Medical marijuana: Board of Health passes new driving rules, caregiver language (PHOTOS)

Thumbnail image for man smoking marijuana from a bong on flickr cropped.jpg
Cannabis Therapy Institute's Laura Kriho raised concern about new regulations to be enacted by the Board of Health at a meeting yesterday. And following the marathon session, she's still worried, especially about what she sees as "a backdoor method to create a new crime: DUI-MM" -- driving under the influence of medical marijuana.

Not that board members discussed this language, which appears to echo a bill to set a THC driving limit of 5 nanogram per milliliter of blood. The bill died in the state legislature this past session following news that Westword medical marijuana critic William Breathes tested at nearly triple the proposed limit when sober.

Instead, yesterday's get-together, which lasted from 9 a.m. until mid afternoon, focused on a new requirement for caregivers to do something more than simply provide medical marijuana -- a pet issue of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Earlier this year, his office rejected recommended tweaks by the now-disbanded medical marijuana advisory committee that omitted this dictate.

ron hyman and ann hause.jpg
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute
Ron Hyman, administrator of the CDPHE Medical Marijuana Patient Registry, and Ann Hause, the Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs director.
According to Kriho, the day was filled with testimony from law enforcement figures, including one who called the new definition the "lynchpin" of efforts to bust individuals growing illegally by posing as caregivers.

"The general attitude of the board was to do everything the police asked and nothing the patients wanted," she maintains. "One of the board members asked, 'If this is really going to be so important to law enforcement, how are you going to find out if the caregiver is doing more than just providing marijuana?' And the police said, 'We'll have to interview them, talk to the patients and the caregiver' -- which is why, when it was my turn to testify, I said, 'I can't believe this is the board of health. It seems more like the Spanish Inquisition -- inviting law enforcement into a caregiver's house to ask how many times they wiped a patient's ass that day.

"The whole point of Amendment 20," which legalized medical marijuana in Colorado, "was to get police out of this, so caregivers and patients could use marijuana for medical purposes without fear of the police. And now they're inserting the police into the middle of the process."

Kriho also mentioned the driving issue, as well as other points she raised in a sample e-mail on view below. In response, she says the board gave her "blank stares." In addition, two advocates were ejected -- Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers' Robert Chase, who's been booted from more than his share of public meetings, and another patient. And many of those who stuck around were dejected. "We had multiple people crying because of the board's attitude," Kriho allows.

board of health meeting june 15 2011.jpg
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute
The board and the attendees.
The Denver Post quoted board president Laura Davis arguing that the caregiver change isn't as big a deal as advocates believe. But for Kriho, there are more problems lurking in the shadows.

Page down to see more photos courtesy of the Cannabis Therapy Institute, as well as the aforementioned e-mail objecting to other elements passed by the Board of Health yesterday.

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21 comments
Colorado Shu
Colorado Shu

Perhaps the next logical step is to simply decriminalize possession and cultivation of cannabis with a strict mandate that should any patient, caregiver or dispensary wittingly profit from interstate distribution they should have their privileges/mmj licensing revoked for a year. This should satisfy both State and Feds who insist the big risk is having truckloads of mmj finding its way out onto the highways and into neighboring states. We all know better but it's even an attractive model to consider as an organic industry looking to lessen its carbon footprint. Grow local, buy local and keep revenues local.

In the meantime, caregivers will shrivel up as they can't compete with dispensaries who have greater means to lower their per-unit cost on MMJ. If a caregiver can't even beat the dispensary-set market price and is now required to act as a butler and special assistant how are they going to sustain their practice? Having 5 folks feed off a garden with predictable levels of consumption establishes a rate of return for their efforts. If housing costs, administrative burdens or patient count shift even slightly, they're sunk. The patients now have to seek out someone "new" to trust and the caregiver may feel the urge to relinquish their special status and churn out for-profit, for-recreation buds in their own circles without hesitation or remorse.

For some odd reason every single discussion on MMJ still pays heed to an outright denial and lack of information about the truth of our species' perfect all purpose medicine. Any connection between Cannabis and the human ENDOCANNABINOID system is apparently just a coincidence in name alone. It's nature's duct tape for mankind. Got a headache? Feeling down? Can't eat? Can't stop the pain? Can't stop shaking from MS as you sit atop a publishing empire? Would it have helped you Mr. Singleton to have had access to information on MMJ at a point prior to your current scooter/wheelchair bound state? What if one of your children develops this malady? My mom is pre-Alzheimer's and I have a partner in business losing a battle to pancreatic cancer. They're of a different generation and an entrenched refusal to stray from the norm leaves them both sans care that may remedy or provide relief in this situation. Heck, my marriage is unduly strained while I make a stand for my right/wish to alleviate my ailments with MMJ. I can't even get full support from a formerly heavy drinking, cigarette smoking and occasional cannabis recreating spouse that caves to popular societal pressures via malevolent indoctrination. Because the Govt. says it's bad, it must be bad. Why else would our "for the people, by the people" officials place a U.S. Patent on it as an anti-oxidant, proven cancer fighter and vehemently deny access to it?

Get the big boot of law and corporate sponsored legislators out of this or risk Revolution. Suddenly the notion of gun rights, formation of militias and protection of individual rights from governmental overreach is no longer pondered by extremist libertarians alone. Big Pharma, Privatized Penal Systems and a heavily funded "War on Drugs" depend on the upkeep of this status quo visited upon a subset of our population striving to achieve peace, love and harmony in defiance of mass marketed "orderly behavior".  We need some semblance of order if we hope to achieve true freedoms in society. However, let's not relinquish our basic human freedom of access to natural living/healing while acquiescing to a manufactured, suggested order for accepted lifestyles.

Informed Farmer
Informed Farmer

Robert Chase, Kathleen Chippi, Laura Kriho and Corey Donahue all 4 are disliked for some reason or another. They are also known to many as the Al Qaeda of the Colorado Marijuana Movement and its not often that I and others agree with them but i think this time they are right!

Not all of us need are asses wiped or a ride to the doctor or even a free meal we just need access to our medicine! Patients access in rural areas will be what is effected the most in all of this recent regulations. ''Knock and Talk's" are being done to caregivers across the metro area at a rate of 20 per week. Its only time. They know where they all are. they wanna know where every single plant is in the state legal or not.

Thank you Robert for getting pissed off and for getting kicked out!Thanks Laura for the pics. even tho you do get physical and violent with those who don't see eye to eye with you Laura that really isnt the best way to handle things geezAnd...Thank you Kathleen for trying to sue them bastards, only days left on that

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

The CDPHE already had their minds made up before the meeting.  They were just going through the motions.  Caregivers are going underground in droves because of HB1043 requiring them to register their location with the State.  The actions by the CDPHE are just the nail in the coffin.  

I know hundreds of patients that are not going to renew their "cards" because of this and that MMCs are required to give the State FULL ACCESS to their cameras in their dispensaries.  Those patients are just going to get their doctor's recommendation, follow a20 strictly, and deny the state and MMCs their money.  

All the money that MMIG (aka CMMR) and the others have spent on lobbyists will backfire in their faces when the red card holding patients don't renew their licenses. 

Nurse
Nurse

Making the patients cry, and the police rejoice! How can you not swear? The Board of Health shows their true colors: they are anti-patient militants intent on doing anything they can to thwart patient access. 

Wade Sears
Wade Sears

bilbo - cursing when your are angry undermines your intent, same with the threat at the end.

i will say this again, this language requires that a caregiver provide more service than the patients primary doctor has to give, even if that doctor does not recommend medical cannabis.

once again the anti-change crowd goes about putting 'reasonable' obstacle in the way similar to the 'jim crow' laws they place around reproductive rights. because these people don't use these services, any obstacle is not unreasonable for them. just another measure of control on personal freedom, by people who do not believe in the concept, but use it to justify their action.

Bilbo
Bilbo

The board of health just blocked access for indigent patients across Colorado, you know, the ones who cant afford dispensary prices.

Fuck you state of Colorado, my patients and I will no longer support the state registry by paying annual license fees.  And were still gonna grow and smoke cannabis, and theres not a goddamn thing you can do about it........YOU COCKSUCKERS cant possibly expect us to support a system that is stacked against us.  Kind of like paying someone to kick your ass.

 

Ecodude
Ecodude

The will of the people, scientific evidence, and just plain common sense are such painful stones in the fascist boots of the Board of Health as they march on our rights to further their pseudo-puritanical agenda which has been endorsed by Big Pharma and pushed by their foot soldiers in law enforcement.

Have you read the warnings on a bottle of Marinol?

"This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or affect your judgment. Do not engage in activities requiring alertness and clear thinking, such as driving or using machinery, until you know how this medication affects you and until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Alcohol can worsen these side effects. Avoid alcoholic beverages."

On other words, for years it's been perfectly ok to dose on synthetic THC manufactured by Unimed Pharmaceuticals and then operate a car, forklift, or fly a fucking 747, as long as "you are sure you can perform such an activity safely."

But if you take a natural form of the same ingredient you grew in your own garden, and are found to have more than 5 nanograms of it in your system while driving (whether you are impaired or not has no bearing on it whatsoever), you will be deemed a criminal and go to directly to jail.  And I don't recall the department of health requiring those who take Marinol to sign into a registry that is accessible by law enforcement either.

Land of the free, my ass.  When corporations and government become one, that is the definition of fascism.  And fascism is what we live under in the US today, as paramilitary equipped DEA agents rage a failed war on their fellow citizens in the name of protecting the profits of Big Pharma and alcohol beverage producers.

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."-Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) U.S. President.Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

GetReal
GetReal

Do growers really answer the door when someone is knocking that they don't know?  My attorney tells me I don't even have to answer the door if it's the police knocking.  Knowing that, I don't answer the door at all unless I am expecting someone or a pizza!  :)

Rest assured though, if they have a warrant, you will not need to answer the door.  Like the song says, "If you have a warrant, then I guess you are going to come in!"  If they don't have a warrant then they will eventually go away or enter your home uninvited and breaking federal constitutional law.

Also, the only words out of your mouth sound be "I want to talk with a attorney."  That might land you in jail, but you will come out ahead in the long run.  You will only give them evidence to use against you by talking with the police.  Live and learn.  I did.  I'll NEVER talk with the police again!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Robert
Robert

What kind of nitwit uses the occasion of our betrayal by the State Board of Health to attack patients' strongest advocates?  With adherents like you in the "Colorado Marijuana Movement", the prohibitionists have nothing to fear.  Thanks for doing your little bit to falsify the events of yesterday and disinform those who failed to attend.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Wow!  "Al Qaeda of the Colorado Marijuana Movement"??  And you support us, now?  Excellent....so stop using the racist word marijuana and use the proper word, cannabis. 

Whats funny is the only people who refer to the local activists as "Al Qaeda" would be people who are NOT for protecting patient and care giver rights, under the constitution--because we have been demanding patient, caregiver and physician rights from the start. That is ALL we do!!  We have always supported the law of the land, the CO Constitution.  

The only people that affects negatively are the hb1284 state applicants as they were all willing to give up their constitutional rights to apply.  The "industry" called us crazy and fringe and fear mongers.  But the patients and the caregivers know. And as they stop shopping at MMC's and renewing or registering, the "industry' will soon realize they killed their goose.  

We have not changed our position in the 2-20 plus years we each have in cannabis activism, especially in the last 2 years with mmj. 

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THIS IMPORTANT LAWSUIT THAT PROTECTS ALL COLORADANS WHO CHOSE TO USE THE SAFEST THERAPEUTIC SUBSTANCE KNOWN TO MAN at CANNABISLAWSUITS.COM

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

Who is doing these so called "knock and talks."  Can you provide more information?

Patientlawsuit
Patientlawsuit

The Board of Health do not have the legal authority to make the changes to our constitution ---  only the a vote of the people can change that.

 We need $4.20 money bomb donations at cannabislawsuits.com immediately!!!

We will be including all unconstitutional language that attacks constitutionally protected citizens in Colorado.

Bilbo
Bilbo

I didnt threaten anyone, I insinuated that supporting the system that regulated you with unreasonable rules is like 'paying someone to kick your ass'.

As far as my intent, it is to get stoned without state approval.  Simple enough......

GetReal
GetReal

I see my reply was posted so far down from what I am responding to that I thought I'd include some context.  I am responding to the "Knock and Talk" post.  What I mean to say is - if I am not answering the door for the police, then why the hell would I answer the door for these "Knock and Talk" jackasses who would be here to gather evidence to use against me? 

Stay legal under our state Constitution and lay low.  Simply don't answer the door.  If they come back with a warrant and kick in the door.  Say nothing other than "I want to talk with my attorney" or "with an attorney" if you don't have one.  If everyone does this, then this nonsense will stop since it will become a wast of time for them.  If this is indeed going on then they are doing this because it is profitable for them.

Oh, and when you hear on the news that someone is "cooperating with the police" it means that they are giving up their constitutional rights and civil liberties, making the police's job easier.  Don't fall for that crap!  You have rights as long as you don't give them up!  You WANT to make it difficult for anyone to persecute you!

Scott Greene
Scott Greene

Jefferson County, Denver city Arapahoe county Boulder county and Broomfield to name a few They are the ones conducting these "Knock and Talks"  First they knock and then they talk they ask if they can have a look around and if you say no which you should they say ok they leave then they come back just a few short hours later with the warrant and most of the time they are basing it off of smell and sometimes even electricity usage

Scott Greene
Scott Greene

People are answering their door when these "knock and talk" jackass stop by simply because they think 'hey were legal wtf.' they dont want to cause any more problems. ive gotten 4 phone calls personally from local growers looking for the #'s of any good attorney's and ive heard about a several others just the past week

"I want to talk with my attorney" Those could be the 7 most important words you'll ever need to know

wtfk
wtfk

I never answer the door for anyone I do not know.  I do not talk to strangers.  This especially applies to bureaucrats.

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