Colorado cops feel handcuffed by medical-pot changes |

Colorado cops feel handcuffed by medical-pot changes

Mike McPhee
The Denver Post

Local law enforcement officers said they are flummoxed by “murky, confusing and vague” rules governing medical-marijuana production and are looking to the state legislature for clarification this January.

“The operative word here is ‘confusion,’ ” said Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates. “It’s very hard to figure out how to handle these issues.

“Our narcotics guys, when they come across a situation with a medical-marijuana defense, now consult with our prosecutors before moving forward.”

Last week, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that dispensaries must provide more care for patients than merely distributing medical marijuana. And this week, the state Board of Health removed from its regulations the meaning of the “significant relationships” that define what makes a caregiver, saying it feared a conflict with the court. Law enforcement agencies don’t know whether the actions lift the lid off the legal role of dispensaries or clamp it down tighter.

“It’s a very hot topic, with no definitive answers where the line is,” said Denver police Lt. Matt Murray.

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“The Board of Health decision, for me, only causes more confusion,” he said. “If we go on a raid and find marijuana, what do we do? If the user is licensed, what about the caregiver?”

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