Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Local MMJ centers being barraged with calls

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM

The passage of Amendment 64 has sent interested parties into search mode for how to obtain the now legal-ish substance. The only problem is, says Tanya Garduno, they've been calling exactly the wrong place: medical-marijuana centers.

"It’s just out of control," says the president of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council in a phone interview with the Independent. "All the centers around the state are getting calls constantly right now, since the election, that regular people are wanting to come in, anyone over 21 is wanting to come in, and purchase.

"So, what we’ve done is we’ve put signs out on the outside door that remind people that you must have your red card, you must have your ID, in order to purchase," Garduno says, noting she's received panicked calls for help from Durango to Pueblo. "There is no over-21 purchasing at any of the centers — these are still medical facilities. And none of the new laws are even set to take hold until after the first of the year, and the feds have committed to try to keep that from happening."

In that vein, the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office issued a statement this morning, saying, "The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.”

Meanwhile, the Denver Post reports that Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is reluctantly on board. "Despite my strongly held belief that the 'legalization' of marijuana on a state level is very bad public policy, voters can be assured that the Attorney General's Office will move forward in assisting the pertinent executive branch agencies to implement this new provision in the Colorado Constitution," says Suthers in a quoted statement.

But the brand-new territory has been interesting for all. Bridgette Boyd, manager of Garduno's center, Amendment 20 Caregivers, says she's received five calls just this morning.

"They seem fine," she says. "They want more clarity on the amendment, though."

As for regular patients, Garduno says they should simply carry on: "We don’t want patients to let their red cards lapse," she says. Patients should "know that they still must have their red cards on them in order to possess their medicine; that regular people can’t do the ounces — that’s just not something that’s feasible until after the laws go into effect."

For more on what people can do, see our story from last week.

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