Colorado governor sued over new medical cannabis law

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A medical cannabis patient is suing Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) over the medical cannabis reform package the governor signed last month, Westword reports. The lawsuit filed by attorney Alex Buscher on behalf of Benjamin Wann alleges the new law is unconstitutional and forcing doctors to prescribe medical cannabis – instead of recommending it – in violation of federal regulations.

The new regulations for patients under the age of 21 require a diagnosis of a “debilitating or disabling disease” by two doctors from different medical practices and personal follow-up appointments every six months, unless the patient is home. According to the new law, patients under the age of 21 are only allowed to buy 2 grams of cannabis concentrates per day. Proponents of the legislation argue that there is a need to avoid diverting medicinal cannabis products to adolescents.

“When doctors decide to stop recommending medical marijuana because they’re afraid of theirs [Drug Enforcement Administration] Licenses, then the medical program is over. Amendment No 20 is clear: Doctors need not say that a patient will benefit from marijuana. All you have to do is confirm the conclusion that a patient could benefit from marijuana. ”- Buscher on Westword

Buscher also argues that the METRC-powered data collection system introduced by the new law to ensure patients under the age of 21 are not given more than their daily limits could violate patient privacy rights and result in federal prosecution.

Additionally, the attorney says that a law change was not included in the final text of the bill sent to the governor, which is against state law and therefore a reason “to repeal the entire bill for not having gone through the entire process. ”

“I think it was a mistake based on the speed with which this was enforced and the amount of changes made, but that change is not in there,” Buscher told Westword.

Buscher said he is likely to enlist other state agencies, including the Department of Marijuana Enforcement and the Department of Public Health and Environment, along with other plaintiffs, in the coming weeks.

The governor’s office did not comment on the lawsuit, but Buscher said he considered the case “very solid” based on the provisions of the constitutional amendment on medical cannabis. However, he admits that “very few cases are ever won in which the unconstitutionality is challenged in state and local laws”.

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TG joined Ganjapreneur as a news writer in 2014 and began hosting the Ganjapreneur podcast in 2016. He lives in New York State, where he also teaches media studies at a local university.