Colorado Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill



​The Colorado State Senate has passed a bill designed to prevent recreational pot users from exploiting the law to obtain medical marijuana.

The Senate voted 34-1 on Monday to back Senate Bill 109, which will now go to the State House, reports The Associated Press.
The bill bars doctors from writing recommendations inside medical marijuana dispensaries.
It also requires that doctors review a person’s medical history and give them a full exam before recommending that they legally use medical marijuana.
Patients between 18 and 21 would be required to get the approval of two doctors, which is already required for patients under 18.

Photo: Westword
Matt Brown of CMMR: “There’s really very little in it”

​Among the best news about the bill’s passage, according to Matt Brown of Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation (CMMR), was the removal of a “medical review board” that would have scrutinized applications by patients between 18 and 21.
“I think that would have been unprecedented, and, if nothing else, it would have served as a flashpoint for a whole lot of anger and concern,” Brown told Westword‘s Michael Roberts.
Brown said that while the bill as passed does require signatures from two doctors for patients between 18 and 21 — “I don’t think that’s necessary; it’s not nearly as onerous as the other plan” — the two-doctor requirement isn’t unwieldy as the medical review board would have been.
Another reworked section of the bill would have given the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the power to say certain doctors were recommending too many medical marijuana patients.
“But it went back to what exists now as ‘best practices,’ which makes sense,” Brown said. “I think, by and large, the changes made bring the bill more in line with what you see in every other branch of medicine — and in the grand scheme of things, that’s a compromise we’re OK with.”
Brown feels positive about the gist of the bill, in part because it doesn’t try to over-regulate the medical marijuana business.
“There’s really very little in it,” he said.