Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2011
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Copyright: 2011 Boulder Weekly
Author: Laura Kriho, Cannabis Therapy Institute/Boulder


(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

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

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

Laura Kriho

Cannabis Therapy Institute

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