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Colorado Medical Marijuana Program Doing Great

People think only California has medical marijuana and this is simply not true.

I as talking to a relative from Colorado yesterday about medical marijuana and their response to my comments about medical marijuana programs was “well thats only in California.”

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They were shocked to find out that their state had a medical marijuana program and it is actually growing exponentially and doing great!

As the hearing of a proposed Colorado medical marijuana ammendment kicked off this morning, Ron Hyman, registrar for the Colorado Department of Vital Statistics gave some insightful information about the state’s medical marijuana program. The rate of growth of the program is turning out to be more than the department can handle. Currently, there are just over 9,000 registered medical marijuana patients in Colorado. The program has been growing at an average rate of 1,000 new patients per month. However, June showed a drastic increase to 2,000 patients. The registry receives up to 200 pieces of mail per day, and is scrambling to stay on top of all requests for information by phone, mail, and e-mail. Such clear growth in the program seems to indicate incredible demand. Ron Hyman said about keeping up with the growth of the program, “we do have concerns about the future.” Some speculation about the growth is being related to the growth of other medical marijuana programs around the nation, the reputation of the program, and finally with political climate change on a federal level, according to Ron Hyman.

People must be informed about medical marijuana and its availability to citizens of states that maintain the program. California is far from the only place where medical marijuana is not only showing progress but doing so without increasing crime, addiction stats, or anything negative. Patients should be allowed to grow and buy medical marijuana, and programs like this prove that it can be done professionally and with compassion.

When asked how long the trend will continue to grow, Hyman indicated the tapering off of the program is not predicted to happen anytime soon. Hyman compared Colorado to Oregon in population, and then stated Oregon has over 30,000 registered medical marijuana patients. With this information why would anyone think it is a good idea to limit the number of patients a caregiver can give provide for? If the demand for medicine continues to grow at the predicted level, who is going to provide this medicine? Imposing such extreme limitations will either create more crime, or create a society of caregivers. Growing marijuana in the homes of sick people is not safer than having people who know what they are doing grow the medicine. In fact, expecting someone to care for a sick person and learn how to grow the medicine that person requires is a little much to ask from most people. If you cared for your sick parent or grandparent, would you want the responsibility of providing the only medicine that gives them relief? Talk about burdening the caregiver!

This is the number one reason we need dispensaries and collectives so patients who are too sick to grow their own can find it when they need it (marijuana) and not be forced to black market.

Forcing patients to buy marijuana from criminals is not the best way to go about this. Let patients grow and allow more medical marijuaan dispensaries.

Ernestina Chacko is a writer and a photographer. Before joining, she was a senior contributor at Bloomberg USA.