Lack of Affected person Safety Results in Colorado’s “B” Grade in Medical Marijuana


Regardless of new legal guidelines permitting simpler entry to medical marijuana, Colorado could not enhance its B grade in an annual report card from a nationwide cannabis advocacy group.

Annually since 2015, People for Protected Entry has issued a prolonged report card for each U.S. state and territory’s medical marijuana packages, or lack thereof. Whereas the seventeen states that have not legalized medical marijuana or severely restrict its entry received automated Fs on this 12 months’s version; As had been arduous to achieve, with simply Illinois and Oregon making the grade.

Colorado discovered itself within the center with the Cs and Bs, trailing states corresponding to Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts and Oklahoma, amongst others. The state’s 82.8/100 rating was simply two factors increased than 2018’s report card, regardless of passing new legal guidelines including situations eligible for medical marijuana (autism and any situation for which opioids are prescribed), and allowing dentists, psychiatrists, registered nurse practitioners and different healthcare professionals to advocate medical marijuana. One other legislation handed permitting dad and mom of kid sufferers to buy medicine extra simply on their kid’s behalf, as nicely.

States are graded in 4 classes — performance, affected person rights and civil safety, entry to drugs, and ease of navigation — and Colorado neared the highest of the category in three out of 4. Nevertheless, poor scores in affected person rights and civil safety pulled down what would have in any other case been a near-A grade.

Michelle Walker, a founding board member of Colorado’s new ASA chapter, believes the state’s medical marijuana program wants to enhance sufferers’ safety in housing, employment, firearms possession and parental rights. As states corresponding to Illinois and Oklahoma move medical marijuana legal guidelines with extra patient-friendly rules in a few of these areas, Colorado is trending extra towards a recreational-only state, she says.

“I feel what’s been tough is that we’re transferring at a gradual tempo, and different states are leaving us within the mud,” she explains. “We have had our program for nineteen years now, and we’re making these tiny incremental steps. Whereas now we have new states, like Illinois, which rating method higher than we did in employment and housing, as a result of they’re transferring at a method quicker tempo. These are elementary points that ought to’ve been addressed nineteen years in the past.” That is when voters accredited legalizing medical marijuana.

A Colorado Supreme Courtroom determination from 2015 offers corporations the appropriate to fireside medical marijuana sufferers for failing a drug check at any time, however Illinois sufferers are protected by a state legislation that enables them to medicate exterior of labor hours. Illinois additionally scored increased in housing protections for sufferers, in line with the ASA.

“There aren’t loads of legal guidelines defending sufferers in our state. Somebody could be fired for being a medical marijuana affected person, and it could be utterly authorized,” Walker says. “We inform households transferring right here from one other state for medical marijuana entry to not point out cannabis and why they moved right here once they’re making an attempt to lease a house, as a result of it might actually damage their probabilities.”

Walker says that her ASA chapter and different medical marijuana advocacy teams hope to handle these points with the Colorado Legislature in 2020, and she or he’s assured they will make progress, given the payments that handed in 2019. Even the ASA gave Polis a shout-out in its report card for the brand new legal guidelines increasing medical marijuana entry and security.

“In 2019, beneath the management of Governor Polis, the medical program noticed many wanted enhancements associated to qualifying situations, testing, and product formulations,” the report reads.

Nonetheless, who ever would have thought that Colorado can be outranked by Oklahoma in something involving marijuana?


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