Sad Day for Colordado Patients - HB1284 Passes

source: Cannabis Therapy Institute

{Denver} -- The Colorado state Senate Local Government Committee took hours
of testimony yesterday on HB1284. One of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Chris
Romer (D-Denver), was quoted in several articles yesterday saying that the
bill is designed to shut down 80% of caregiving businesses in Colorado. The
Committee hearing started at 2pm and finally adjourned at 11:30pm. The
Committee voted in favor of HB1284 and some of its last minute amendments
by a vote of 6 to 0, with Senator Cadman absent.

Laura Kriho of the Cannabis Therapy Institute says, "This is a sad day for
patients. Not only have they been sold out by their lawmakers, but they
have been sold out by well-funded dispensaries, and they have been sold out
by so-called patient rights groups. This bill will destroy patients' access
to their medicine, drive prices up, and force patients back into the black
market. The will of the voters has been ignored once again by lawmakers,
and sick and dying Colorado citizens will suffer."

"This is taking patient rights back over 100 years," says Timothy Tipton, a
patient advocate with the Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative "Things are
going in the wrong direction. Patients in the 1800s had better access to
cannabis medicine than they will under this new law."

In a departure from hearings in other committees, the Local Government
Committee Chair, Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass), allowed disabled patients
to testify first. This was followed by several hours of testimony from law
enforcement, including the District Attorney for Adams and Broomfield
Counties, the District Attorney for El Paso and Teller Counties, the
District Attorney for Jefferson and Gilpin Counties, the County Sheriffs of
Colorado, the Colorado Chiefs of Police Association, the North Metro Drug
Task force, and more. Most of the law enforcement testified against the
bill, saying that they didn't believe the "dispensary model" was allowed
under Colorado's medical marijuana constitutional amendment.

Several representatives of Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation, a
lobbying group hired by a handful of well-funded dispensaries who have been
"working with" Senator Romer on gaining concessions friendly to big
business. CMMR testified in favor of HB1284, but was against a dozen or so
last-minute amendments to the bill that Senator Romer surprised them with
that morning. Also testifying on the CMMR team was Brian Vicente from
Sensible Colorado, an organization which claims to be in support of patient
rights. Sensible asked for several amendments, but overall was satisfied
with the bill that would eliminate 80% of patient's caregivers, force
prices up, and force patients to use only one dispensary for their

Laura Kriho, the director of the Cannabis Therapy Institute, urged the
Committee to kill HB1284 and urged lawmakers to form a statewide commission
to study programs that have been working locally and recommend a bill that
had a broad base of support. Mark Simon, an activist with the disabled
community, testified that neither Sen. Romer nor anyone else had reached
out to the disabled community to get their input on the bill.

Others who gave testimony against HB1284 were attorneys Robert J. Corry,
Jr. and Lauren Davis; Laurel Alterman, owner of Altermeds dispensary in
Louisville; Miguel Lopez of Mile High NORML; Robert Chase of Colorado
Coalition of Patients and Caregivers; and the Colorado Springs Medical
Marijuana Council. The mountain contingent was well-represented with
Kathleen Chippi, owner of One Brown Mouse dispensary in Nederland; Jessica
LaRoux of Twirling Hippy Confections and Mark Rose of Grateful Meds
dispensary in Nederland all testifying eloquently against the bill.

The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee and then will be
voted on by the full Senate. CTI is urging patient rights supporters to
contact their state senators and urge them to vote No on HB1284.

Provided as a Public Service by the:
Cannabis Therapy Institute
P.O. Box 19084
Boulder, CO 80308
Phone: 877-420-4205

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