Lawsuit filed to toss parts of Colorado medical marijuana laws

Suit was filed in Denver District Court Thursday in an effort to overturn laws passed by the Colorado Legislature restricting patient access to medical marijuana.

The laws in question (HB 10-1284 and HB 11-1043) restrict how many patients a caregiver can serve and stop caregivers from charging their patients for medical marijuana. To see the lawsuit, click here.

Plaintiffs include Kathleen Chippi, Damien LaGoy, The Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project, The Colorado Patient Alliance, The Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative and The Greenfaith Ministry. Plaintiffs attorney is Andrew Reid of Springer and Steinberg.

Plaintiffs allege that the new laws have the effect of forcing patients to buy their medicine from a dispensary instead of from a caregiver, which they say violates their rights under the state constitution.

“The constitution allows patients to choose their caregiver. The state cannot deny patients their constitutional rights by forcing them to purchase medicine at a retail marijuana store and give up all their confidentiality rights. The patients have a right to pick any compassionate caregiver they chose to provide their cannabis medicine, as long as the caregiver is over 18 and not the patients’ physician. The constitution is very clear on this, and I am confident our judge will agree,” said Chippi in a prepared statement.

Attorney Robert Corry, who will be filing amicus support for the lawsuit, said, “This lawsuit will give Colorado’s suffering medical marijuana patients a fighting chance to obtain their doctor-ordered medicine at a reasonable cost, with a reasonable
selection, while protecting their privacy and their constitutional rights.

The massive regulatory regime created by HB 101284, HB11-1043 and SB 10-109 is without precedent in America, and it is a violation of the law.”

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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