Thursday, January 6, 2011

Group files lawsuit to overturn parts of Colorado MMJ laws

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Kathleen Chippi
  • Kathleen Chippi

Kathleen Chippi and the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project are suing the state of Colorado with intention to overturn parts of House Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 109. The suit has been filed with the state Supreme Court, in an attempt to expedite the process and skip lower appellate courts.

The suit, which we first reported in early November, was filed by Andrew B. Reid, senior counsel with a Denver law firm, on behalf of Chippi. Parts of the aforementioned laws, a news release says, "restrict medical marijuana patient access to medicine and violate patient privacy rights guaranteed by the Colorado constitution."

"This petition was necessary to stop the state's blatant attack on fundamental constitutional patient and caregiver rights," says Chippi in the release. "Coloradans need immediate clarification on rights they enjoyed from 2000 through 2009, and why some of those rights were extinguished by the state legislature in 2010. Medical marijuana patients are sick of being treated like second-class citizens."

To that end, the suit asks the Supreme Court to rule on two questions: Do HB 1284 and SB 109 violate patients' rights to their medication? And do the information disclosure provisions in HB 1284 violate patients' rights to privacy?

The lawsuit also seeks to overturn the ability of local municipalities to ban medical marijuana within their jurisdictions; asks the court to rule it's unconstitutional for the Department of Revenue, or any government body, to regulate MMJ in any way; to overturn caregiver-patient limits; and to rule that that physicians cannot be denied the opportunity to recommend MMJ due to restrictions on their license.

"It is the duty of this Court to interpret and enforce and protect those rights," Reid writes in the petition. "The will of the clear majority of the People of Colorado and the health and quality of life of hundreds of thousands of citizens and residents of this State suffering from debilitating and life-threatening conditions lie with this Court."

Click here to read the full petition.

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