Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2011 Source: Boulder Weekly (CO) Copyright: 2011 Boulder Weekly Contact: http://www.boulderweekly.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/57 Author: Laura Kriho, Cannabis Therapy Institute/Boulder Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n358/a06.html FIGHT TO PROTECT DISPENSARIES (Re: "Seed-to-sale surveillance," cover story, June 2.) Hopefully, everyone who saw the barcode on the picture of a cannabis leaf on the front of the Boulder Weekly realized that something has gone terribly wrong in Colorado. The purpose of Colorado's medical marijuana amendment was to allow sick and dying people the opportunity to use cannabis without fear of law enforcement reprisal. However, it seems the opposite is becoming true, and patients have become targets for barcodes tracked by law enforcement. The Colorado Department of Revenue will indeed be tracking every gram and seed through their massive Patient and Medicine Tracking Database and Surveillance System. The PMTDSS requires surveillance cameras in every MMC that law enforcement, including the DEA, can have direct access to through the Internet in real time on demand. Additionally, law enforcement is allowed to search MMCs at any time, without a warrant or probable cause. HB 1043, which was just signed by the governor, explicitly removes all constitutional protection from MMCs. The state is creating an entirely new database of patient purchases in the PMTDSS, forcing patients to surrender their confidentiality to shop at an MMC. Patients' rights to use a private caregiver instead of an MMC have also been destroyed by the legislature, leaving patients no options that don't involve the police. Attorney Jeff Gard is wrong that Colorado's medical marijuana amendment did not "grant the right to sell." The Constitution clearly states that "acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation" of marijuana for medical purposes are legal. Dozens of dispensaries operated here legally since at least 2005 without a single prosecution. Attorney General John Suthers actually issued a memo in 2009 saying dispensaries had to pay sales tax. If these businesses were illegal in 2009, why didn't he have them shut down? Instead, he told them to pay taxes. But Gard and many others have fallen for the law enforcement trickery that convinced dispensaries that they "needed" regulation to become "legitimate." The truth is that the state needed to create these new regulations so they could shut down the dispensaries that were legal under the Constitution. Join the movement to restore Constitutional protection to patients and dispensaries. And contribute to CannabisLawsuits.com. Laura Kriho Cannabis Therapy Institute Boulder - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.