Medical marijuana providers are upset over a proposal to limit their clients to only five patients per provider.
More than 7,600 Coloradans are registered to legally buy pot for medicinal purposes. There are more than 30 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout Colorado. The proposal to limit the number of clients could change the way providers do business.
Some customers spend as much as $470 an ounce. "It's expensive, but it's not as hazardous as trying to get it out on the street. I suffer from a lot of muscle spasms, joint aches, just a lot of pain in general," said Terry Ross, medical marijuana user.
At Patient's Choice on South Broadway, 20 different strains of pot are for sale. Co-owner Jim Bent said they have 300 customers, whom he prefers to call patients. When asked about the proposal to limit patients, he said "It's going to actually close us down here."
The Department of Public Health and Environment isn't commenting on the proposal, only stating "The department's position will be outlined at a public hearing on July 20."
"They say they want to try to give the patients, make sure they're gonna get the best care they can, but by doing so is going to allow more places to exist all over the place. I think it's gonna be harder to control in some areas," said Bent.
The Colorado Board of Health passed medical marijuana caretaker reforms in 2004, including the five patient cap. That policy was later overturned by a judge.
When the patient cap and other reforms are revisited later this month, Ross said he will be there to weigh in, because government is already represented in his medical care. "I just made a purchase, and it also had tax revenue tied right into it, and I don't mind paying the tax," said Ross.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Monday, July 13, 2009