Colorado’s Governor Cracks Down on Misused Medical Marijuana
May 28th, 2015
Policy, Top News
Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper signed a new law that will crackdown on improperly used and untaxed medical marijuana this week.
The law limits caregivers to 99 plants and forces high-volume growers to be treated as commercial growers – subjecting them to increased oversight, licensing fees, and background checks. Recreational marijuana growers supported the measure to help stop black-market growers that don’t face residency requirements or seed-to-sale tracking requirements designed to ensure that plants are grown and sold legally to those in need.
Interestingly, the law doesn’t require caregivers to register their growing operations, but rather, it encourages them to register by assuring them that authorities could verify their number of plants without starting a criminal investigation. Currently, authorities would have to force caregivers to prove in court that their operations are legal, which makes it a difficult law to enforce and defend from both sides of the table.
In addition, the law removes from unenforced requirements for medical marijuana patients in order to ensure they’re staying within the law. Parents of medical marijuana patients under the age of 18 will be permitted purchase the drug instead of strictly growing it. A task force was also setup public access to the state’s few marijuana testing labs, which had been avoided in the past due to a fear of backlogs that could clog the system.
School districts would also be permitted to consider permitting medical marijuana use on campus as long as the drug was administered by a parent or designated medical professional – not including school nurses. The allowance could be the first in the nation, although it’s unlikely that many schools would opt-in to the measure for fear of parent push-back.
In the end, the Governor believes that the new law is largely in line with what the community wants and should ultimately help eliminate some holes in the prior framework.
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