As Colorado's medical marijuana community, which includes nearly 30,000 registered patients, prepares for next week's legislative session to kick off, the focus will be squarely on a proposal by Sen. Chris Romer, a Denver Democrat. While Romer should be applauded for his willingness to consider and implement changes to the bill, its present language raises significant concerns for not only those worried about patient access, but also for any citizen devoted to preserving the constitutional will of Colorado voters.
As the Cannabis Therapy Institute released today, here is a 12-page analysis (authored by Mr. Corry) of Sen. Romer's 39-page bill. As CTI concludes,
Corry correctly states that Romer's bill 'cannot be supported by any serious patient or caregiver in Colorado's Medical Marijuana community.' Corry says Romer's bill would 'significantly increase costs to patients, thereby placing the most vulnerable of them in danger' and 'reduce the selection and consistency of medicine, driving most of the supply back to the dangerous criminal underground.'
As we have both publicly concluded in recent weeks, the medical marijuana community is not opposed to reasonable regulations designed to help patients, but will oppose those that will restrict supply or quality.
While Colorado has witnessed front page headlines on this issue for months now, we encourage all interest groups involved to take a step back and work together to great a workable regulatory model that protects the interest of all involved.
When Colorado voters approved Amendment 20 in 2000, they did so wanting to codify a constitutionally protected right for Colorado's sick and dying, the vast majority of whom have sought out medical marijuana as an alternative health care treatment only conventional medicine has failed to ease their suffering. In these tough economic times, where record health care costs threaten to bankrupt even future generations, medical marijuana presents an opportunity to benefit not only patients but also taxpayers.
Jessica and Robert J. Corry, Jr. are Denver attorneys, whose patients include medical marijuana patients and caregivers. Mr. Corry is the chairman of the Colorado Wellness Association, a trade organization representing medical marijuana caregivers.