Medical Marijuana Protest Planned at State Capitol Today

The demonstration is dubbed the "Funeral of Colorado's Medical Cannabis Access" by organizers.
The demonstration is dubbed the "Funeral of Colorado's Medical Cannabis Access" by organizers. Lindsey Bartlett
A group of medical marijuana patients and activists are planning to protest in front of Governor Jared Polis's office today, August 16.

The action is a response to the passage and implementation of House Bill 1317, a new law that restricts medical marijuana access and concentrate sales. Dubbed the "Funeral of Colorado's Medical Cannabis Access" by organizers, the demonstration will start in the basement of the State Capitol Building at noon "for a procession to the Governor's Office" that will run until 1:30 p.m.

Billed as an attempt to curb youth use of extracted marijuana products, HB 1317 requires medical marijuana physicians to provide a THC dosage and preferred ingested method with a medical marijuana recommendation; it also calls for increased medical and mental health reviews for patients, limits medical marijuana concentrate purchases, and requires that all MMJ transactions be entered into a new state tracking system.

More state restrictions on concentrated THC products had been pushed by lobbies representing parents, public educators and health-care representatives, who cited Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data showing that the use of extracted marijuana products more than doubled among teenagers from 2015 to 2019.

As a result, new medical patients between the ages of 18 and 20 will need to get additional doctor approval before receiving a marijuana recommendation, and will also have a daily concentrate purchasing limit of 2 grams instead of 8.

Medical marijuana advocates and parents of child patients have argued that the new rules will limit access and unfairly affect homebound and disabled patients. When Polis signed the bill in June, the director of one of Colorado's largest organizations of medical marijuana health-care professionals said that HB 1317 "will effectively kill medical marijuana in Colorado."

Polis is currently being sued by a nineteen-year-old medical marijuana patient for signing the bill into law.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell