Attorney: Denver’s Medical Marijuana Regs Will ‘Cause Human Suffering’


Photo: Westword
Rob Corry: “The overall impact is going to be to harm people and cause human suffering”

‚ÄčOn Monday, the Denver City Council passed rules intended to regulate the city’s blossoming medical marijuana industry — and most members of the overflowing crowd weren’t happy with the results, reports Michael Roberts at Westword.

You should definitely count activist/attorney Rob Corry among those unhappy. Corry, who’d already threatened to file a lawsuit against Denver if the ordinance passed without significant change. Flash forward to Tuesday morning, when the council did exactly that — and Corry was quick to reemphasize his statement.
“If we can assemble an appropriate coalition of patients, caregivers, property owners and business owners, we will evaluate our legal options,” Corry said. “We’re obviously very disappointed by this unanimous smackdown of patients and our constitutional rights.”

Corry, however, did find some positive things about the process.
“I do want to commend some members of the city council for taking this seriously and actually visiting patients and businesses that they seek to regulate personally,” he allowed. “It’s a marked improvement over other municipalities that are like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, and wanting outright bans. Denver isn’t the worst player in this field.”
“I think there are are some aspects of the community that will be able to survive this onerous regulation,” Corry said, “and that’s a good thing.”
Still, he said, “The overall impact is going to harm people and cause human suffering, because patients aren’t going to be able to obtain their medicine.”
The new regulations are scheduled to kick in on March 1.
In the meantime, Corry said, “We’ll have a month and a half more of freedom — so I will advise my clients to distribute as much medical marijuana as they possibly can before then.”
As for the threatened lawsuit, “I don’t see us filing one this week,” Corry said. “We’re focused on other things — and we definitely need plaintiffs with standing who are willing to go to court. But if we can put together a coalition, we’ll definitely consider it.”
Some within the medical marijuana community believe they should move forward under the just-approved rules in the hope of more favorable guidelines in the future. But Corry is skepticasl of that approach.
“Once government creates regulatory barriers, it’s very unlikely that government will back down,” he said. “Usually it increases and increases and adds more and more barriers to freedom. I’m usually an optimistic guy, but when you get smacked down by a unanimous city council, it’s hard to strike a completely optimistic tone.”
“Our industry needs to resist the temptation to claim victory even when we don’t have a victory,” Corry said.
“And I don’t think this is a victory.”