Medical marijuana patients in Colorado whose physicians have recommended increased plant counts beyond the legally allotted six are on their own in court, since state officials said last week that they will no longer defend the practice.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a notice to physicians and patients alike on April 30 letting them know that the state will no longer be able to officially register increased plant counts. Because there is no scientific data on effective medical marijuana dosing, the notice states, the state can’t stand behind doctors who recommend increased plant counts for patients who often use the larger amounts to make concentrates or edibles.
Despite this rule change, the CDPHE is asking patients and doctors who continue using or recommending increased plant counts to submit any information on the efficacy of the treatment to the department for tracking purposes.
“As the department currently has no regulatory framework to assess and verify medical necessity for increased plant/ounce counts, the Registry will not report plant/ounce counts to law enforcement,” the notice states. “Patients with plant counts higher than the standard of six plants and two ounces are encouraged to keep a copy of their applications, physician certifications and other documentation submitted to the Registry.”
And if you’re busted with more than two ounces or six plants? Don’t look to the state for help. Fortunately, increased amounts are covered in Amendment 20, which legalized medical cannabis in the state: According to that law, patients with increased counts, as well as their caregivers, “may raise as an affirmative defense to charges of violation of state law that such greater amounts were medically necessary to address the patient’s debilitating medical condition.”
More over at the Denver Westword.