Joined: Oct 24, 2006
Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:33 pm
Colorado Judge Suspends Limit on Number of Patients
Denver, CO: On Tuesday, July 3, Chief Denver District Court Judge Larry Naves issued a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of a rule limiting to five the number of patients to whom a caregiver can provide medical marijuana under state law.
The ruling came in a case brought by a 47 year old man suffering from AIDS and hepatitis C. The patient, Denver resident David LaGoy, had asked the state to designate one Daniel J. Pope to serve as his medical marijuana caregiver. The state had refused to permit Pope to serve in this capacity because he was already the authorized caregiver for five other patients.
In 2000, voters approved Amendment 20, the Colorado medical marijuana law, which permitted authorized caregivers to grow and provide marijuana to authorized patients. Under the law, caregivers must have "significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient," but no limit on the number of patients was included. The Colorado Department of Health subsequently adopted a rule limiting a caregiver to no more than five patients.
The judge said the rule was arbitrarily enacted without public input, putting patients at risk. The injunction applies to all medical marijuana patients and caregivers statewide.
This suit challenging the limitation on the number of patients a caregiver may serve was brought by NORML Legal Committee members Robert J. Corry and Sean McAllister, and Brian Vicente, the head of Sensible Colorado, a medical marijuana advocacy group in the state.
For additional information, contact Brian Vicente at Sensible Colorado at (720) 890-4247 or Keith Stroup, Esq., NORML Legal Counsel at (202) 483-5500.
Pending Texas Law Gives Cops Discretion In Minor Pot Cases
Austin, TX: Legislation that will go into effect in September grants police the option of issuing citations to minor marijuana offenders in lieu of making a criminal arrest. The new law was passed by the legislature to reduce criminal justice costs associated with the prosecution of certain misdemeanor crimes.
Under House Bill 2391, law enforcement will have the discretion to issue a citation mandating local individuals who commit specific Class A and/or Class B misdemeanor crimes to appear in court. An arrest warrant will be issued for defendants who fail to appear in court by the date specified in the citation.
Under Texas law, possession of up to four ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one-year in jail a fine of up to $4,000. Individuals who sell less than one-quarter ounce of cannabis are also guilty of a misdemeanor. The possession and/or sale of larger quantities of cannabis are felony offenses.
According to US FBI data, approximately 95 percent of all marijuana arrests in Texas are for misdemeanor possession.
House Bill 2391 goes into effect on September 1, 2007.
For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.
Doctors Not Proficient At Interpreting Drug Tests
Jacksonville, FL: Physicians who administer urine drug tests to their patients frequently misinterpret the results, according to data published recently in the Journal of Opioid Management.
The study posed seven multiple-choice questions to physicians who employ urinalysis to monitor their patients’ opioid therapy. Investigators reported that none of the doctors surveyed answered all seven questions accurately, and only 30 percent answered more than half correctly.
"Physicians who employ urine drug testing to monitor patients’ [drug use] are not proficient in test interpretation," authors concluded. "This study highlights the need for improved physician education."
A 2006 Harvard Medical School study of pediatricians who order drug screens for their patients reported that few physicians knew how to properly administer the tests or how to correctly interpret the results.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full text of the study, "Urine drug test interpretation: what do physicians know?" appears in the Journal of Opioid Management.
NORML and the NORML Foundation: 1600 K Street NW, Suite 501, Washington DC, 20006-2832
Tel: (202) 483-5500 • Fax: (202) 483-0057 • Email: email@example.com
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