Medical Pot Database Delays Could Cost Patients Thousands, Get Them Arrested
Part of I-502, the initiative that legalized recreational marijuana, included so-called reforms for the medical marijuana industry. Now, some of those plans, including creating a database of users, could cost patients a lot of money, and given new regulations, perhaps even get them in legal trouble for their pot use.
Pressured by the legal pot industry, the ACLU and others, the state has created a new database and regulations designed to supposedly regulate the medical marijuana industry.
Unlike legal pot stores, the medical marijuana industry had far fewer regulations when legal pot passed. The pot industry, including store owners, growers and producers, wanted the state to force medical marijuana dispensaries and even users to fall under the same regulations as the pot stores.
Now the Department of Health says with new regulations going online July 1st, there will likely be a delay in finishing the medical marijuana database. The information is a list of all legal medical marijuana users in the state, and from that list, discount cards were to be produced that would allow them to do the following:
- purchase up to three times the legal limit of recreational users
- purchase high impact or THC infused products such as edibles
- Grow more than four plants in their residence
- purchase pot products tax free
- have full legal protection from arrest, prosecution and legal penalties for the afore-mentioned activities.
Department of Health officials say medical marijuana patients can purchase pot from state stores, but cannot take advantage of the benefits until the database is finished, and the cards are produced.
This has been met with a roar of opposition from the medical marijuana community, as many of the users are terminally ill, legally disabled, or otherwise on fixed income situations. Critics say patients legally allowed to use marijuana for medical reasons won't be able to afford recreational pot, and it will cause extreme financial hardship.
Critics also say it's part of a squeeze play on the medical marijuana industry. In order to gain the support of the medical marijuana industry, supporters of legalized pot said the medical pot industry wouldn't be largely affected by I-502. But it hasn't turned out that way.
The recreational pot industry has pressured the state to severely restrict the sale and use of medical pot, because it's now viewed as 'competition' for recreational marijuana.