Attorney Rob Corry, one of the most aggressive medical marijuana advocates on the current scene, isn't about to ease up as the Colorado legislature prepares to consider legislation on the subject.
His latest gambit? Earlier today, he sent an open-records request to the Colorado Department of Health relating to revenue generated by medical marijuana. Via e-mail, he writes that the state has received "conservatively $1.7 million... from suffering patients paying for the privilege of waiting four months for a paper card that doesn't fit in normal wallets and falls apart in one wash." He wants to know where the money has gone.
In the letter, Corry documents 19,691 patients who received registry cards between June 2001 and September 2009, but that figure is clearly out of date. As Joel Warner reported on Monday, the health department recently set a record, receiving 1,650 applications in a single day.
Read Corry's letter below:
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Dear Custodian of Records:
We hereby request, pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act, C.R.S. §24-72-201 et seq., any and all "writings," under C.R.S. § 24-72-202(8), and public records," under C.R.S. § 24-72-202(6)(a)(I), relating to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Medical Marijuana Registry financial records.
According to the CDPHE website, as of September 30, 2009, a total of 19,691 patients have applied for registry cards since June 2001, when the registry commenced. Multiplying this number by the $90.00 fee means the State has taken in at least $1.7 MILLION from suffering patients. This number is quite conservative, as there have been thousands of additional applicants between September 30, 2009 and the present. Additionally, for years the fee was $110.00. Given the CDPHE's admitted four-month severe delay in issuance of cards to patients, CDPHE's "mission creep" in compiling these unnecessary and intrusive statistics, and evidently scrutinizing physician recommendation data and referring allegedly too-prolific physicians to the Board, serious questions are raised as to the allocation of the patients' funds.
This CORA request includes bank statements, accounting, financial spread sheets, analyses, memoranda, and other documents reflecting any and all funds or monies received by the CHPHE for Medical Marijuana Registry cards covering the period from the inception of the registry program in approximately 2000 through the present day. This request includes, but is not limited to, any financial statements or other records reflecting the number of patients applying for the card and paying the fee, and the total amount of funds and fees received by CDPHE paid by patients, caregivers, and others for the registry card, as well as specifics regarding how the current $90.00 fee funds the operation of the program, accounting of all costs and staff, whether the current $90.00 fee charged to patients is excessive or insufficient to fund the program, and the amount of funds leftover after this fee is collected from patients, and how the CDPHE and/or the Colorado Legislature arrived at the figure of $258,735.00 that the Legislature deducted from the medical marijuana cash fund and diverted to the general fund on April 20, 2009, and how the Legislature selected that particular date to take these fees away from the administration of the registry program.
Pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-72-203(3)(a) and § 24-72-205(1), please make the records available for inspection and copying as soon as possible. If you decide to withhold from inspection any part of the requested records, please provide a written statement of the grounds for denial pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-72-305(6).
Please email Law Clerk Travis Simpson of my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at Robert.Corry@comcast.net or call 303-634- 2244 if you have any questions and to arrange for inspection and/or copying of the records. If it is easier, please make electronic copies and forward to my office. Before incurring any costs, please advise me. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.
Robert J. Corry, Jr.
cc. Travis Simpson, Law Clerk