Colo. Senate Votes to Tighten Controls on Medical Marijuana

The Colorado Senate has voted 34-1 in favor of a bill that would require residents to have an established relationship with a doctor in order to obtain a recommendation to use marijuana for medical reasons, KDVR-TV reported Feb. 1.

The vote in the full Senate swiftly followed approval of the bill, S-109, in a key legislative committee. The measure prohibits doctors from making medical-marijuana recommendations without having an ongoing professional relationship with the patient, bans doctors from issuing recommendations at marijuana dispensaries, and requires medical users to get approval from two physicians.

Lawmakers also are seeking to tighten control over medical-marijuana ID cards and physician documentation; the bill sets penalties for doctors who violate the law, as well.

Many advocates for medical-marijuana patients have criticized the measure for violating doctor-patient privilege and setting up roadblocks to accessing marijuana for medical use, but some marijuana dispensary owners have welcomed the increased state regulation.

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