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Colorado Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana While on Bond

Legislation banning courts from ordering those out of jail on bond to not use medical marijuana has been signed into law by Colorado’s governor.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 178 into law today. The measure “prohibits a court from imposing as a bond condition a ban on marijuana use if the person possesses a valid medical marijuana registry identification card.”

The Senate passed the measure in early March with a unanimous vote, and it was passed by the House of Representatives later that month with a vote of 57 to 6.

“This is a clean-up expanding upon existing law that allows the use of medical marijuana while on parole or probation,” says Senator Vicki Marble (R), the bill’s primary sponsor. “It is important to remember that medical marijuana patients released on bond have not been convicted of a crime. No judge should have the authority to overturn a doctor’s medical order.”

Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 178, which takes full effect on August 9th.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

1 comment

  1. Robert Chase

    I very much wish that people who use cannabis would take a more objective view — of course letting patients who use cannabis medicinally who are accused of a crime continue to use it while out on bond is appropriate, but overall, this legislative session has been a disaster for patients and their caregivers. The Colorado General Assembly considers more bills mentioning “marijuana [sic]” each year; there have been fifty-two (52) this session! Without evidence, the General Assembly decided that caregivers and patients are responsible for the diversion of cannabis out of state and passed a law (HB17-1220) making their cultivation of more than a certain number of plants a felony.

    Cancer patients using cannabis extracts may require more plants than will be allowed. Patients who juice cannabis leaves need even more. Companion legislation (HB17-1221) will give $6 million out of the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund (which consists of the revenue from State sales taxes on recreational cannabis) to rural cops to go after home grows. The Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Counties, Inc. using as a model Denver’s unconstitutional ordinance against growing more than twelve (12) plants in any residence under any circumstances, have passed similar ordinances across Colorado. Prohibitionists have opened a new front in the war against us by enlisting local police, sheriffs, and code enforcement officers to go door-to-door to count plants inside people’s homes.

    The People of Colorado overrode the fascists comprising its legislature to make first medicinal cannabis and then recreational cannabis legal in Colorado, but Colorado’s Establishment has never accepted their decisions and continues to criminalize the use of cannabis, contrary to the misimpression conveyed by the phrase “Colorado legalized marijuana” which has been repeated incessantly by the incompetent media ever since passage of Amendment 64. To the contrary, the General Assembly made all sales of cannabis across most of the State a felony, the cultivation of just seven (7) plants a felony, and cannabis up to a level 1 drug felony — the most serious kind of crime involving drugs that it is possible to commit in Colorado — in the legislative session immediately following the passage of Amendment 64(see SB13-250 and C.R.S. 18-18-406). People continue to be investigated, arrested, charged, and convicted of felonies uinder State law over cannabis (albeit at a lower rate than before Amendment 64); there are defendants facing eight-year minimum mandatory sentences in State prison for cannabis right now!

    Unless and until people who use cannabis drag themselves out of their abysmal legal and political ignorance and disengagement to fight for their rights, Prohibition will endure. It’s not impossible, but we as a community need to take stock of just how true the stereotype of cannabis-users as self-indulgent navel-gazers is and do what we can to break the mould. We must undertake the political education and organization of our base in the worst way; our political efforts so far have mostly been top-down and have not even attempted to reach out to the masses of people who use cannabis and engage them.

    The people selling cannabis legally in Colorado are a bunch of sellouts basking in the false perception that they are somehow activists against Prohibition when nothing could be further from the truth — trade groups such as the Marijuana Industry Group and Cannabis Chamber of Commerce have lobbied openly for legislation criminalizing patients and caregivers and failed to defend our constitutional rights to use cannabis. To the best of my knowledge, no dispensary owner has ever had a single political word to say to their customers — there are no political posters or pamphlets in dispensaries, no information about legislative efforts against cannabis. We have a very long way to go to legalize cannabis just under State law in Colorado and we have not taken the first step — people who use cannabis did not even constitute the margin of victory for Amendment 64; it was imposed on us by the national drug policy organization and the over 5/6 of the electorate in Colorado who do not use cannabis. What we are doing in effect is waiting around and hoping that the prohibitionists still firmly ensconced in and in control of State government and bureaucracy will respect our rights — it isn’t working!

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