Medical marijuana: Video of rep shredding MMJ amendment shows no spitting by advocate

miguel lopez and lobbyist.JPG
Video below.
Last week, we told you about Representative Jerry Sonnenberg shredding a medical marijuana amendment after a run-in with advocate Miguel Lopez. At the time, Sonnenberg said Lopez had spit on a lobbyist and been expelled from the capitol -- claims Lopez specifically denied. Now, a video of at least part of the incident has surfaced, and it appears to support Lopez's version.

In the original post, I quoted Sonnenberg as saying that after asking a cameraman to stop recording a conversation he was having with law-enforcement representatives, he invited Lopez back to his office. As the clip shows, he actually invited someone else to his office, with Lopez and the cameraman following.

To be fair to the representative, I may have gotten confused about this distinction. But what's clear from the clip is that while Lopez was certainly passionate in his hallway conversation with Sonnenberg, he seemed neither abusive nor out of control. As such, it's not terribly clear what provoked Sonnenberg to tear up the amendment in front of Lopez -- an act he performs with notable calmness.

Sonnenberg then leaves, with the cameraman asking the question, "Was that really an elected official?," before returning with a lobbyist whose name Lopez doesn't know. After Sonnenberg points her toward the cameraman and Lopez, she begins berating them for destroying hopes for a "really friendly amendment," declaring that Lopez "fucked it up." During the exchange, which was witnessed by former Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation mainstay Josh Stanley -- who has yet to respond to Westword's request for an interview on this subject -- the lobbyist was generally more aggressive than Lopez. No spitting can be seen taking place.

Lopez considers Sonnenberg's side of the story to be filled with "lies," which don't surprise him, "coming from a Republican." He believes he was right to call for transparency in regard to the amendment because "they were trying to pass secret laws," and is particularly critical of the lobbyist and Stanley, who he sees as being more interested in cutting deals to benefit "their big business plan" than in looking out for the medical marijuana community as a whole.

The video below was posted by the Cannabis Therapy Institute, and it ends before Lopez encounters capitol officers. However, Lopez says there's footage showing that part of the incident as well. When we obtain the additional video, we'll update this post. In the meantime, here's the first clip:

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

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Denvercruiser
Denvercruiser

I got an email from Representative Sonnenberg today in response to some questions I had asked regarding the incident. I can produce the email if anyone would really like to see it, but he essentially apologized for overreacting to Miguel's requests for transparency and said he believed in the amendment.. The tone of the email was surprisingly respectful and apologetic, if anyone else has received a response from the Rep., let me know.

Kim S
Kim S

He should publicly apologize to Miguel and he should be held accountable for his lies.

Denvercruiser
Denvercruiser

This was his response to my question, "Will you be reintroducing the amendment?" :

It passed out of committee without the amendment being offered so the best opportunity will be to amend it in the Senate. If it is amended in the Senate and comes back to the House I will work to see that the privacy amendment stays on.

Thank you!

Jerry Sonnenberg

State Representative

4465 CR 63

Sterling , CO 80751

970-581-8648

Organiccannabis
Organiccannabis

You people are ignorant. As if Josh Stanley would get on westword and defend himself against you internet losers. Miguel is an asshole and everyone knows it. Never once has he carried himself with any class. Fight for the real patients and get on board with research and development. The rest of you can still get high and listen to "Truckin" while watching cheech.

Denvercruiser
Denvercruiser

I figured that I would just post the responses I've received from Rep. Sonnenberg for all to see. When I initially wrote him, I misunderstood and thought that he claimed to have been spit on, that is the "inaccurate assertion" he is referring to. Here it is:

Thanks for your note. Unfortunately I believe your assertions are incorrect.

There was never a statement that I was spat on and I have never made any such accusation. I have no answer to why I reacted to Mr. Lopez attitude the way I did – it was wrong and unprofessional. I have made it clear that I believe in liberty and personal privacy and that is why I had the amendment drafted.

Thank you!

Jerry Sonnenberg

State Representative

4465 CR 63

Sterling , CO 80751

970-581-8648

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

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Wantonlewis
Wantonlewis

For the record, as of 2/17/11, fully one week after the hearing on HB1043, the extensive amendments that were made to the bill have NOT been posted on the General Assembly website. So Miguel's words ring true 7 days later "No transparency in Government here." HB1043 was completely rewritten before the hearing, no one at the hearing was allowed to see the amendments to the bill, and a week later no one still knows what the amendments were. That is what Miguel was pissed about, Secret Laws being made in Secret by Secret Police. Whoever thinks Miguel had no right to be upset is an idiot! If the People just sit meekly back, the Politicians will make slaves out of them.

Mary
Mary

Oh Miguel spit at her. I can ASSURE you of that. I was there saw the whole thing unfold. Do you all really think that the cameraman there with Miguel would actually present that part of it? Its not a real mind bender folks.

Larry Alfonso
Larry Alfonso

He did not spit, and he was not escorted out.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

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Spade
Spade

Mary, oh Mary! Josh Stanley -- Is this "Mary" your alter-ego? Glad to see you have a feminine side. If Miguel would have spit on her in front of someone, guaranteed he would have been in jail. You and all your MMIG greedmongers LIES are standing tall representing your GREED, not patients.

And if Mary is not Josh Stanley, why don't you stand up and give us your last name and phone # so the press can contact you to confirm what you saw?

Robert
Robert

I don't think Kyle would lie, Josh.

Hermit
Hermit

$1 Billion budget shortfall and this is the best our congress-critters can do for us? The clock is ticking, June will be here before we know it and they just don't get it. The medicinal cannabis market was working just fine until all the reverse engineered legislation screwed everything up, it didn't improve anything. Now that money the state raided from the registry fund will not be there in the same amount and it will go lower still as patients abandon this charade and find another marketplace which will respond to their needs.

Nice job legislature, DOR and CDPHE, I hear Home Depot is hiring for 17 hours a week at minimum wage if you lose your cushy state jobs.

Mary
Mary

Let me assure you. Miguel DID spit at Kara Miller. I was 3 feet from this incident. Law enforcement could certainly verify this as well. The fact that the camera did not capture this, is that any wonder?Further, he spit on Brett Barney in last years hearing and I was there for that as well.Bravo Miguel. Thanks for all you do you genius.

Patientlawsuit
Patientlawsuit

Give it up Mary, i mean Josh, i mean Kara! We see the video. We see and hear the unprofessional legislature and lobbyist. We know the cops would have removed Miguel if spitting had occurred. An apology from Sonnenberg is in existence.

Kim S
Kim S

"Mary" you are lying. I don't know who you are, but I was present at the Capitol that day and Miguel did not spit on anyone. I am not hiding behind a cloud of anonymity the way you are and if needed, I would swear to this in court. If law enforcement could verify it, Miguel would have been arrested. You should be ashamed of yourself... regardless of your intentions, lying is unacceptable.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Yes, it's auto-reply time. I will be away from my Westword desk until Tuesday, February 22 -- so I wanted to leave you with some options.

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Robert
Robert

What you say is contradicted by at least two eyewitnesses and a video. As the first comment about this incident pointed out, if law enforcement had seen Miguel (deliberately) spit on Kara Miller, it is likely that he would have been arrested on the spot. I do not believe you.

Spade
Spade

I believe Mary is Josh Stanley. Sounds too much like him.

Larry Alfonso
Larry Alfonso

Lies I was right there too. No spitting accord.

Guest
Guest

damn...damn...damn. this behavior hurts patients. damn.

Robert
Robert

Which behavior is that -- diarrhea of the keyboard leading to endorsing profiteers and prohibitionists over activists for cannabis, or some other?

Mary
Mary

Miguel Lopez is an unfortunate reality for medical marijuana. I was standing in the hall when this occurred. There were NO secret meetings by the representative. There was nothing to hide. This is how things get done in the legislature. There was no slide of hand. There was simply an elected rep attempting to assist the mmj community with further privacy. All that he asked was to have a little privacy while he worked out the details with the Dept of revenue. I have read all of your comments and I am ashamed that this is how you all feel.Michael Roberts, you might as well be writing for the National Inquirer. You are nothing but an instigating, no fact checking, muckraker. As for Lopez..... Please please leave town. Go somewhere else and "advocate". Colorado does NOT need you. Marijuana could be legalized across the board and you would still find something to bitch about. A few years from now when people like Josh Stanley, Norton Arbelaez, and the like are able to conduct the proper research that is able to ease and cure afflictions, all you wastoids will still be puffing your joints and telling the government to leave you alone. Do something useful you schmucks.... Fight for the legalization campaign in 2012. That is really what you are after. Get signatures to get it on the ballot. Stop trying to compare yourselves to the REAL MEDICINAL players. You don't give one shit about attempting to find alternative methods of ingestion and treatment for the many afflictions that cannabis can cure. All you want is to smoke in public every 4/20 and scream "fuck the police"So, get out of the medicinal end and start your legalization campaign. Good people like Brian Vicente, and Mason Tvert could certainly use your help.

Kim S
Kim S

"Mary" you are right about one thing... Brian Vicente and Mason Tvert are good people and we should all support their organizations as much as possible, but I seriously doubt they would appreciate someone like you referencing their names. You are a liar and regardless of your intentions YOU are the threat to this community.

Kara Miller, I have heard you speak and I think this writing sounds a lot like the way you present yourself. Obviously I can't be sure, but if this isn't you, I imagine that you can get a message to her very easily. I'd like to ask that you refrain from using the word "F*ck" in the State Capitol Building. Afterall, as advocates of the cannabis plant, we do have an image to protect, your lack of professionalism makes us all look bad.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

I agree with you on Kara Miller.

But as far as Brian or Mason:

Brian Vicente helped write and then testified in support of HB1284 with CMMR, Josh Stanley, Matt Brown, Wanda James etc.

Mason Tevert told students at CU that he had ignored mmj for the last year or more because he was for full legalization. However, then he said he envisioned full legalization to be modeled after the CO mmj tax and regulate scheme that is being set up. WOW!~ maybe Mason should be paying attention to mmj. How many are happy verses how many are not.

I don't know about you but full legalization under this Orwellian scheme is NOT what cannabis activists have been fighting for or envisioned. How can something legal involve so many new prohibitions with criminal penalties? This scheme would require even more pot cops. If it's legal we should have less law enforcement, not a new branch of law enforcement solely for marijuana.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Kim I appreciate your view. And I welcome working with anyone who is for re-legalization. Re-Legalization for people who have spent their lives fighting for it does not include more prohibitions or a new form of law enforcement, which is what is being handed to mmj patients 10 years after the fact.

As far as the FDA--they do not regulate herbs--they just make sure herbs don't make claims on curing anything. Cannabis is an herb.

As far as the ATF--they do not regulate the users of alcohol. A person over 21 can buy 1/2 of a Liquor Mart in one sweep and no questions would be asked. One can take that alcohol and provide it to guests at parties. One can drink themselves to death if they chose. There are not video cameras or rfid chips or alcohol cops chasing after consumers of alcohol to count bottles or monitor consumption. And alcohol is not federally illegal.

And most importantly, access to alcohol and pharmaceuticals is not a constitutional right. MMJ use is a constitutional right. One would expect less interference of a constitutional right. It's like freedom of speech, also a constitutional right. Do you have to pay for a licensing fee or a registration fee to use that right? No. Are you limited as to how many sentences you can say? What words you use or how many times you use them?

As far as infighting, one must be 'in' to in-fight. Just like there are hundreds of environmental and civil rights groups nationwide, there are cannabis rights groups. Everyone has a different focus. I am not infighting with MMIG, Sensible Colorado, CMMR, Safer Colorado, NORML, MPP, DPA, ASA as I am not focused on any 'legalization' efforts not based on science. They are. Their regulations and language are based on fear. Prohibition is based on fear.

These groups have helped screw the patients and customer base (people pro re legalization) by making it seem, even to you, that we must have Orwellian regulations (to start) and yet they call it legalization. It's not. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. Have you looked into how long it takes to 'correct' bad language---years and even decades. They are hindering legalization by using fear to get an outrageous licensing/tracking system that few control or will be licensed under and are ignoring the science and fact that if addressed, would kill everything they are attempting to do. This is BIG BUSINESS again taking over hemp. This is an extension of 1937 reefer madness.

Kim S
Kim S

I know that it is not ideal, but we must face the fact that once legalized, cannabis will be regulated to some extent (at least at first). We already have the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). As much as I dislike all this regulation, it is here to stay (at least for now). If we try to change the way our government operates AND legalize cannabis all in one, we will lose. I believe that we could simply add an M to the ATF (if we seek legalization) or add an M to the FDA (if we seek medical). I don't see a need to create a whole new division of law enforcement over cannabis, but I realize that we will not get a bill that just outright legalizes the plant... once we make it legal, we can refocus on shaping the specific laws.

There are many people who believe that squabbling over the details of mmj regulation has distracted us from the bigger picture and taken away from legalization efforts. I am torn, because I do feel that patients NEED this medicine NOW (and that their access need to be protected)... I also feel that we should stop putting recreational users in prison NOW.

I am torn on many things and have a lot to learn, which is why I love healthy, open, and respectful debates. Most importantly Kathleen, it is important to me that I be willing work with and listen to everyone I can (there are VERY few people in this community that I refuse to work with... but there are a few, Kara Miller just made the list). We must be able to work together for one common goal despite our differences... it may seem cheesy, but we have a VERY big battle ahead of us and squabbling amongst ourselves is not going to help anything. (that's not directed at you, but at this entire community)

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Yes, it's auto-reply time. I will be away from my Westword desk until Tuesday, February 22 -- so I wanted to leave you with some options.

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Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

"Stop trying to compare yourselves to the REAL MEDICINAL players"

The big words here are REAL players: What part do they play? Data collector's for law enforcement? What patient wants in on that? But that works good for the MM industry group. Devalue others businesses, buy them all up under valued, and then make bank. Sweet for them but how many will play? Patients will be giving up their constitutional rights to shop in a MMC. How many will shop in an MMC once they know that?

Yeah, patients want compassion. Much better luck with constitutionally protected caregivers.

Robert
Robert

Besides dispatching Miguel out of state, you also (apparently) want him to disavow support for medical cannabis and join "Good people like Brian Vicente, and Mason Tvert" -- it may have escaped your notice, but Brian is the Executive Director of Sensible Colorado, a medical cannabis advocacy organization. Many of us support patients AND CAREGIVERS' rights to medical cannabis under our Constitution AS WELL AS ending Prohibition as soon as possible. There is no inconsistency between advocating for patients and urging an end to Prohibition -- it's funny; you sound just like the prohibitionists who seem to think one cannot support both. As for yelling "f___ the police", I've never heard Miguel yell that, even a week ago Saturday when we were surrounded by anarchists who were.

P.S. You meant "sleight of hand".

P.P.S. Your vision of Stanley conducting medical research is ridiculous. Norton Arbalaez is the idiot who said of the Denver City Council's outrageous proposal to close over fifty cultivation operations in warehouses and piggyback extortionate fees on top of those authorized by the State: "The city is taking a lead nationally to bring order and sense (to the medical marijuana industry), ... We feel this moves the ball forward in regulating this industry." -- he should be run out of town on a rail! Morons!

Guest
Guest

so was spitting involved or not? is this something a court is going to have to decide? regardless....i didn't care for how the way situation was by any of the individuals involved.

anonymous
anonymous

Why do Josh and Norton deserve the monopoly on dispensing that they're advocating for? They don't have a monopoly on brains or strains, that's for sure. Half of Josh's testimony was about how he wants to become the BANK OF WEED for Colorado. How beneficent of him.

Guest
Guest

griping and generalizing without making any constructive points....seems to be a common theme. quit jumping fences and find some middle ground.

Mary
Mary

cradle,Medical is medical. Legalization is legalization. What middle ground are you referring to?????????

Robert
Robert

Bizarre! Why do you believe that Sonnenberg would have proposed an amendment that would help patients, or that something Miguel did caused its (tragic) loss? I try to reserve judgment -- doesn't the representative from Sterling claiming to be trying to help patients strike you as even a little odd? Having seen Sonnenberg flounce off, return with Kara Miller, and blame Miguel for queering the amendment -- you want to start a letter campaign TO SONNENBERG!?! I have more important letters to write, thank-you.

Guest
Guest

If you and other anti-prohibitionists really want marijuana legalized I think you should focus on helping fix the existing medical marijuana laws by addressing specific issues in the laws and regulations. Once the medical marijuana regulations get sorted out all you (colorado legalize 2012 campaign supporters) would need to do is get voter approval to "extend the existing medical marijuana rights to all colorado residents 21 and older, making a colorado driver's license valid in place of a medical marijuana license" -- no physician recommendation needed, no registering with the cdphe...adults 21+ would have all the rights to obtaining and growing marijuana that a medical marijuana patient has...if you could get voter approval... In the meantime, please help fix the existing language to add patient privacy protection, add patient rights, etc. by building bridges between patients and politicians instead of burning them. ...personally I'm tired of hearing about marijuana legalization from patient advocates

I've commented on this article way too many times but the loss of sonnenberg's amendment has really disturbed me. Specific issues in the medical marijuana laws and regulations need addressed and amended and these issues are what patients and sincere patient advocates should focus on. Again...I would love to hear specific ideas on what to fix in the language...I'll actually submit these to the board, politicians, etc.... ??? The sonnenberg amendment was a start and I've already written him requesting that he reconsider proposing the amendment as all patients and patient advocates should. - jerry.sonnenberg.house@state.co.us

Robert
Robert

It is so simple -- patients' best hope to use cannabis without harassment or interference and to pay a reasonable price for it is to support its general re-legalization. You are being disingenuously obtuse.

Guest
Guest

....and now we have a video that we can use to draw our own conclusion to the event that took place ..... sorry...didn't finish the sentence

Guest
Guest

some advocates are mixing legalization talk with discussing the problems in hb284, hb1043, sb109, etc.....i agree with you that this is bad for the medical marijuana program and i hate it. if you read my comments on the other article you'll see that i don't agree with lopez' tactics, however, these advocates still have some good points when it comes to the unconstitutional portions of the regulations.

the middle ground would be to take some of the suggestions from patients and advocates amend the laws (like sonnenberg was doing) and not play sides. i have listed several specific ideas on amending the medical marijuana laws...links are above.

.... bashing the author seems out of line...the event did happen and there were two sides of the story....and now we have a video that we can use

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. It is not as if they are going to show the entire version. What a horrible joke and muckraking by the westwordRespectfully,A fighting cancer patient from Colorado.

Toosmart4theirowngood
Toosmart4theirowngood

I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis but unfortunately your take on the situation is off.

The individuals who you claim to support are profiteers making a FORTUNE off your pain and suffering.

Prior to people like Albarez and Stanley becoming involved in the MMJ industry, shortly after the 2009 Obama Memo, Colorado had found a way to care for its patients through a network of caregivers and patients. High quality marijuana was provided to patients at costs well below those charged by Budding Health(Stanley) and River Rock Wellness(Albarez).

The error you have made is confusing someone concerned primarily with lining their own pockets with someone who cares about you. Stanly and Albarez and their organization have supported every bill and rule that limits access to medical marijuana through any vehicle other than their dispensary.

I would almost bet that if they had the balls they would introduce a bill that simply says,"Any Marijuana sold in Colorado must be sold through a business that has paid a $25,000 membership fee to be a part of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group".

Please don't be fooled into thinking that these men are looking out for your best interest, they are smart businessmen doing what they have to in order to protect what is a cash cow business for them.

Robert
Robert

[Since you reposted (without bothering to respond), I am reposting my reply:]

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.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Wow, what a long and detailed take. Thanks for sharing your observations.

Guest
Guest

yes, yes....read this and responded already (in addition to others)...see the links to the previous article in my comments (and roberts) above...

Guest
Guest

The situation was handled poorly by both parties and I hate the outcome. Politicians and patient advocates: please find some common ground. HB1284 is here and doesn't appear to be going anywhere...sonnenberg's amendment would have been a step in the right direction in my opinion.

How about listing some specifics on how to make HB1284 and the other bills constitutional? What to add...what to remove? It's not all bad. Quality standards in patient medicine should be a good thing. I've listed several ideas in the comments of the original article...generally griping about everything will get us nowhere.

http://blogs.westword.com/late...

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

"Quality standards in patient medicine should be a good thing"

Wouldn't it. Patients would love it. It's appropriate regulation on BEHALF of patients. Too bad that wasn't considered in any of the language in the ten years of having mmj. Anything about mold or fungus? HB1284 and HB1043 shaft patients rights (privacy rights, affirmative defense, 4th amendment, signing away plants for 120 days etc.) They don't want cameras and their intake monitored or recorded. Sensible Colorado, CMMR and others helped write, lobby for and celebrated passage of HB1284. They said it 'legitimized' their industry. Nothing good for patients.

HB1284 was written with the intent to put 80% out of business and put the genie back in the bottle.

What was good for the patients about that? HB1043 was written FOR the MMIG (medical marijuana industry group--NOT patients or caregivers) which board members paid $25,000 each to have a seat at the table. They hired lobbyists. Many worked with the now defunct group CMMR and in writing the first scourge on the entire mmj program with HB1284. This 'clean up' does not fix anything unconstitutional in HB 1284. It 'cleans up' the assurance that about 23 companies or people run the mmj business statewide. Sen. Steadman said since the patients didn't have lobbyists working for them, they must not have any problems.

So, as usual, the patients lose.

cannabislawsuits.com

Donate to something that will help patients, caregivers, MMC's and physicians all exist comfortably. There was for 10 years and there can again be a free market, just like every other industry in America.

jjm
jjm

Read the original post. Roberts did tell both sides of the story. He quoted Lopez at length about what happened.

But clearly this video show the lobbyist as the aggressor, not Lopez. What's amazing is the reactions of bystanders in the video. It just demonstrates how insider-y the capitol really is. If you're not in the club, everyone assumes you're the asshole. When really the assholes in this situation was the state lawmakers and their lackeys.

Robert
Robert

Look back at all the people scrambling to distance themselves from Miguel and the idiotic comments on the first piece and consider just how far we have to go to forge a real political movement to end Prohibition -- if anyone at the DEA is worried, all they have to do is look at the Latest Word to be reassured.

P.S. Please look at Chris Baldwin's recent post in response to the first blog entry about this (http://blogs.westword.com/late....

WTF?
WTF?

The Medical Marijuana Industry Group lobbyist is a real bitch! Is she Josh Stanley's girlfriend? I like the end of it where he grabs her and says "Sweetie, sweetie, it's ok."

Viva Miguel! Viva la Libertad!

Kathleeb Chippi
Kathleeb Chippi

Yeah, what a perfect couple.

I did not know it but when I was talking alone with Josh Stanley in the hall asking him how much it cost to sell out the patients and out of no where that lobbyist, Kara Miller, came over and grabbed my arm. I yanked it away from her and told her not to touch me. She said she would have me thrown out for being loud. I told her I would have her thrown out for touching me. Since when is it okay to touch people you don't know. I had never seen the woman.

After I watch the video, I see her wanting to jab Miguel in the chest more than once. WTF? Is this Josh Stanley's new girlfriend? She sure is touchie feelie with all the legislators and the cops. Just doing her job of lobbying for MMIG, I guess. I was wondering when the professional behavior requirements changed to be so unprofessional.

When I asked Josh how much it cost to sell out patients, he said you mena the MMIG fee? Thats sweet, Josh.In the long run, Josh told me marijuana would not be an accepted medicine until it came out of a lab in pill form, without the high. So MMIG is working with big pharma.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

One doesn't need to work for or with "big pharma" to recognize the reality that in 10 years there won't be any whole plant cannabis in mainstream medicine. Since it's demonstrably true that most of the medical benefits reside in cannabinoids other than delta 9 THC most cannabinoid medicine isn't going to get you high. I'm not very confident at all that the palliatives are ever going to not give patients a buzz. That's where the delta 9 THC works, and it gets people high in therapeutic doses. Sheesh, the reason patients reject Marinol is because it makes them hallucinate.

I don't know about you, but I don't take medicine to get high. I take it to get better when I'm sick and that's the reason most people take medicine. Getting high on pot is a lot of fun, and god knows there's nothing wrong with preferring it to drinking alcohol, but it's a completely separate issue from the medicinal aspect.

(GW Pharmaceuticals is big?!? OK, it's going to be but it isn't yet.)

I doubt they'll ever make an adequate pill, but heck there are almost 100 cannabinoids so it can't be ruled out. They'll never do it if the Know Nothing laymen don't quit their armchair doctoring which is why it's so important to get this issue to the public. But you can just forget about the fantasy that whole plant cannabis will be an accepted medicine in the future. It's only serving as a stop gap right now, bringing relief to those who the enemies of freedom would deny medicine to promote their sick agenda. Once "big pharma" does the voodoo that they do so well it's back to the most enjoyable recreational substance in existence. I have no clue why people think that this almost certain future is undesirable, but their beliefs are irrelevant to what's going to happen so I really don't care.

Sheesh, all big pharma has done is extend our expected life span almost 15 years, and effectively eliminated a 30% infant mortality rate adding as much as 25 more years. Thanks, it sounds like a system that's working. Why in the heck would we want to do more than tweak it to make it work better?

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Cannabis is a therapeutic HERB, grown from the earth, just like all herbs. Herbs were all humans had until pills. The propaganda machine has Americans believing it's radical to use plants for health. It's amazing the amount of brainwashing. It's funny how humans think we know better and we turn it into a pill. Most in this country is already sedated with pharmaceuticals anyway, and thats why we are here in 2011 having to fight for our rights while being bashed with insane reefer madness.

Educated, compassionate growers know how to get high CBD count. It takes patience. Since most left standing are only in it for the money, waiting an extra 2-4 weeks in flower for the high CBD count, is not the best business move. The patients are getting the shaft because this is now only about money.

I had some of what I would call throwaway bud for food, not visually 'sell able' as medical, with some generic name, over a year ago. The plants were airy and unimpressive looking throughout, compared to the other strains in the same garden. Most would have pulled the plants, they looked that bad. No weight, minimal calyxes. I wouldn't use it for myself so I wouldn't pass it on to other patients. My friend had a friend who turned it into oil and had it tested at Spectrum. I heard a good CBD count tested with them was 7 (If anyone knows different, do tell). This 'throwaway' tested off the charts at plus 55 and plus 75. I can assure you it was not genetics. It was the flower time. MMC's are now in a race to harvest.

If a high CBD count at Spectrum is 7, considering businesses are the ones testing, there's allot of early harvesting going on. The only reason to rush mother nature is greed and the DoR forcing you to bend over. Everybody needs to be in compliance.

What's happening here is very said. We are watching the demise of Coloradans constitutional rights. What IS exactly wrong with grown organic Colorado, USA?

Robert
Robert

The medical prejudice against cannabis as medicine and the greed of big pharma are both wrong, and it is not true that the American medical establishment and big pharma together will succeed in eliminating the use of the whole plant as medicine; its medical use is age-old. Standardized preparations, selected combinations of natural cannabinoids, and semi-synthetic therapeutic cannabinoids are undoubtedly coming, and while they may be superior to what is sold as medicine in most dispensaries now, all that is certain is that they will be fantastically more expensive than growing cannabis and making medicine of it. You have somehow managed to confuse those responsible for medical advances with pharmaceutical conglomerates.

Guest
Guest

i re-read your post and am confused by your wording. not sure what point you were dancing around...perhaps i took your comments wrong...oh well...have a good day

Guest
Guest

psychoactives are commonly used in medicine. painkillers, antidepressants, etc....all these things can get you "high" but don't when it's used medicinally. anything can be abused...alcohol, pain killers, anti depressants, and yes, even marijuana. please use some common sense. you obviously have little to know personally experience with chronic pain.

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