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Medical Marijuana in Colorado

How do I go about becoming a medical marijuana patient in Colorado?
Amendment 20, approved by Colorado voters in November 2000, authorizes the use of marijuana to alleviate certain debilitating medical conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS positive, cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis. In addition, patients and physicians may submit petitions to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to include other medical conditions that may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana.

What does it currently cost to receive/renew your ID card?
Originally the charge was 110$ per year, but this fee was recently reduced to $90 per year, expiring on the same date issued each year. This does not include the fee that the doctor available at the clinic may charge for the consultation and recommendation for medical marijuana.

How much medicine does my medical ID card legally allowed to possess or grow?
Amendment 20 authorizes a patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card to possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana and not more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature,flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.

How is my confidentiality protected?
Your confidentiality is protected by law and by the procedures used by the registry. No lists of doctors, patients of caregivers are given out to anyone. Local law enforcement may only contact the registry to verify the information on a specific identification card. The registry database resides on a stand-alone computer and is password protected and encrypted. The office and all of its contents are locked at night when the registry administrator is out of the office.

Does my card protect me from drug tests at work?
Unfortunately the Colorado medical marijuana law does not require any employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any work place. It is not specified whether or not this regulation concerning accommodation pertains only to on-the-job medical marijuana use, or more generally, to the employment of any individual who engages in the medical use of marijuana; in fact the amendment does not discuss the issue of employment-related drug testing at all.


Will my insurance pay for my weed? Or perhaps a prescription bong?
:) No, unfortunately under Colorado state law, no governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider shall be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.


What is a "Caregiver"?
"Primary care-giver" means a person, other than the patient and the patient's physician, who is eighteen years of age or older and has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition. If a patient so chooses, they may choose to select one primary caregiver, who may legally grow, posses, and distribute to the patient marijuana as is medically necessary. There is now no restriction to the number of patients which one primary caregiver may serve. The caregiver's name and address will appear on the patient's registry ID.


Where can I legally use my medicine?
No patient shall: Engage in the medical use of marijuana in a way that endangers the health or well-being of any person; or engage in the medical use of marijuana in plain view of, or in a place open to, the general public. Law enforcement has informed the Medical Marijuana Registry of the following: Any place outside of the patient’s home is considered public. “In plain view” also includes the patient’s yard or garage if that patient can be seen using their medicine by neighbors.


Why can’t I go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana?
Pharmacies can only dispense medications that are prescribed. Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, which means it cannot be prescribed by any health care professional. Amendment 20 allows doctors to recommend marijuana, and it allows patients to grow their own medical marijuana for their private use.


How is my confidentiality protected?
Your confidentiality is protected by law and by the procedures used by the registry. No lists of doctors, patients of caregivers are given out to anyone. Local law enforcement may only contact the registry to verify the information on a specific identification card. The registry database resides on a stand-alone computer and is password protected and encrypted. The office and all of its contents are locked at night when the registry administrator is out of the office.


How does my card protect me?
A patient may engage in the medical use of marijuana, with no more marijuana than is medically necessary to address a debilitating medical condition. A patient's medical use of marijuana, within the following limits, is lawful: No more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana; and no more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.


I do not have the money for the fee. Is it a one-time payment? Can it be waived? Can I make installment payments? Will my insurance pay?
Full payment must be made at the time of application. The fee must be paid with the renewal application each year. The fee cannot be waived, and the registry cannot accept installment payments. Insurance companies are not required to pay the fee.


What if I move or my caregiver moves? What if I want to change my caregiver?
When there has been a change in the name, address, physician, or primary caregiver of a patient who has qualified for a registry identification card, that patient must notify the registry of any such change within ten days. A patient who has not designated a primary caregiver at the time of application may do so in writing at any time during the effective period of the registry identification card, and the primary caregiver may act in this capacity after such designation.


Can I use my Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry identification card in another state?
At this time, there are no “reciprocity” agreements with other states to recognize the Colorado law except in Montana and Rhode Island.


I am a registered patient in another state, do I have any legal right to use my medicine while visiting Colorado?
A patient may engage in the medical use of marijuana, with no more marijuana than is medically necessary to address a debilitating medical condition. A patient's medical use of marijuana, within the following limits, is lawful: No more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana; and no more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.