Colorado Legislators Await First Bill To Regulate Medical Marijuana

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Photo: The Denver Chronicle
Medical marijuana supporters rally at the Capitol in Denver, Jan. 14, 2009

​The first bill to regulate Colorado’s medical marijuana industry will come before the Legislature today, according to its sponsor.

The bill, from state Sen. Chris Romer, would create stricter requirements for the relationship between medical marijuana patients and the doctors recommending it for them, report John Ingold and Jessica Fender of The Denver Post.
Marijuana providers would be barred from paying doctors who recommend cannabis to patients. Marijuana-recommending doctors would be required to be in good standing, with no restrictions on their medical licenses, and the doctor and patient would have to have a “bona fide” relationship in which the doctor provides a full examination and follow-up care.

The bill would also create a special review board to investigate applications for patients under 21 years old.
Sen. Romer (D-Denver) claimed he expected bipartisan support in the Legislature. “There’s about as much consensus as you’re ever going to get on this subject,” he said.

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Photo: Sensible Colorado
Brian Vicente: “Romer’s review board is a solution in search of a problem”

​Brian Vicente, executive director of medical marijuana advocacy group Sensible Colorado, said he supports a number of items in the bill, but he opposes the under-21 review board. Vicente said young patients shouldn’t have to jump through extra hoops to get medicine, and that the average age of medical marijuana patients in Colorado is 40.
“Romer’s review board is a solution in search of a problem,” Vicente said.
State Rep. Tom Massey (R-Poncha Springs) is expected later in the session to introduce an even more controversial medical marijuana bill, backed by law enforcement and despised by medical marijuana advocates.
Massey’s bill would limit to five the number of patients marijuana providers can serve, effectively outlawing cannabis dispensaries.
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