Legislators Explore Modifying Laws Regarding Medical Marijuana!

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An amendment to the statute that went into effect in 2022 included new restrictions on medical marijuana. At the urging of patient advocates and to the displeasure of the groups fighting to ease the limitations, Colorado state senators will begin debate on a plan to pull back some of the restrictions set last year on medicinal marijuana on Thursday.

The Access to Medical Marijuana Act would roll back a number of the reforms that were passed and signed into law in 2021 and 2022. A decrease in the number of medical marijuana patients in Colorado is being blamed on the state’s tight regulations, according to advocates.

Medical marijuana card application facilitator Martha Montemayor lamented, “We’ve had a really difficult year with patients losing access to goods that were functioning well for them in the past.” Her clinics are located in cities ranging from Denver to Montrose.

To comply with the new law, doctors must conduct in-person evaluations of individuals in need of medical marijuana in 2022. Users between the ages of 18 and 20 face additional limitations, including a daily cap on the amount of marijuana concentrate they can purchase.

Rachel O’Bryan, co-founder of One Chance to Grow Up, an organization that fought for the 2022 law, stated, “We put these limits in place to protect patients and to protect these teens who were getting it and sharing it.”

O’Bryan claims the law has been effective, and he cites a decline of over 50% in the number of young adults between the ages of 18 and 20 who have medical cards in the state as evidence. However, Montemayor claimed that the rule limits everyone who uses it for medical purposes and that this has caused doctors and patients to abandon the program.

She agrees with the proposed modifications, which would exempt first-time applicants between the ages of 18 and 20 from the need that doctors to conduct in-person consultations and no longer require doctors to provide patients with individualized dose recommendations. It would also make it possible for patients to purchase larger quantities of potent marijuana.

She said that the passage of the bill would benefit those with “chronic, debilitating diseases” and their neighbors who were already taking the medication and needed to keep doing so. Contrary to what O’Bryan thought, though. She warned that it would “destroy all the common sense measures put in place barely two years ago.”

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