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Reader: If Polis Doesn't Veto It, HB 1317 Will Kill Medical Marijuana

Jared Polis, a strong proponent of marijuana while in the U.S. Congress, visits a Colorado grow in 2018.
Jared Polis, a strong proponent of marijuana while in the U.S. Congress, visits a Colorado grow in 2018.
Kenzie Bruce
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Before the Colorado legislative session ended this week, House Bill 1317 had been amended close to thirty times. It's now on Governor Jared Polis's desk — along with plenty of complaints from medical marijuana patients and cannabis industry stakeholders, who are urging him to veto the bill that would add many layers to this state's marijuana regulations.

Advocates of MMJ are particularly concerned. "The sponsors of this bill seem to believe the 5 percent of registered medical marijuana patients who are eighteen to twenty years old are more likely to both abuse cannabis concentrates and to illegally divert them to minors. Unfortunately, their solution is to restrict all medical marijuana going forward," Cannabis Clinicians of Colorado wrote in a letter to Polis.

In their comments on the Westword Facebook post of our story on HB 1317's passage, readers offer other reasons to veto the bill. Says Dan:

Veto it. We voted to legalize weed. Not overly regulate it.

Adds Andrew: 

HB 1317 is an embarrassment to Colorado's years of work crafting the Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act,"foisting stricter results on Colorado adults for an unproven problem supported by outright lies. It's telling that the strongest supporters of the bill are those who stand to profit from prohibition: DAs and for-profit "drug counselors" clamoring to pass the bill but not pointing to any empirical support because they want the punitive lock-up and court-order-rehab system.

That's disgusting to us, the Coloradans who embraced Amendment 64. A call for more research is obviously one for more research confirming their beliefs. Reefer madness is fear-mongering and coercive. You know better than to sign it, Governor Polis.

Suggests Kyle:

This bill legitimately shits on patients. This state's cannabis policies have gone ass-backwards. This used to be a model for other states; I hope they dont take our lead. HB 1317 was and is a shit bill.

Notes Graeme: 

Considering doctors are prohibited by federal law from giving any advice on dosage, it’s pretty clear that this will do nothing but kill medical marijuana.

Responds Barbara:

Exactly. Don't sign the petition that wants to add $137 million to school budgets because it is to up the recreational marijuana tax. This horrible piece of legislation is meant to push patients off the rolls to use recreational MJ.

And Tracy concludes:

Polis is a massive hypocrite if he doesn't veto the shit out of this absolute garbage bill. Meanwhile, you could pull a semi-truck up to a liquor store and buy every bottle in the building. The only people supporting this are ignorant pearl-clutchers.

Republicans are Red
Democrats are Blue
Neither one of them
Gives a f*ck about you

When asked whether he would veto HB 1317 at a June 10 press conference, Polis said this: "We're not getting into, here, what we're signing and not signing. What I'm generally saying on every bill is something that we probably give you if you ask about a particular bill, and I'm paraphrasing it now. But we have an analysis presented to me on every bill: It's a legal analysis, a policy analysis and a fiscal analysis," he said. "We then make a decision accordingly, and certainly we'll notify you. It's certainly fair to say that the bills that we were supportive of during the process, we'd be expected to sign; but there's hundreds of bills, so certainly I look forward to evaluating those over the next few weeks."

What do you think Polis should do about HB 1317? Read the final version of the bill here, then post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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