Medical Marijuana: Colorado Bill to Rein-In Booming Scene Passes Senate

Stunned at the rapid increase in the number of registered medical marijuana patients in the state, the Colorado Senate voted overwhelmingly Monday to impose new restrictions on physicians who make medical marijuana recommendations. The Senate voted 34-1 to pass SB 109. Sponsored by Sens. Chris Romer (D-Denver) and Nancy Spence (R-Centennial), the bill would require physicians who make medical marijuana recommendations to have a "bona fide" relationship with patients, including treating a patient before he applies for medical marijuana, conducting a thorough physical exam, and providing follow-up care. The bill would also bar doctors from being paid by dispensaries to write recommendations and require that they not have any restrictions on their medical licenses. Doctors would have to keep records of all medical marijuana recommendations and provide them to state health agencies seeking to investigate doctors for violating state laws. The bill would also require persons between 18 and 21 to get recommended by two different physicians. Colorado began registering medical marijuana patients in June 2001 after voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing its use. For years, the number of patients hovered around 2,000, but after state courts last year threw out a regulation limiting the number of patients caregivers could provide for to five and the Obama administration signaled that it was not going to interfere in medical marijuana states, the numbers exploded. By last September, there were more than 17,000 registered patients, and now the number is near 40,000. A similar boom has gone on with dispensaries, with Colorado now second only to California in their numbers. The bill was supported by Colorado law enforcement and the Colorado Medical Association, but was opposed by most medical marijuana patients and providers. "This is the beginning of the end of the Wild West" for the state's booming medical-marijuana industry, said bill sponsor Sen. Chris Romer. "This bill is an unprecedented assault on the doctor-patient privilege that would hold medical marijuana doctors to a higher standard than any other doctor," medical marijuana attorney Robert Correy told lawmakers. "This would cause human suffering. The most sick and the most poor would be disproportionately harmed. You're going to see the Board of Medical Examiners conducting witch hunts against medical marijuana providers." The bill now moves to the House.
Denver, CO
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Where do they get their knowlege from?

Just look who engineered this . The cops.... they will lose jobs when they are, no longer, needed to fight the failed drug war. And, the doctors....... who stand to lose a lot of patients because the people will be able to, more cheaply, take care of things like chronic pain. ( a group of providers that is also under attack!)

They will threaten doctors, who prescribe, through the medical board!? Great move docs! We know where we stand with you!

To single out doctors for prescribing medical MJ is an obvious threat to doctors that will prescribe, by those who will not! Do it our way , or you will be unemployed. Great way to help out with any doctor shortages in small towns!

It boils down to the cops keeping their jobs and the medical establishment eliminating the competition! Greed drives it!

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