For the first time in six months, Colorado medical marijuana patient registry numbers have gone up -- albeit by a very small amount. After a long delay between updates, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment finally released medical marijuana patient registry stats from December 2011 that show 82,089 patients were registered as of December 31, 2011 -- an increase of 1,531 people.
While many patients have cited privacy concerns for not renewing their cards over the last six months, others have said they were waiting for the patient registry fee drop from $90 to $35 in January before renewing. Also, around 500 patients have been denied marijuana cards over the last two months for seeing physician assistants instead of doctors and must wait until July at the earliest before attempting to register again.
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Despite the small jump in patient numbers in December, the registry is still down more than 46,600 patients from it's peak enrollment in June 2011 and shy some 34,100 patients from December 2010.
Around 58 percent of all patients still designate someone else as their primary caregiver. That means that there are approximately 9,522 caregivers out there, assuming each one has the maximum five patients allowed.
Most patients still live in the seven-county metro area and 68 percent of all patients are male. There are forty patients under the age of eighteen who have parental consent to use ganja as some form of treatment. Severe pain and muscle spasms are the most common ailments listed by doctors writing the recommendations.
More from our Marijuana archive: "High Times Medical Cannabis Cup returning to Denver" and "Medical marijuana: Seed sales 'gray area' with the state."