The Cannabis Therapy Institute, an organization "dedicated to helping patients achieve a better quality of life with cannabis," may have an Iowa phone number, but it's been very involved of late with pot issues in Colorado. Its "About Us" page notes, "Recently, our advocates helped secure a victory for Jason Lauve, a Boulder County Medical patient who was being prosecuted for having 'too much' medical cannabis. The jury acquitted him on the grounds that the language in Article 18, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution was vague in regards to how much medicine is 'medically necessary' and that a patient was allowed to decide whatever amount they needed."
Now, the organization has banded together with "the top experts in Colorado on the legal, medical and societal aspects of medicinal cannabis" to form what's dubbed the Medical Cannabis Policy Group; participants include Lauve, Colorado 420 Coalition's Hillary Hedgpeth, James Marks of Boulder's THC Ministry, NORML@CU's Alexander Douglas, Colorado Legal Eagles' Joseph Vigorito and several others. All are signatories on an open letter sent to Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett and councilpersons or commissioners in Denver, Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont and Louisville. The document declares, "It is important to clarify the rights and duties of caregivers, so that they may be compliant with state and local law, and thereby be (hopefully) tolerated by federal law enforcement," and asks officials to submit "contact information of the representative of your group who will be your liaison to the medical cannabis community" in order to help develop policies and guidelines that might clarify current medical-marijuana law -- a series of vague regulations that have communities throughout the state totally baffled.
Click "Continue" to read CTI's open letter.
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Open Letter To:
Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, Boulder County Commissioners, Boulder City Council, Erie City Council, Denver City Council, Lafayette City Council, Longmont City Council, Louisville City Council and other interested parties.
To all interested parties:
The Cannabis Therapy Institute is dedicated to medicinal cannabis education, research and advocacy. Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, Colorado's Medical Marijuana Amendment, allows a patient to possess cannabis for medicinal needs. If the patient cannot obtain the medicine for themselves, the Amendment allows them to have their primary caregiver obtain or grow it for them.
To better serve the needs of the many patients who are now using cannabis as medicine, caregivers have opened medicinal cannabis dispensaries. Unfortunately, Colorado's Medical Marijuana Amendment does not regulate caregivers in any way, leaving a large gray area in the law. For instance, matters related to proper tax collection, security, and dispensing standards are not defined.
In addition, federal law still does not contain an exemption for medical cannabis, creating further confusion about the law. However, the Obama Administration has promised not to enforce federal law in states that have medical cannabis laws, as long as the dispensaries are following their state and local laws.
For these reasons, it is important to clarify the rights and duties of caregivers, so that they may be compliant with state and local law, and thereby be (hopefully) tolerated by federal law enforcement.
The Cannabis Therapy Institute is forming the Medical Cannabis Policy Group composed of the top experts in Colorado on the legal, medical and societal aspects of medicinal cannabis. The Policy Group will develop model policies and best practices guidelines for medical cannabis caregivers, dispensaries and collectives that can be used to clarify the current law. These guidelines will value patient safety and privacy foremost, but also take into consideration the concerns of the local community and law enforcement. Our goal is to bring all interested parties together so we can develop a mutual understanding of what it takes to be compliant under the law for patients and caregivers.
We would like to invite you to join this discussion. Please send us an email with the contact information of the representative of your group who will be your liaison to the medical cannabis community. We look forward to opening a positive and productive dialogue so that we can move forward with our mutual goal of helping patients achieve safe access to medical cannabis within the guidelines of the Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution.
Jason Lauve Medical cannabis patient
Laura Kriho Cannabis Therapy Institute
Hillary Hedgpeth Colorado 420 Coalition
James Marks THC Ministry - Boulder
Alexander Douglas NORML@CU
Erin Marcove Cannabis Medical Expert
Bob and Kim Cohen Boulder patient advocates
Timothy Tipton Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative
Joseph Vigorito Colorado Legal Eagles