Acree amends brownie killer bill to stave off Cap’n Chronic and Pot Tarts

Rep. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora, said Tuesday, that she will amend a bill that many fear will make edible marijuana products in the state illegal. She says her bill will protect children from consuming the medication by either accident or through the coercion of marketing ploys appealing to children such as farce breakfast names like “Cap’n Chronic” and “Pot Tarts.”

Acree, who is the bill’s sponsor in the House, introduced amendments today after the Medical Marijuana Industry Group urged them in conceptual form on her last month. The amendments included provisions to require tamper proof packaging and medicine-like labeling for medical marijuana edibles and would stipulate that products should not be presented in a way that appeals to children.  

While testimony was heard from advocates, many of whom were not aware of the amendments, the bill was laid over to provide Acree more time to hone amendment language.

Jim Gerhardt holds up medical marijuana edibles (Boven)

Shan Moore, whose son suffers from  an extremely rare neurological disorder that causes him intense seizures, drove from Colorado Springs concerned that the THC lozenges that have brought his son some semblance of normality would be banned. Moore told the committee that as amended he had no objections to the bill, but wanted to make certain that his son’s feelings on banning his medication were known.   

Ralph Morgan, of Organa Labs, told the Colorado Independent that as originally written the bill would have devastated his own organic cannabis company and other producers of medicinal marijuana. However, he said that with amendments the bill was “a wonderful compromise.”  

“Let’s have responsible packaging,” Morgan said.

Others testified that the bill was not needed because rules were already being promulgated by Colorado’s regulatory agency that will stipulate medical marijuana products must be labeled as a medicine and include ingredients.  While Acree agreed that rules were being made, she said that oftentimes it is necessary to ensure rules are done right through statutory guidance.

Rob Corry, a lawyer serving the medical marijuana industry, told the Colorado Independent that while creating child proof packaging was something he has supported since day one, he felt another amendment, one which would restrict marketing methods that appeal to children, was far too broad. He said it should be up to the parents to make certain their kids are not getting into their medicine.   

“It is about parental responsibility; parents need to keep their medical marijuana in their medicine cabinet,” Corry said.

Sgt. Jim Gerhardt, with the North Metro Task Force, testified that Acree’s bill would be helpful to the community. He said that there have been a number of cases where children have consumed medicinal marijuana products.

Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, also disagreed with many of the detractors of the bill’s proposed prohibition on children-friendly marketing. Pointing to Pot Tarts and Cap’n Chronic, Waller said he could easily see kids persuaded to try a drug if such persuasive devices were used. “That looks very similar to a product my child would consume,” Waller said.

In a press release this morning, The Cannabis Therapy Institute claimed that “Cap’n Chronic” and “Pot Tarts” are not real products.

From that release:

The Reefer Madness propaganda campaign based on the age-old “Save the Children” plea began with a letter from the Colorado Drug Investigators Association that had been given to Committee members with photographs of “Pot Tarts” and “Cap’n Chronic Cereal”, claiming that these were medical marijuana infused products that were showing up on Colorado school grounds and being marketed to children. However the “Pot Tarts” photograph in the letter came from a DEA bust in California in 1986, and the “Cap’n Chronic Cereal” photograph was only a T-shirt design and was never documented to be a real product by anyone.

An internet search this morning revealed that claims made by medical marijuana advocates were closer to the truth than information presented indicating these were real products being pushed at children in Colorado.

Scot Kersgaard contributed to this report.


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