A lawsuit has been filed in Denver District Court seeking to overturn many of the laws passed over the last two years in Colorado in regards to medical marijuana, like the laws set to go into effect today.
The Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project sent out a press release today detailing the lawsuit. Here is a portion of the PR:
The goal of the lawsuit is to restore Constitutional protection that patients and caregivers enjoyed prior to the passage of these new laws. The new medical marijuana laws severely restrict caregivers from serving patients, by limiting how many patients a caregiver can serve and denying caregivers the right to charge for their services. The lawsuit asks the court for a declaratory judgment on whether the Constitution allows a patient to choose any caregiver they wish. The lawsuit argues that no limits were set on caregivers in the Constitution, and that the patient has the ultimate right to decide who will provide his cannabis medicine.
Click here to read the complaint:
The complaint was filed by Andrew B. Reid, a prominent constitutional attorney, who is senior counsel for Springer and Steinberg, P.C., a Denver law firm. The plaintiffs are Kathleen Chippi, Damien LaGoy, the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project, the Colorado Patient Alliance, the Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative, and the Greenfaith Ministry. This is an adaptation of the Supreme Court original jurisdiction petition regarding some of these same issues that was filed in January 2011 by Andrew Reid on behalf of Kathleen Chippi and the PCRLP.
Kathleen Chippi is a Nederland caregiver and dispensary owner and founding member of the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project. The PCRLP is a coalition of patients, caregivers, and dispensary owners who have been harmed by the passage of these new laws. Kathleen has been at the forefront of cannabis politics since 1993, when she formed Colorado’s first hemp foods company. She became a provider of medical marijuana for patients and opened a caregiving business in 2009. The new laws forced her to abandon her patients and turn her energy into raising money to file this constitutional challenge.
“The constitution allows patients to choose their caregiver. The state cannot deny patients their Constitutional rights by forcing them to purchase medicine at a retail marijuana store and give up all their confidentiality rights. The patients have a right to pick any compassionate caregiver they chose to provide their cannabis medicine, as long as the caregiver is over 18 and not the patients’ physician. The Constitution is very clear on this, and I am confident our judge will agree,” says Chippi.
As we have seen in Montana, the courts can be a place where patients can have their rights protected from overzealous politicians. Hopefully things don’t have to go as far in CO as they did in Montana before the politicians can be reigned in.