Medical marijuana advisory committee shuts down, health dept. rejects caregiver definition

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Brian Vicente.
In February, a meeting of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's medical marijuana advisory committee resulted in a definition of caregivers that cheered committee member Jill Lamoureux, who called it "movement forward for patient and caregiver rights." Now, however, the committee has been shelved and its caregivers definition chucked at the advice of the Colorado Attorney General's Office.

According to the CDPHE's website, the committee completed its mission in early March, following its review and recommendations concerning patient rules; it can be reconvened on an as-needed basis. Afterward, its work was handed over to the AG's office, which determined that the caregivers rules were out of compliance with, among other things, the 2009 Colorado Court of Appeals opinion in the matter of Stacy Clendenin , a Longmont caregiver who was found guilty of marijuana possession and cultivation even though she was growing for patients.

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John Suthers.
In the Clendenin case, the Court of Appeals held that a caregiver's services must go beyond supplying MMJ -- and afterward, Suthers released a statement applauding the decision. He wrote: "I am pleased to see the Court of Appeals' has provided legal support for our case that a caregiver, under Amendment 20, must do more than simply provide marijuana to a patient. I also was pleased to see the assertion in the special concurrence that Amendment 20 'cries out for legislative action.' I could not agree more. I hope the legislature will act and create a regulatory framework that gives substance to the Court of Appeals' findings."

Given such views, it makes sense that Suthers wasn't thrilled with the committee's caregiver definition, which read:

Significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient" means assisting a patient with daily activities, including but not limited to transportation or housekeeping or meal preparation or shopping or making any necessary arrangement for access to medical care or services or provision of medical marijuana.

Here's his office's suggested rewrite:

Significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient" means, IN ADDITION TO THE ABILITY TO PROVIDE MEDICAL MARIJUANA, REGULARLY assisting a patient with ACTIVITIES OF daily activities LIVING, including but not limited to transportation or housekeeping or meal preparation or shopping or making any necessary arrangement for access to medical care or NON-MEDICAL MARIJUANA services or provision of medical marijuana. THE ACT OF SUPPLYING MEDICAL MARIJUANA OR MARIJUANA PARAPHERNALIA, BY ITSELF, IS INSUFFICIENT TO CONSTITUTE "SIGNIFICANT RESPONSIBILITY FOR MANAGING THE WELL-BEING OF A PATIENT.

The public has been invited to comment on this proposed change, but because the lingo has received virtually no publicity, most people haven't heard anything about it. And guess when the comment period ends? According to Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente, a well-known medical marijuana advocate, 5 p.m. today, April 20.

It is simply coincidental that this deadline was set on 4/20, when those who would seem most apt to complain may be distracted by the year's largest marijuana-oriented event?


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13 comments
Henry Higgins
Henry Higgins

Yup, I remember hearing Brian testify in favor of HB1284 last year, along with the Josh Stanley crew. There is no part of 1284 that was good for patients. Why did Brian support it?

Enough is enough!
Enough is enough!

Brian agrees the patients are getting screwed yesterday and today at the NORML conference he just finished telling everyone recreational legalization can be worked into the mmj program that already exists in CO.

The patients and caregivers are UNDER ATTACK, so why would we put that serious burden on everyone? Yeah, lets screw everyone! But Brian will have a paying job. Notice, just like, Josh Stanley and Matt Brown and CMMR, Brian (while operating as Sensible CO), who on record supported hb1284, is now not representing Sensible CO but the new group CAMR.

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS, Brian Vicente, Mason Tevrt, Sensible, Safer, CMMR, CAMR, NORML, MPP, DPA, NCIA, MMIG or whatever the fuck their shell names are. The money is coming from the same few people one being George Soros.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Only a madman would say that Colorado offers protection to medical marijuana patients

Guest
Guest

Too bad stan garnett didn't get elected for state attorney general. Colorado needs an AG that will stand up for state laws regardless of what his/her personal biases may be, or at least an AG that doesn't actively fight state laws. The AG is a lawyer and legal advisor for the people.....not a judge and jury. John suthers: why is your new language necessary for the medical marijuana patients of colorado? Please explain why you are listening to a state agency and state employees instead of the people influenced by the language being changed and the state appointed advisory board. The cdphe continues to fight the patients and program they are obligated to support...I don't get it.

Robert
Robert

Robert D. ChaseColorado Coalition for Patients and CaregiversDenver, CO 80218(720) 213-6497

Christopher E. UrbinaColorado Department of Public Health and Environment 4300 Cherry Creek Drive SouthDenver, CO 80246

April 20, 2011

Dear Dr. Urbina:

I am writing to condemn the Department’s complicity in rejecting its own Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee’s proposed rules regarding caregivers who supply medicinal cannabis to patients whose doctors have recommended its use. The Department cannot be guided by any supposed “determination” of the Attorney General, because he is engaged in open defiance of Article XVIII, Section 14 of Colorado’s constitution, and to do so would continue a pattern of malfeasance. The MMAC’s proposed rules are entirely consistent with the Colorado’s constitution, statutes, and legal precedent, and the Attorney General is fully aware of this fact; he is abusing the power of his office and attempting a criminal subversion of our Constitution to further his witless prohibitionist agenda.

The Department has a sorry history of disregard for the letter and spirit of the provisions which make it the agency of state government responsible for implementing the People’s determination that cannabis is medicine. The disdain for and ignorance of the issue on the part of the Department may well reflect that of most of Colorado’s medical establishment. I believe that not a single local physician not already recommending cannabis attended last year’s Plant Medicine Expo in downtown Denver. Considering that the event featured presentations by those doing clinical research and publishing in the scientific literature on the subject of cannabis, such incuriosity and contempt reflect very poorly on Colorado’s clinicians. If you are aware of the current state of understanding of the endocannabinoid system and some of the exciting results now being obtained in studies of cannabis’ therapeutic use, you will see that Colorado and the CDPHE not only disobey the supreme Law of our State, but squander a tremendous opportunity by disregarding cannabis as medicine.

The CDPHE’s attempts to impose an arbitrary limit of five patients per caregiver and to force caregivers to also be personal assistants to their patients has embroiled the Department in several unnecessary legal battles which it has consistently lost and in which it has been found to have violated our Open Meetings Law (Title 24, Article VI), exposed the Department to richly deserved ridicule, and demonstrated an ongoing hostility to the intent of Amendment 20, which accords caregivers great latitude in managing the well being of qualified patients through the provision of cannabis. The Amendment does not saddle caregivers of patients who use medical cannabis with additional duties, nor is this the effect of the decision in People v. Clendenin. The provision cited as being inconsistent with the MMAC’s proposed rule (C.R.S. § 25-1.5-106(3)(b)(I)) very clearly allows the provision of education about the appropriate use of cannabis by caregivers to patients to constitute the extra-constitutional additional responsibility of caregivers beyond the provision of cannabis itself stipulated by the General Assembly. I urge you to read the relevant sections of statute; the Department cannot allow a man already forsworn to use the CDPHE to abrogate caregivers’ constitutional prerogatives and patients’ constitutionally mandated access to medicine. Reinstate the MMAC’s proposed rules regarding caregivers and submit them for the consideration of the Board of Health. Let Suthers repeat his lies in Court, if he dares.

Sincerely,Robert D. Chase

Robert
Robert

If these organizations really want legalization here, they need to pay attention to what Colorado is telling them. We have had it collaborationists. Anyone who sanctions the General Assembly's marijuana distribution system over caregivers' constitutional prerogative to supply it is not on the side of patients.

Choice222233
Choice222233

As they wish us pain we only wish them to be ran over by a bus or two.

Choice222233
Choice222233

Good looking out Robert now everyone flood them with this information

Just Wondering
Just Wondering

instntkrma, do you know the answer to my questions?

What kind of entity is the PCRLP? You're accepting donations, so how are they declared? Have you released a budget or an annual report? Are you a nonprofit? Are you accountable to your donors in any way? How do I know that my money has gone to something other than something you burn in your bowls?

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