Drug Law

Colorado Marijuana Patients Must Give Up Privacy

| by NORML
If these new regulations go into effect, the medical marijuana patients of Colorado will suffer an illegal and immoral violation of their rights.  The new Department of Revenue rules related to video surveillance and tracking of patient purchases violate the patients’ right to confidentiality guaranteed in the Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution.

(Toke of the Town) The Colorado Department of Revenue has released 99 pages of new regulations governing medical marijuana in the state. The most concerning aspect of these new rules, according to the Boulder-based Cannabis Therapy Institute (CTI), is the invasion of patient privacy they allow.  In order to buy cannabis at a Medical Marijuana Center (the legal name for dispensaries in Colorado), patients will be forced to give up their constitutional right to confidentiality and become participants in the Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient and Medicine Tracking Database and Surveillance System, according to CTI.  This new $4 million-plus database will track everything from seed to sale. This includes every time a patient enters a dispensary, including what they purchase as well as when, where and how often they purchase marijuana.

This isn’t even done when buying potentially deadly drugs like Morphine or Oxycontin!

Information will be logged into the database, and video surveillance will be collected of each patient as they make their purchase. These video surveillance camera feeds will be viewable remotely by law enforcement 24/7 on demand.  The new database will replace the confidential Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment registry, and will be shared with agencies including the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Colorado Division of Labor and Employment, state and local law enforcement, and more.

The sharing of the personal information of these patients will profile them to be automatic suspects in a variety of situations!

“There are no security guidelines for how this information will be kept secure,” CTI said in a Monday press release. “As we have seen with WikiLeaks, it is virtually impossible to guarantee that electronic records will remain confidential.”  “This is an unprecedented assault on the Constitutional guarantee to confidentiality of medical marijuana patients in Colorado,” CTI said. “We MUST stop the state from developing this database and replacing the confidential registry.”

You can send public comments up until and at the hearing on January 27-28. These are important, as they will become part of the official rule-making record.

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