Members of the Colorado House of Representatives have approved legislation, House Bill 1317, which seeks to roll back medical cannabis access for eligible patients.
The measure provides new, overly burdensome requirements upon physicians issuing medical cannabis recommendations. For the first time ever, it requires recommending physicians to mandate an explicit dosing regimen for their patients, a requirement that some legal experts speculate may place doctors in conflict with federal laws.
It also requires health care providers to conduct an assessment of the patients’ “mental health history,” even in cases where patients have no pre-existing or underlying mental health issues.
For those patients ages 18 to 20 seeking a first-time recommendation, the bill requires “two physicians from two different medical practices … to diagnose the patient as having a debilitating or disabling medical condition after an in-person consultation.”
It also limits the amount of medical marijuana concentrate that a patient may legally purchase in one day to 8 grams for adults or 2 grams for those ages 18 to 20, among other changes. You can read NORML’s written testimony detailing our opposition to the bill here.
House members voted 58 to 8 to advance an amended version of the bill, which now awaits further consideration by the Senate.
“This bill is a cynical effort by prohibitionists to severely roll back a policy that has been in place for two decades and that a majority of state residents support,” said NORML State Policies Manager Carly Wolf. “House Bill 1317 places additional and unreasonable hurdles upon recommending physicians as well as upon young adult patients and their families. Furthermore, some of the advocacy groups championing this measure are not acting in good faith – as they have publicly stated that their ultimate goal is to roll back legal access altogether, in Colorado and in other states.”
If you live in Colorado, take action now and send a message to your senators in opposition to the passage HB 1317.