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Medical marijuana patient-tracking program meeting violated Sunshine Law?

7greeneyes

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url: h7gep://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/06/medical_marijuana_tracking_program_meeting_sunshine_laws.php

One of my biggest fears concerning MMJ movement realized :eek: This will not be good...Stay Safe People.

Medical marijuana patient-tracking program meeting violated Sunshine Law?

By Michael Roberts Tue., Jun. 12 2012 at 9:54 AM


Last week, our William Breathes reported on a meeting about a medical marijuana tracking program that would link the MMJ patient registry with law enforcement computers.
Marijuana advocate Kathleen Chippi is upset that the get-together was not open to the public, and she plans to file a complaint alleging a violation of Colorado's Sunshine Laws -- if, that is, she and fellow activists can figure out the proper way to do so.
"The departments are not helping us," says an obviously frustrated Chippi. "We've talked to people at every department that was involved in the meeting," which focused on collaboration between the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, "and we got responses like, 'Well, we can't answer that,' or something to that effect. They're not giving us a clear and concise answer. But the bottom line is, we know the meeting wasn't posted publicly, and we know from William's article that the public was asked not to come."
Indeed, CDPHE spokesman Mark Salley declined to confirm the meeting's 1 p.m. start time but stressed to Breathes that it was not open to the public.
In Chippi's view, the sharing of patient information with law enforcement in the way envisioned by the CDPHE and the CBI is unconstitutional. She points to this passage of Amendment 20, the measure that legalized medical marijuana in Colorado:
Authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies shall be granted access to the information contained within the state health agency's confidential registry only for the purpose of verifying that an individual who has presented a registry identification card to a state or local law enforcement official is lawfully in possession of such card.​
Moreover, she thinks the database opens up the possibility that Colorado patients could be targeted and prosecuted by federal authorities, who don't recognize a right to use marijuana medically. She cites a story shared by attorney Josh Kappel, who told her about an individual with a concealed-carry permit who revealed himself to be a patient during a traffic stop. Two weeks later, the patient is said to have received a letter from the county informing him that his concealed-carry permit had been revoked because he is an illegal drug user.

Chippi feels that situations like these present even greater risks to patients now that the Colorado courts have refused to hear appeals of cases involving Jason Beinor and Leonard Watkins. Those rulings held that Amendment 20 is far from the impenetrable shield many MMJ users assumed it to be.
"For twelve years, our constitutional amendment has said something, and patients thought they were protected," Chippi says. "And for ten years, the health department has said the registry would never be put online at all. It was supposed to be one modem at the department of health. And now they're sharing information with law enforcement."
Assurances that this data flow won't be turned against patients are "more than hollow," in Chippi's view. "We're talking about people's livelihoods: their families, their children, their survival in what I consider to be a new Great Depression. Patients can't afford to be in court proceedings over their children, over their job -- and we know they're going to be shot down in court because of the Beinor and Watkins rulings."
How to get around this scenario? Chippi points to Initiative 70, a marijuana legalization measure she backs. Unlike Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which has already been approved for the November ballot, it makes marijuana use a constitutional right. But that's not all. "We were able to address the Watkins ruling and federal preemption by stopping any resources from the State of Colorado being used in the enforcement of federal marijuana laws," she notes.
At this point, Chippi believes supporters of Initiative 70 have collected roughly a third of the signatures necessary for it to qualify for the ballot -- but she's under no illusions about how difficult it will be to gather the rest by the early August deadline. She thinks backers will need to raise in the neighborhood of $250,000 earmarked for professional signature gatherers in order to make up the gap.
In the meantime, however, she's determined to file an open-meetings complaint over the database gathering -- and she doesn't plan on letting alleged bureaucratic obstruction stand in her way.
 

Diameed

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This is a sad reality. In my opinion that because some states and other local officials have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to federal mj laws and have in "some in incidences " move toward more liberal interpretation of their (local/state) laws and in some cases eased these laws to (sort of) decriminalize possession of small amounts.

The gleam and glitter of the idea that like Canada, US citizens could set up a system of (medical mj) outlets, "legal grow ops" all based on the support of medical Doctors prescribing mj as a treatment for some patients has created a dangerous slippery slope for those that have registered as card carrying users.

As long as the laws and policy's of the federal government are that mj is under the CSA, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, which means that the federal government views marijuana as highly addictive and having no medical value. Along with laws governing driving that there is a ZERO tolerance for THC in the blood. Without any determination or definition of "impaired" as set for alcohol.

I fear registered users will become targets and easy to find.

Some times being under ground off the radar maybe a wiser path.
 
R

Roddy

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It's still legal under state laws and I still doubt the feds are gonna come knocking on the personal (or even caregiver) growing legal under state laws. Yes, it's illegal federally, but even if they have your name, the chances of them coming and knocking is slim....MAYBE the state police will visit to check your grow, but you'd have to draw the fed's attention to get them to come knocking!

JMHO
 

7greeneyes

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Yeah but if you were the DEA, who would you bust? The mexican drug cartels like the Zeta's that most definatley maim slaughter and kill to achieve their ends and commit wholesale slaughter/all out warfare or passive domestic "mmj" patients whose real estate would be of great value in forfeiture? It's pretty easy math...call me a Paranoid Pete but thats just how I see it...

no seriously, call me Paranoid Pete :rolleyes: :rofl:
 

Diameed

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Hey I am your side. Based on the things I have seen the federal government do in my life time I just don't underestimate them or their good intentions :)
 

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