Medical marijuana card update: Four months later, William Breathes can finally breathe easy

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It looks like I missed the worst of it. Just four months ago, I sent in my application to renew my medical marijuana card and have been waiting on the edge of my seat to see if they would reject me for some trivial minutia ever since.

Yesterday, however, I was able to breathe a sigh of haze-filled relief when my red card finally showed up in the mail. It took about half the amount of time I expected, but still months longer than I had to wait for my first card.

Aside from being crisp and clean, the new card also has a bar code for the Man to track me with and the curious addition of the phrase "VALID ONLY IN COLORADO" printed along the bottom. Interesting, because states like Maine, Michigan, Montana, Rhode Island and even Arizona have reciprocity for visitors from other states with qualified paperwork.

Mark Salley, spokesman for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the department should be caught up with all cards by December 31. After that, he predicted, the CDPHE would be able to process cards within the state's designated 35-day window.

According to the CDPHE website, I am one of roughly 83,000 actual card-holding patients in Colorado right now -- but Salley estimated that the total will grow to 113,000 Colorado cards by year's end. While the department no longer receives thousands of applications each day, he added that there's been an increase in people applying for caregiver changes on their existing licenses.

The department has been under fire recently for their rejection and then temporary reinstatement of nearly 1,300 medical cards -- including Larry Shurtleff, who suffers from stage 4 cancer.

More from our Marijuana archive: "William Breathes's weed stinks up Poppy Harlow's car on CNN."

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