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Ruling clarifies who can give out medical marijuana in Colorado

FruityBud

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The Colorado Board of Health has unanimously approved a series of rule changes that deal with the use and distribution of medical marijuana.

The rules were passed on Wednesday in front of a crowd that was clearly agitated by the decision.

"The only people speaking for and on behalf of this language are law enforcement. This is a constitutional amendment based upon sick people in the State of Colorado. Shame on you. Shame on a lot of you if you pass this," Kathleen Chippi said before the votes were cast.

The rules, in part, seek to clarify the language inside Amendment 20, which was passed by Colorado voters in 2000. That amendment includes a provision that defines a "primary care-giver" as a person over the age of 18 who "has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition."

At issue is the word "significant."

Currently, based upon interpretation of the language, that "significant responsibility" has mostly relied on the "education and consultation on the use of marijuana." In other words, the medical marijuana caregiver must simply provide medical marijuana and consult on the potential benefits of its use.

Starting at the end of July, caregivers must start providing a more significant service to their patients. The language in the rule change recommends things like providing transportation, housekeeping or meal preparation. It's unclear how the rule changes will be enforced, but prosecutors say they will make it easier on them to identify the crooks from the caregivers.

"We are constantly dealing in our law enforcement efforts with drug dealers posing as care-givers in order to make a profit," Denver Deputy District Attorney Neal Richardson said.

It's important to note that the new rules will not impact medical marijuana dispensaries. Primary caregivers are typically limited to five patients a piece.

Other rule changes will require patients who are no longer suffering from a debilitating condition to return their medical marijuana card within 24 hours of the diagnosis.

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