MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS
WARNING: Cannabis is still illegal under Federal Law. Regardless of any state or city having passed laws allowing medical or medicinal cannabis or has otherwise decriminalized possession of cannabis. (See Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 U.S.C. § 811)). This basically means that the Federal Government has the power to conduct raids, make arrests, prosecute, and penalize persons using, consuming, possessing, distributing, manufacturing, cultivating, etc.
Additionally, persons desiring to use cannabis in Colorado for medicinal purposes must adhere to Colorado’s law regulating such use to avoid criminal prosecution under Colorado law prior to the use or possession of cannabis.
On November 7, 2000, the Colorado voters approved the use of cannabis for medicinal or medical purposes. This new law took effect on June 1, 2001. The law is designed to allow individuals suffering from a “debilitating medical condition” to use cannabis for conditions that may be reasonably alleviated by the use of cannabis. See Colorado Constitution, Article 18 section 14 below.
A patient must be diagnosed by a physician (doctor of medicine, in good standing, licensed to practice medicine in Colorado) as having a debilitating medical condition. The physician must advise the patient of the benefits of the medical use of marijuana in connection with the debilitating medical condition. The patient then submits an application to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to receive an Identification Card, http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hs/medicalmarijuana/fullpacket.pdf. With an Identification Card, the patient may engage in the medical use of marijuana, with no more marijuana than is medically necessary to treat the debilitating medical condition.
The registered patient may possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana and no more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.
The patient may not use medical marijuana in plain view of, or in a place open to, the general public. Likewise, the use of medical marijuana may not be used in a way that endangers the health or well-being of any person. Law enforcement has informed the Marijuana Registry that “any place outside the patient’s home is considered public.” “In plain view” also includes the patient’s yard or garage if that patient can be seen using their medicine by neighbors.