Medical marijuana vote a victory for Colorado patients |

Medical marijuana vote a victory for Colorado patients

Claire Trageser
The Denver Post
Denver, CO Colorado
Rick and Kim Spiegel from Centennial, CO came to show their support for medical marijuana at the Colorado Board of Health Public Rulemaking Hearing on the Rules and Regulation pertaining to medical use of Marijuana. Kim suffered a stroke several years ago and suffers from a post-stroke complication called thalamic pain syndrome. Rick says that since the stroke she was on close to a dozen different narcotics prescribed by doctors to ease her pain, and nothing worked. Medical marijuana is the only thing that has worked, and the two have just applied and received a license for its use. Kathryn Osler/The Denver Post

A proposal that would have effectively shut down medical-marijuana dispensaries was rejected Monday night by the Colorado Board of Health.

In addition to voting down a plan to limit medical-marijuana caregivers to five patients each, the board also refused to require that caregivers help patients with daily activities. The board did, however, agree to changes meant to prevent fraud – and left the door open to revisiting the cap on patients another time.

The decision, which came after 12 hours of testimony and deliberations, was met with a loud cheer from the 50 or so people remaining in the audience on the Auraria campus, which had numbered 500 at the start of the day. People stood up, jumped up and down and screamed.

“We’re happy the board did the compassionate thing,” said Brian Vicente, the director of Sensible Colorado, a pro-marijuana nonprofit advocacy group. “This is a win for Coloradan sick patients and the voters.”

Opponents of the changes, particularly the proposal to cap the number of patients a caregiver could have at five, said the proposals would have potentially cut off access for about 7,630 Coloradans registered as patients who can legally use the drug. Currently, caregivers sometimes take the form of dispensaries serving hundreds of patients.

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