Medical marijuana: Advocates differ about MMJ cleanup bill HB 1043 hearing (PHOTOS)
Some very different takes on yesterday's judiciary committee hearing on HB 1043, a medical marijuana bill co-sponsored by Representative Tom Massey and Senator Pat Steadman. Jill Lamoureux, who also weighed in on a contentious health department advisory meeting, doesn't think the bill is highly problematic. As for the Cannabis Therapy Institute's Laura Kriho, she found the session's tone objectionable. Photos below.
Big pics below.
Speaking yesterday afternoon, Kriho was upset that none of the nineteen amendments to the bill had been published. "When I asked if there was a copy of anything, they literally laughed at me," she said.
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute Patient Joe Beaver prepares to testify.
Among the amendments that concerned her, she highlighted an extension of the current MMJ dispensary moratorium to July 1, 2012; the elimination of confidentiality for grow locations; and a requirement for primary caregivers to register with the Department of Revenue and obtain a photo-ID card.
Kriho also considered the behavior of judiciary committee members to be disrespectful to members of the MMJ community -- so much so that she wrote a letter of complaint reproduced below in its entirety.
For her part, Lamoureux prefers to focus on the legislation itself, which has been rewritten to some degree. For instance, a passage that would have made it easier for individuals with past felony convictions to work in the MMJ industry was excised, as was a fix to the so-called 35 day rule, which asks that patients not buy medical marijuana until 35 days after an application is turned in to give the health department time to approve or reject the submission.
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute Kyl Marsh prepares to testify.
More positively from her perspective, the bill equates patient records with other medical records, allows private citizens to create MMJ-related investment vehicles, and allows centers to provide medical marijuana to indigent patients -- although she feels the definition of indigence is currently too narrow.
Her overall take? "I would say we were disappointed that the 35-day rule fix was taken out, but we were happy with the confidentiality measures added to patient records. And without having read the entire, re-engrossed bill, we didn't see anything hugely detrimental to patients and centers.
Moreover, the latest iteration won't necessarily be the final version.
"The bill will go to Appropriations, then it will go to the House floor, and then it will go to the Senate side," she points out. "So there will be many opportunities to try to make changes, mainly adding more patient privacy provisions."
Page down to see more photos from yesterday's session courtesy of the Cannabis Therapy Institute, as well as Kriho's letter to the judiciary committee: