left of medical cannabis as the State and City devour its carcass does not redound towards making cannabis a primary tool in oncology -- only the Federal government can remove cannabis from Schedule 1 (and that is why we should go after the DEA directly), but it sure would help were the CDPHE to stop fighting the Constitution and to encourage the development and study of cannabis-based therapies instead. The bottom line is that as a group we lack the political savvy and wherewithal to do much more than let out a few yelps, and can't even tell the difference between our friends and our enemies. I don't know how a few seductive words from Stanley can make you forget the central issue: his group is working with our enemies to give primary responsibility for medical cannabis to a new police force within the Department of Revenue -- the Constitution says that it is the responsibility of the State health agency instead; there's no getting around this. There was plenty of testimony about the particulars of unconstitutional HB11-1043 (but we have been placed repeatedly in the position of not being able to follow committees' discussions because current drafts and amendments are not made publicly available).

It is not possible to separate all patients, all dispensaries into sheep and goats, cast the latter into perdition, and bring the former to salvation -- patients' best protection is to join with all people who use cannabis to overturn Prohibition. Our fascist drug laws are beggaring our country and outrage our Constitution, the General Assembly is full of fascists who support or condone these laws, and we owe them no feigned respect. Many of Sonnenberg's voting constituents work in the Sterling Gulag -- he represents prison guards. I believe that any act of resistance against American fascism is justified; all that is under discussion here is some minor verbal unpleasantness. Confrontation is not to be avoided -- it should be be fomented and made general until these fascist laws are repealed!

Anyone who imagines that we should be trying to wheedle concessions from the likes of Sonnenberg, or who, after watching Sonnenberg's staged tantrum, blames Miguel for supposedly spoiling something for patients is just a lamb to the slaughter, and such a hopeless dupe that he or she could not possibly help patients. We are not in the position of conceding to the imposition of reasonable regulations, or of trading taxes and fees for legitimacy -- that appears to be an almost ineluctably seductive idea, but it does not gibe with the reality of the passage of laws attempting to restrict or even prohibit medical cannabis in a myriad of ways.

Guest
Guest

Robert: are you basically saying you and other self-proclaimed patient advocates won't be happy until all regulations concerning medical marijuana are overturned? ----- This will never happen. For good or bad, medical marijuana in colorado is being regulated and will continue to be regulated. Your anarchy, overthrow the government tactics may be great for a marijuana legalization campaign but are at the expense of legitimate medical marijuana patients. Not everybody can be completely satisfied with the regulations but perhaps we could get them worded in a way that everyone can live with.

Pros for regulations: Quality standards for medicine, business operations, etcCons for regulations: Big brother, big brother, big brother, lack of patient protection laws to protect patients from being discriminated against by big brother, employers, etc

It's the USA....everything (food, alcohol, medicine, etc) is regulated....welcome to democracy. Your current extremist views of marijuana laws are as detrimental to the colorado medical marijuana program as the politicians you rant about. The smart approach would be to find specific items to address/amend in the bills instead of trashing all of them. Please find some common ground and learn to compromise.

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

No, I am not, and I am sick and tired of people glibly accepting others' mischaracterizations of my position. Reasonable regulation would begin by respecting the explicit constitutional assignment of responsibility for medical cannabis to the State health agency. I won't be happy until all the unconstitutional regulations of medical cannabis are overturned -- I don't expect to be happy any time soon (but we do eventually expect some relief from the courts). There is no reason to address what resaonable regulation might be until at least a few legislators are willing to do more than pay lip service to the Constitution. I will not compromise on principles, and adherence to the letter and intent of Article XVIII, Section 14 is an absolute principle.

P.S. The General Assembly is full of supporters of our current drug laws. Our current drug laws are fascist. The General Assembly is full of fascists. That is a syllogism.

Guest
Guest

Wow...thanks for the info...I'll add that huge chunk of info to the puzzle.

There are several polarized views on the medical marijuana regulation issue and I'm somewhere in the middle. I'll agree that many of the opponents the HB1284 and subsequent bills appear to want zero regulations and want live by amendment 20 only. While I don't think many of the regulations are absolutely necessary, there are a lot of reasonable things in the bills. I wish the patients and patient advocates would focus their efforts on getting the new regulations to a place where the patients are happy with the bills instead of saying they all suck. I haven't heard many specific things about what needs changed with the regulations from patient advocates...but I would love to hear specifically what needs removed or added to the bills to make patient advocates happy. Medical marijuana regulations are here to stay and patient advocates need to find a way to accept that.

Several months ago I submitted some ideas about how to amend HB1284 to make more patients happy....20 items or so, many of which did not pertain to business regulations but rather patient rights and other issues I have with the medical marijuana laws. I'm no expert in the situation but I am a patient, I have read every piece of colorado medical marijuana law proposed to date, and I read every medical marijuana news article and comment and try to see the problem from all angles. Here is the letter I submitted two months ago...I received no responses to my submission from the committee or CTI but recent legislation attempts leads me to believe that those in control of the situation do listen when very specific issues are presented in regards to medical marijuana business regulations.

As far as I can tell, the following points have been noticed...

5 - caregiver language is being put back to what it was6 - removing restrictions on doctors recommending marijuana16 - remove the language and regulations that compromises patient confidentiality18 - remove caregiver patient restriction count

...but if politicians are going to be hounded every time they try to help patients then they're going to be weary of tackling any of these issues. I am beginning to think that some people are just going to bitch unless there are zero medical marijuana regulations. This of course is not a reasonable expectation at this point and anyone that believes that will ever be the outcome is delusional. We need specific items addressed in the regs. Don't mean to spam...I posted these ideas once before on the westword several months ago. Perhaps michael roberts can conjure another story from all the comments to help find a solution to this mess. Definitely have enough content in the comments of this article to substantiate one.

-----------------------------submitted to: MMRulecomment@state.co.us and info@cannabistherapyinstitute.com-----------------------------

patients have every right to be concerned about the proposed database changes...see the following articles...

Colorado Database Leak Puts Informants In Jeopardyhttp://www.npr.org/templates/s...

Hired Hackers Gain Access To State Computershttp://www.krdo.com/news/26128...

-----------------------------

draft of 20 mmj regulation ideas/concerns in no particular order....

------------- 1 -------------

Remove this unconstitutional section:

"PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2011, A COUNTY, CITY AND COUNTY, OR MUNICIPALITY MAY ADOPT AND ENFORCE A RESOLUTION OR ORDINANCE LICENSING, REGULATING, OR PROHIBITING THE CULTIVATION OR SALE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA. IN A COUNTY, CITY AND COUNTY, OR MUNICIPALITY WHERE SUCH AN ORDINANCE OR RESOLUTION HAS BEEN ADOPTED, A PERSON WHO IS NOT REGISTERED AS A PATIENT OR PRIMARY CAREGIVER PURSUANT TO SECTION 25-1.5-106, C.R.S., AND WHO IS CULTIVATING OR SELLING MEDICAL MARIJUANA SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 14 OF ARTICLE XVIII OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION UNLESS THE PERSON IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL LAW."

According to this statement, if you live in a county that has passed a "resolution" to prohibit the sale/cultivation of marijuana, and you grow or sell mj, and you or one of your patients fail to renew your mmj license in time and get caught by the government you are not entitled to an affirmative defense. -- if the mmj registry database ever gets compromised this could seriously be abused ... delays in receiving an mmj license after paperwork has been submitted can add to the confusion.

------------- 2 -------------

"IN RECOGNITION OF THE POTENTIAL MEDICINAL VALUE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA, MAKE A REQUEST BY JANUARY 1, 2012, TO THE FEDERAL DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION TO CONSIDER RESCHEDULING, FOR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES, MEDICAL MARIJUANA FROM A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE TO A SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE."

This is good but the major delay in making the request prolongs the problem. This request should be made ASAP. People are presently being prosecuted for cruel sentences based on marijuana being a schedule 1 substance. This delay could cost many years of their lives in prison. Why not Jan 1, 2011 or March 1, 2011 or July 1, 2011?

------------- 3 -------------

Lower the patient application fee to say $50 and put $10 from each registration into a trust fund that can only be used to pay lawyers that protect patient rights on a state and federal level. Approval for who gets the money and for what litigation cause could be done at a meeting where only medical marijuana patients are allowed to attend and put it to a vote after the lawyers present their intentions; or give all the patients a pin number that can be used in conjunction with the patient ID or whatever to vote or comment or take surveys online. This should be retroactive meaning 20% of all application fees already collected by the CDPHE to date must be transferred into this fund.

------------- 4 -------------

Make patient registration easier by eliminating the notary requirement and accept copy of patient drivers license and standard physician prescription instead. What family doctor's office has a notary??? If you want the average doc to be able to recommend marijuana this needs to be done. CDPHE can call the doc like a pharmacist does and verify the prescription and patient info.

------------- 5 -------------

Leave caregiver language as-is...don't try to re-define it again.

------------- 6 -------------

Remove the illogical parts of the language that places restrictions on which doctors can recommend marijuana.

------------- 7 -------------

Add language allowing MMCs to partner with patients and caregivers to obtain marijuana as an alternative to growing their own or obtaining from other MMCs. Log the transactions tied to patient license ID and only allow a patient to sell X ounces of marijuana to a dispensary they are registered with in a given month (similar to plasma collection centers). MMCs can contract out X number of plants to caregivers/growers that are subject to similar regulations to that of MMCs.

------------- 8 -------------

Add language stating that all marijuana trials with any medical relevance be prosecuted under state laws, in state court. Any attempt to circumvent state laws requires a mandatory appeal by the state attorney general. Affirmative defense in medically relevant marijuana trials must be allowed in such proceedings in accordance with state laws.

------------- 9 -------------

Add language that states the state attorney general must sue the federal government/agencies or any local government/agencies if they interfere with medical marijuana users, growers, or distributors operating in compliance with state laws.

------------- 10 ------------

Add language that states any city, county, state, or federal law enforcement officer operating in colorado must defer to state and local marijuana laws, trumping any conflicting federal laws. Failure to uphold state and local marijuana laws would be considered an act of interference and require a mandatory lawsuit by the colorado attorney general on the offenders.

------------- 11 ------------

if a patient chooses to grow and obtain from a MMC or Caregiver, make it clear how many plants a patient can grow, and how many plants the caregiver/mmc can grow for a patient

"(f) AT THE TIME A PATIENT APPLIES FOR INCLUSION ON THE CONFIDENTIAL REGISTRY, THE PATIENT SHALL INDICATE WHETHER THE PATIENT INTENDS TO CULTIVATE HIS OR HER OWN MEDICAL MARIJUANA, BOTH CULTIVATE HIS OR HER OWN MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND OBTAIN IT FROM EITHER A PRIMARY CAREGIVER OR LICENSED MEDICAL MARIJUANA CENTER, OR INTENDS TO OBTAIN IT FROM EITHER A PRIMARY CAREGIVER OR A LICENSED MEDICAL MARIJUANA CENTER. IF THE PATIENT ELECTS TO USE A LICENSED MEDICAL MARIJUANA CENTER, THE PATIENT SHALL REGISTER THE PRIMARY CENTER HE OR SHE INTENDS TO USE."

------------- 12 ------------

allow patients to split their plant counts between two caregivers, two mmcs, or a caregiver and a mmc.

------------- 13 ------------

increase patient plant counts to 8 -- 4 in veg, 4 in flower (unrooted clones do not count). it is harder to be self-sufficient than people think. an extra plant in veg and flower would give a patient more leeway in timing plants in a perpetual grows. also, increase the amount of medicine a patient can have to 4 ounces. 2 ounces is strict especially for those unable to grow year-round or for patients that only have one grow box unable to do perpetual grows. as an alternative to plant counts the regs could instead allow a total of 40 or 50 square feet of combined veg+flower grow space to allow dynamic plant counts depending on setup.

------------- 14 ------------

add language protecting outdoor medical marijuana cultivation provided the grower is acting in accordance to state law. local laws cannot prohibit outdoor cultivation for personal medical use if the patient is within the standard plant count

------------- 15 ------------

add laws protecting patient rights as renters and parents. a landlord cannot evict a person solely on the basis of using or growing marijuana for personal use provided the patient is operating in accordance with state laws. a patient cannot be prosecuted for child abuse solely on the basis of using or growing marijuana provided the patient is operating in accordance with state laws. A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting in accordance with colorado medical marijuana laws, unless the person's behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.

------------- 16 ------------

remove the language and regulations that compromises patient confidentiality. no shared database between law enforcement and the CDPHE. no fingerprinting. don't treat us like criminals. this is probably the hardest problem to solve. how does a pharmacy do it? or how does california do it? shouldn't a photo id check and scannable (with a bar code) medical marijuana id be sufficient? scan my driver's license barcode, scan my mmj license, done. wouldn't this work?

patient id numbers should not be tagged on plants, product, etc. track them some other way. a patient won't "own" a plant anyway. how about giving a MMC one unique barcode label for every plant they are licensed to have that would follow the plant and product?

------------- 17 ------------

add the language "An employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, terminating or imposing a term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based upon the person’s status as a registered cardholder or a registered qualifying patient's positive drug test for marijuana." (from arizona laws)

------------- 18 ------------

remove caregiver patient restriction count...possible alternative...if more than X patients or X plants a caregiver must register with the DOR? County? and are subject to inspections like MMCs.

------------- 19 ------------

add language stating that any city, county, state, or federal law enforcement officer operating in colorado must contact the CDPHE and inquire on the legal medical status of any marijuana suspect before executing warrants based solely on the speculation of marijuana being used, grown, or distributed and failure to do so would be considered an act of interference with state medical marijuana laws subject to mandatory prosecution; if an individual was found to be a patient or caregiver upon contacting the CDPHE the warrant would be deemed invalid and in order to proceed the law enforcement agency involved would have to appeal and get additional approval from... X ?? another judge? the state attorney general? who? -- executing a no-knock warrant on a licensed patient based solely on the speculation of marijuana being used or grown is prohibited and failure to comply would be considered an act of interference subject to mandatory prosecution. executing a no-knock warrant on a licensed caregiver based solely on the speculation of marijuana being used, grown, or distributed is prohibited and failure to comply would be considered an act of interference subject to mandatory prosecution. -- ignorance of an individual's right to medical marijuana under state law is not valid justification for failure to comply.

------------- 20 ------------

Add reciprocity.... A visiting qualifying patient with a current medical marijuana card, or its equivalent, issued under the laws of another State that also allows the medical use of marijuana, is authorized to purchase marijuana from medical marijuana centers and engage in the medical use of marijuana. -- similar to michigan laws

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Terrific amount of information, Crandle. Thanks for pulling it together.

Guest
Guest

imo the filming approach is immature but i do understand the need for transparency in government--the content of this amendment should have been public knowledge. miguel was within his rights but these tactics tend to invoke hostility...i'd be pissed if someone were filming me in the capitol...politicians are people too (i think). regardless, sonnenberg over-reacted and the sonnenberg side of the story appears to have been blown out of proportion. thanks for posting the vid.

Tha Docta COD
Tha Docta COD

# 1.. Sonnenberg is a moron. If anyone truly believes his outright manipulation (that he would dismiss a law for the "people" over an encounter with one person), then you are just as stupid as him.

#2 I seen the video and know EXACTLY how it went down and YAY for the media for always being fair, just, and accurate. HA! Seriously Westword, WTF?

#3 To the comment whores and drama queens, get out and DO SOMETHING yourself instead of screaming silently from your keyboard. PARTICIPATE, DON'T HATE!

That is all, thank you...Drive thru!

Kim S
Kim S

I will be recommending to all of my clients, friends and fellow activists that they discontinue their association with the Westword until a retraction is made. Regardless of the fact that the Westword is just a small local paper, they should still be held to journalistic standards. Afterall, they claim to provide "hard-hitting, award-winning journalism..." They should at least be able to stand up to their own claims.

The Westword has made ALOT of money off of this movement. It could even be said that this community is the only reason they are still in print. I know very well that mistakes happen in journalism all the time and this is completely understandable, but they need to be corrected if the Westword expects to be taken seriously as a journalistic publication.

Is the Westword a journalistic publication, or an entertainment rag... you can't have it both ways.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Kim, we quoted Miguel Lopez saying he was not thrown out and didn't spit on anyone. We also quoted the Representative in question telling the story from his perspective. We're dedicated to giving everyone a chance to share their thoughts. That said, we'd love to see copies of the photos you mention in your other comment. Phone me at 303-296-7744 when you get a minute. Thanks.

Kim S
Kim S

Michael, you are right. I fear I may have been jumping to conclusions and displacing my anger, which should have been directed at Sonnenberg and the anonymous woman ...one, or both of them is lying and I cannot fault the Westword for that.

Hindsight is 20/20 and I do owe you an apology. I realize that the Westword did NOT state this as fact, but instead as Sonnenberg's version. I do feel like it might have been wise to be a little more critical of Sonnenberg's statements, or to question why he would tear up a perfectly good amendment all because of one activist... it is not too late to ask him about that. Also, once the video surfaces, I hope you will hold Sonnenberg accountable for lying to you or at least do a follow up article. Regardless, please accept my apology... the Westword will continue to have my support and my respect.

Unfortunately, as a professional photographer, I can only provide my images to commercial publications that offer compensation. If the video footage wasn't out there, I would gladly hand them over to prove Miguel's innocence, but I don't currently see a need, since the footage will be out any day now.

Thank you for responding, and again, please accept my sincerest apologies and know that I see the Westword as much more than an "entertainment rag". Feel free to contact me anytime with questions... Kim@KimSidwell.com

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Kim, I enjoyed our conversation a few minutes ago. There was really no need to apologize, but your thoughts are much appreciated anyhow. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Kim S
Kim S

To "Truth" ...I have already apologized for my previous statements about the Westword and admitted that my anger was misdirected. Like I've already stated, Miguel does not need my help on this one, if he did, I would send the images directly to him.

I have been documenting this community unpaid for years, attempting to show the truth and have donated A LOT of my time and energy to various non-profits in this community. The Westword is a commercial publication, if they're interested in covering this subject, maybe they will send a photographer to these hearings from now on, but perhaps I should have been more specific... my images from that afternoon are not available to The Westword (for any price), they are available to Miguel (for free) and he knows it.

I know that it's very easy to criticize from an anonymous, unregistered screen name but please, give ME a break... photographers have to eat too ;)

Truth
Truth

"Unfortunately, as a professional photographer, I can only provide my images to commercial publications that offer compensation."

so, you'll only show the truth if you are paid? and you try and call the Westword out for not holding to some standards?

give me a break, Kim.

Kim S
Kim S

I just wanted to take a moment to say that I was present at the Capitol that day and Miguel was NOT thrown out and he did NOT spit in anybody's face. I spoke with Miguel, in person, in the Capitol AFTER this alleged altercation occurred and I have photos with timestamped meta-data that proves he was not thrown out of the Capitol.

Regardless of your personal feeling towards Miguel, it is wrong to allow lies to be told... we cannot afford for this community to be divided ANY MORE than it ALREADY IS. Please people, let's work past our differences towards one common goal... THE RE-LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS!!!

I think the bigger question here is regarding Sonnenberg... why would he tear up a perfectly good amendment just because one activist disagrees with him? It doesn't make sense. Maybe Miguel pointed out some legitimate flaws. I don't know, but if that is the case, then we should be thanking Miguel, not attacking him.

Larry Alfonso
Larry Alfonso

I was an eyewitness to this event, I am not affiliated with anyone. I am a patient that made the trip from southern Colorado to Testify. Now I will testify here to you all. All that took place is simply this, Representative Jerry Sonnenberg was having a meeting about this torn up amendment. All Miguel Lopez asked of Representative Jerry Sonnenberg is not to hide information to the public. As Americans, do you think the Government should be holding mock hearing for the public well in private meeting and closed chambers making a whole entirely different or hidden amendment happen? Miguel Lopez was demanding Transparency. That was it! No spitting, and God bless him because he got angry. We all should be standing on our feet shouting I AM AS MAD AS HELL AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!!! Today we witnessed on our television what the power of the people can do with this Mubarak situation. That is what America lack. Do not hate Miguel Lopez for doing what we all are too God Dam Afraid to do.

Larry Alfonso
Larry Alfonso

FYI I reposted because I wanted any nae sayer to know who I am unlike the majority of the people on here bashing Miguel who choose to remain anonymous

War03Vet
War03Vet

I was an eyewitness to this event, I am not affiliated with anyone. I am a patient that made the trip from southern Colorado to Testify. Now I will testify here to you all. All that took place is simply this, Representative Jerry Sonnenberg was having a meeting about this torn up amendment. All Miguel Lopez asked of Representative Jerry Sonnenberg is not to hide information to the public. As Americans, do you think the Government should be holding mock hearing for the public well in private meeting and closed chambers making a whole entirely different or hidden amendment happen? Miguel Lopez was demanding Transparency. That was it! No spitting, and God bless him because he got angry. We all should be standing on our feet shouting I AM AS MAD AS HELL AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!!! Today we witnessed on our television what the power of the people can do with this Mubarak situation. That is what America lack. Do not hate Miguel Lopez for doing what we all are too God Dam Afraid to do.

observer
observer

I get that Chippi and Lopez and the rest would like to see government work differently, but it doesn't now. You can change government slowly, over time, or quickly in a revolution. Cannabis isn't an issue that will start a revolution, and fighting with legislators and sticking cameras in their faces won't change it from the inside.

In the meantime patients need what protections can be found for them in this distribution system. Sorry to say it, but we need people working inside the political system right now.

Kathleeb Chippi
Kathleeb Chippi

They have been and are working in the political system and hb1284, sb109, hb1043 and hb1250 is what you got. Didn't those industry (MMIG) groups lobbyists do such a good job all around?

Sen. Steadman said it all when asked what he would help pass for patients--he said patients don't have lobbyists down here fighting for anything, so they must not have any problems.

Hows that for a touch of reality? Things go slow because patients can't afford lobbyists and big business can. Just because that's the 'American way 2011', we should continue down the wrong path?

Miguel V
Miguel V

You, good citizen, get a high-five.

DisappointedinDenver
DisappointedinDenver

God, I think Robert Chase's damage control effort speaks for itself. Whoever called Miguel a "high school reporter" is giving him far too much credit. Spitting is something that shouldn't make it past preschool.

I'm rarely embarrassed to be a part of this community. What a disappointing article to wake up to.

Robert
Robert

Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius alium

Guest
Guest

well.... where's the vid? where are miguel lopez' comments denying the accusations? this is an open forum...

Robert
Robert

I've seen it, and it corroborates what two eyewitnesses have reported here regarding Miguel's conduct. Miguel has sought legal counsel, as is appropriate. Slander isn't criminal, but it is still illegal. I hope that the video will be made available soon.

War03Vet
War03Vet

What part did you not understand? There was NO Spitting.

Robert
Robert

You are welcome to characterize my posts as a "damage control effort", but what disappoints me is that some (unknown number of) people (who insist on posting pseudonymously) assume that the allegation is true. I am given to understand that video of this incident will be uploaded soon -- what I want to know is whether any of Toosmart4theirowngood [Moderator] MMJsupporter [Moderator], Info, Mr. Mezzrow, and DisappointedinDenver plan to apologize for leaping to the conclusion that Miguel spat on anyone after it becomes apparent that he did not. I discovered thatToosmart4theirowngood and MMJsupporter are supposed to be moderating this discussion by copying and pasting their screen names (which added the helpful text "[Moderator]") -- these two are pushing a false consensus and failing in their charge. Michael's comment (in response to a moderator of this forum) itself implies an uncritical acceptance of Sonnenburg's account. I think that readers are due an explanation.

Guest
Guest

Robert...apparently if you copy the space after anyone's name it pastes as moderator. Just a tag put on all names by the code. No conspiracies here...well, at least no proof of conspiracies...

<img class="dsq-moderator-star" height="14" src="http://mediacdn.disqus.com/1297462908/images/themes/narcissus/moderator.png" title="Moderator" width="15">

------------------------

Robert [Moderator] Today 01:19 PM

------------------------

I would like to see the video though.......

Robert
Robert

You're right -- I double-clicked on only those two names.

Blame the Real Criminals
Blame the Real Criminals

Let's get something straight here -- no one even knew Rep. Sonnenberg had an amendment to outlaw cameras. There were no copies of the bill or the amendments available at the hearing. How the fuck was anyone supposed to know what he is doing.

His shredding of his own amendment in some petty outburst of anger at Miguel shows how LITTLE REP. SONNNENBERG CARES ABOUT PATIENTS! HOW CAN YOU HAVE ANY RESPECT FOR THIS IDIOT IF HE SHREDS HIS OWN AMENDMENT!!?!?!?!

Get a clue, people, the jackboot of the state is STOMPING on your rights, and the media is blaming it on an ACTIVIST and groups like NORML are STUPID enough to believe the CRAP they read, and STOMP on another activist cuz it seems like the easy thing to do.

NORML WAS NOT AT THIS HEARING!!!!! NO ONE FROM NORML TESTIFIED AGAINST THIS CRAP BILL. NORML HAS NOT SENT OUT ANY ACTION ALERTS ABOUT IT. NORML is working for the OTHER SIDE! What more evidence do you need?

The real criminals are the legislators, not the impassioned and pissed off activists.

Anyone who is willing to read and believe that it was Miguel's fault that this amendment got pulled is an A-WIPE. Miguel didn't shred the bill -- Sonnenberg did! Put the blame where it belongs -- on this lame ass legislature that harmed thousands of patients cuz he got pissed off at one activist. WAKE UP PEOPLE and PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS

Kathleeb Chippi
Kathleeb Chippi

Exactly, and the "clean up" bill is ONLY in EXISTENCE because the STATE LEGISLATURE PASSED hb1284 last year, a poorly written, unconstitutional bill that was 10 years after mmj legalization.

Send in the Clowns
Send in the Clowns

Robert Chase and Miguel Lopez are clowns. No one takes you or your bullhorn seriously: the only thing your antics manage are to enrage possible allies and disgust everyone else.

You act like self-indulgent children. Grow up.

Robert
Robert

You are an ignoramus. A bullhorn is useful in communicating with people who would otherwise not hear. I'd prefer to switch to TV/radio/billboard/print/Internet ads, but the bullhorn cost ~$27 and I'm a little short right now. One of the greatest obstacles we face are clueless people who persist in maintaining against all evidence the fiction that the General Assembly might draft reasonable legislation regulating medical cannabis. Politics are contentious. People who use cannabis often are not. We need many, many more feisty activists.

John Doe Radio
John Doe Radio

The rude tactics no longer work. Even if they ever did, you and Miguel need to rethink your approaches. Conflict and bum-rushing politicians is not the way to get it done.

Kathleeb Chippi
Kathleeb Chippi

wow--shame on John Doe Radio--who wasn't there and is never there ---when the video is released proving this was all a lie, I'll be looking for your apology to everyone.

Robert
Robert

this is just disappointing -- you are just spouting the same admonitory crap as all the other clueless people who weren't at the last meeting of the CDPHE's medical cannabis advisory committee or in the hall outside the hearing on HB11-1043. You might at least watch Kyle's video before intoning that BS about conflict. I've got news for you: the War on Americans IS a conflict! If people who use cannabis cannot (or, as you would have it, should not) confront politicians over the fascist drug laws, there is no chance of ever ending Prohibition. Even while almost a million Americans are being arrested for cannabis every year, the general public remains unconcerned about the injustice and contradiction of constitutional principles represented by our drug laws, unfazed by our exploding prison population and world leadership in incarceration, and undeterred from a program of further prison-building. Even while people we know are falling victim to this war every day, you have the temerity to take advocates for cannabis to task -- on what grounds? You weren't at the meeting or the hearing, and you seem incuroius about the specifics of what happened too.

Guest
Guest

Politicians and patient advocates: please be reasonable. Forget your feelings of anger and hate. This is about patients in pain that want to be able to use the medicine that helps them most without having to give up rights fundamental to the idea of america. Removing the unconstitutional parts of HB1284 is the right thing to do. I hope the politicians that have the power to fix this mess will realize this, put their personal feelings aside, and do the right thing no matter how hard it is.

... Where is cesar millan when you need him?

Robert
Robert

HB11-1043 would not have accomplished that even in its original form, and it is part and parcel of the General Assembly's usurpation of constitutional prerogatives. Disregarding its unconstitutionality, were there now reason to believe that the State intended to support the system it set up to distribute marijuana, HB1043 could be supported on pragmatic grounds, but it does very little to address our concerns. Several commenters here are grasping at straws -- how pathetic to try to blame legislators' failures on Miguel Lopez!

Guest
Guest

Robert: I appreciate your efforts but chill out! Bringing anger and hostility to the situation does not help anything. Be calm assertive (see cesar millan).

The sky isn't falling. Perhaps Sonnenberg will be subpoenaed for the chippi hearings.

Guest
Guest

The situation is very frustrating....but things could be worse. At the end of the day I still have medicine and that is a good thing. Robert...you don't deserve to be taking hits for lopez' actions but you are defending him with your comments so you're going to catch some flak. I still hope some good will come out of this. Everybody needs to stay calm. "don't panic"

Robert
Robert

The present situation is a legal outrage. Whatever impression recent coverage and comments may have conveyed, I am (generally) in control and bringing any hostility and anger to bear when and where appropriate. The sky is not falling, but the General Assembly has hijacked the Constitution and thumbs its collective nose at us. It is true that CTI, myself, and most other activists are always looking for ways to convey a sense of outrage at injustice to others, because that is a powerful motivation to get involved. I consider myself to be more careful in my rhetoric than most -- MMCs are now serving patients (though the cost of medicinal cannabis remains high) but restrictions taking effect soon may further compromise their viability. More important than whether there is now plenty of medicine available in Denver is whether the statutes and regulations regarding medical cannabis comport with the Constitution -- they do not, and the discrepancy threatens the entire cannabis community.

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