Colorado: The Patients’ Perspective - Locals Find Relief With Medical Marijuana

by Jeff Mannix

Colorado: The Patients’ Perspective - Locals Find Relief With Medical Marijuana Medical marijuana is setting root in Durango, throughout Colorado and in 14 other states. The shroud of illegitimacy is lifting, and hundreds of thousands are finding relief from pain and debilitating disease not found with chemical pharmaceuticals and standard medical therapy.

On Nov. 7, 1999, Colorado voters passed Amendment 20, permitting the use of marijuana for the treatment of specified, disabling medical conditions. Regulating the lawful use of cannabis was turned over to the Colorado State Board of Health, which in turn established the Medical Marijuana Registry Program. “Effective June 1, 1999,” Amendment 20 reads, “it shall be an exception from the state’s criminal laws for any patient or primary caregiver in lawful possession of a registry identification card to engage or assist in the medical use of marijuana … .”

With a number of storefront medical marijuana dispensaries now open in Durango and more in the making, law enforcement and municipal and county governments are beginning to accept the volumes of testimony from patients and health providers that this ancient herb is indeed a palliative if not a curative, natural pharmaceutical. The concerns have legitimately turned toward suitable and fair regulation and transparency, similar to scrutiny applied to pharmacies, health clinics and alcohol sales.

Colorado: Boulder Expects Crowd, Long Night For Medical Marijuana Hearing

By Heath Urie, Camera Staff Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! Anyone who wants to talk to the Boulder City Council about a possible moratorium on medical-marijuana dispensaries should plan on a late night Tuesday.

The council will consider an emergency ordinance stopping any new dispensaries from opening up until March 31, 2010, so that the city has more time to study whether it wants to regulate the industry.

City officials announced Monday that the agenda for the meeting puts the question about dispensaries near the end of the meeting, meaning public comment about the issue won't begin until about 9 p.m.

The city is anticipating a packed hearing room for the discussion, so the time for each person to speak has been reduced from three minutes to two minutes.

There is no limit on how many people can speak, but anyone who wants to talk needs to sign up with the city clerk between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The sign-up area is located in the council chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway.

The council is expected to discuss dispensaries for up to three hours.

Colorado: University of Colorado/Denver - Medical Marijuana Lecture

By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director There is a truth that must be heard! The University of Colorado/Denver recently hosted physicians Kevin Boyle and Eric Eisenbud to present a lecture on medical cannabis’ historical, legal and policy considerations; Scientific research and new cannabinoid pharmaceuticals; Clinical applications. (Complete Lecture Video) Family Medicine Grand Rounds

Colorado: 15 Doctors Behind Most Medical Marijuana Referrals

By Denver Post, Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! DENVER—Two doctors are responsible for referring more than a third of the patients on Colorado's medical-marijuana registry, according to statistics from the state health department.

Of the roughly 10,000 medical-marijuana patients on the state's registry, 75 percent received their recommendations from one of 15 doctors, whose names weren't released because of state confidentiality laws, The Denver Post reported in Sunday editions.

"It's a cause for concern," said Jim Martin, executive director of the state Department of Public Health and Environment. "At least in any other area like this, we would want to be sure that the physicians are meeting the standards of care."

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers suggested the state Board of Medical Examiners investigate the doctors recommending medical marijuana the most often.

"The health department can question whether it's proper medicine to issue hundreds of certifications in one day and perhaps make some referrals to the medical board," Suthers said, referencing a statement by the state's chief medical officer during a recent hearing that one doctor signed for 200 patients in a single day.

An amendment approved by Colorado voters in 2000 allows patients with "debilitating" conditions, including HIV and chronic pain, to use marijuana if they get a doctor's approval and register with the state.

Colorado: Marijuana Clinics Crop Up Rapidly

By Karen Auge, The Denver Post

There is a truth that must be heard! There's a young woman with a French-tip pedicure and a toddler on her hip. Next comes a 20-something data analyst in pain from an infection. And a 60-year-old guy limping around in what appears to be a medieval torture device screwed into his leg in an effort to re-fuse shattered bones.

They all came to the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation's Wheat Ridge clinic one morning last week seeking the same thing: medical marijuana.

Odds are they'll get it. First off, they've been highly screened. Secondly, a whole lot of people in Colorado are getting medical marijuana these days: In the past year, the number of people on the state's medical-marijuana registry has nearly tripled.

And in a development that has health officials on edge, a growing number of those on the registry are men under the age of 30, diagnosed with severe pain. At the end of last year, that category accounted for 18 percent of those on the registry. Now, they make up 24 percent.

The explosion of consumer demand for medical marijuana has spawned concern among some but represents opportunity for others to move medical marijuana into the mainstream.

"It's a growing area, a growing field," said Brian Vicente, director of Sensible Colorado, a pro-marijuana advocacy group.

Colorado: Auraria Crowd Stands Up For Access To Medical Marijuana

Hundreds attend the Colorado Board of Health hearing today on rules and regulations pertaining to the medical use of marijuana. The hearing had to be moved from the offices of the Department of Health to the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria campus because of increased public interest.

By Claire Trageser, The Denver Post
Photo Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

There is a truth that must be heard! Hundreds of patients authorized to use medical marijuana testified today at a Colorado Board of Health meeting that is likely to result in changes to the state's medical-marijuana laws.

The most controversial of those planned changes would effectively shut down medical-marijuana dispensaries and could potentially cut off access to the drug for some of the 7,630 Coloradans registered as patients who can legally use marijuana.

Jonathan Edens, an Iraq war veteran, is one of the 350 who signed up to testify during the meeting's public comment session, which started at around 2 p.m. at the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria campus.

"When I came back from the war, I had real bad PTSD and torn ligaments," said Edens, a Colorado Springs resident who is a registered medical-marijuana patient. "I was so addicted to pills, I couldn't even look at myself in mirror without being disgusted. Now that I've started smoking marijuana, I've dropped 50 pounds and am off most of the medication I was on."

United States: The War on a Plant

By Ed Quillen, The Post

There is a truth that must be heard! Historians of the future will doubtless marvel that a great and powerful republic, founded in part on "liberty and the pursuit of happiness" but now suffering from difficult economic times would waste billions of dollars every year in a futile war against a humble plant.

That plant, of course, is hemp — source of oil, fiber and a mild psychoactive drug. It's so mild that in all of history, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose.

And those who used it in their youth, like the three most recent American presidents (Clinton claimed he "didn't inhale," Bush was "young and foolish" in his jejune days, and Obama confessed that "pot had helped" during his youth), somehow managed to go on to reasonably productive lives.

So why is the stuff still illegal?

For one thing, there's an immense federal bureaucracy, the Drug Enforcement Administration, which naturally seeks to stay in business. As long as pot is illegal, the DEA has plenty of work. And when the need arises for a headline to show that the DEA is on the ball, its agents can always drive to some home that uses too much electricity, shoot the dogs, kick in the door, and announce that American youth are protected because it just seized plants with an estimated street value of $4.2 gazillion.

For another, there's our pharmaceutical industry, a major source of campaign contributions. The pill-makers buy candidates so they can protect their revenue streams.

Colorado: Forum Helps Those Who Seek Medical Marijuana

Medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity in Durango, but despite the best efforts of its advocates, obtaining a prescription to use the drug legally isn't getting any easier.

by Ted Holteen, Herald Staff Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! Representatives from the Wheat Ridge chapter of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, or THCF, held its sixth Durango clinic to help about 50 local patients obtain or renew a Colorado Medicinal Marijuana permit. THCF is a Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of patients in eight states.

Patients could not receive their state permits at Wednesday's clinic, held at the DoubleTree Hotel. The permits are issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Scott Carr, registration manager for the foundation, said the organization charges $200 for a medical history and screening consultation, assistance with the state application forms and a referral for a prescribing physician. Carr said the money is used to pay for legal fees and lobbying for legislation favorable to the medicinal-marijuana community and for conducting statewide clinics.

Finding a local doctor to prescribe marijuana is a challenge, and for the second time in two years a random sampling of local physicians failed to locate any willing to do so. Durango patients have to travel to the metro Denver area to find a physician willing to write a prescription.

Colorado: Medical Marijuana Advocates Cropping Up On Western Slope

By Pete Fowler,

There is a truth that must be heard! GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Medical marijuana seems to be growing on the Western Slope.

A Grand Junction man plans to set up a storefront for a medical marijuana dispensary soon, and the THC Foundation of Denver has said it sees enough demand on the Western Slope that it wants to establish a permanent facility in Glenwood Springs or somewhere nearby in the future to help people obtain medical marijuana permits.

Gregg Davis, of Grand Junction, plans to establish a full-service medical marijuana dispensary in Grand Junction in June. William Hewitt, of Montrose, also reportedly has plans to open a dispensary instead of operating out of his home.

“What we’re wanting to offer is something so THC patients know they have a place to come and they’re safe,” Davis said.

Davis said he’s meeting with the city attorney and is still working on getting a location.

“It might be downtown. It may even be next to the police department,” he said.

The dispensary would be called “The Therapuetic Herbal Cure.” Davis is considering having the dispensary offer a variety of services such as massage. He said many people who have medical marijuana permits are over 60 and suffer from chronic pain.

“When you talk to some of these people it almost makes you want to cry,” he said.

CO: Medical Marijuana Examined

By Conor Doyle, CU Independent Staff Writer

CU's chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law-NORML@CU-hosted its second event of the semester in front of a full room of students eager to learn positive ways they can bring change to state and local governments, as well as how laws for medical and recreational marijuana usage affect students themselves.

"It's vital to know your rights if you're going to break the law, you should take responsibility for what you're doing and know how the laws affect you," Andy Bolzer, a photojournalism major at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, said. "And if you're not breaking the law, it's still best to be educated."

Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado who is also a Denver attorney specializing in marijuana cases, explained the details behind holding a medical marijuana license.

"When you become a medical marijuana patient, you are then legally able to possess and cultivate six plants, as well as hold 2 ounces of loose marijuana," Vicente said.

He also explained that though marijuana possession and consumption is legal under state law, it is in violation of federal law which takes precedence in courts.

Vicente said that according to state law, medical marijuana patients can designate someone of their choosing to be "caregivers," who are then legally allowed to grow, maintain, and possess the same amounts of marijuana in the patient's stead.

Colorado: High Noon - Larimer County is at the center of the battle over medical marijuana

James and Lisa Masters were getting ready to take their daughters fishing on the morning of Aug. 2, 2006, when two social workers and two police officers knocked on their door.

"We were just finishing folding laundry, getting ready for the day," says James, "and we had just recently medicated."

They had picked a bad time to take their medicine. The Masters are both medical marijuana patients, whose doctors recommend they get high to treat various physical and neurological illnesses.

The social workers raised allegations of child abuse and neglect toward their daughters, ages 4 and 6. The police officers, who the Masters were told came along in case the parents got violent - maybe in a fit of reefer madness - smelled the weed.

Inside, the Masters had 18 marijuana plant clones and an imminent harvest of 12 two-foot-high, bud-laden plants, which they say was for people suffering from glaucoma, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis and other crippling diseases.

The Masters' home was serving as the county chapter of the Colorado Compassion Club, a statewide network that provides quality weed for medical marijuana patients, including themselves. Despite having doctors' recommendations for the medicinal crop as allowed through a state constitutional amendment, the Larimer County Drug Task Force snagged the pot - and child protection services snagged the Masters' daughters, who were separated from their parents for nearly two months.

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