We’re down to the wire. Just three days left, and there are shenanigans afoot at the Capitol. It’s not over ’til it’s over.
The Cannabist reported on Wednesday that there is a move in the final days of the 2017 legislative session to severely restrict cannabis consumption, even in your own home, the so-called “front porch” amendment.
Senate Bill SB-184 would forbid marijuana consumption in any place where “a substantial number of the public” has access without restriction, such as a park or sidewalk. The latest version debated Wednesday took it a step further to prohibit consumption in “a place not protected from unaided observation lawfully made from outside its perimeter.”
We want to make sure that the legislature knows that cannabis patients and consumers will not tolerate a last-minute deal in the final days of the session that interferes with our constitutional rights. This is the email we sent to the Conference Committee on SB-184 as well to as other key legislators.
Please vote to oppose any attempt to impose a statewide consumption ban through the so called “front porch” amendment to SB17-184 (Creating an Open and Public Definition for the Consumption of Marijuana) that died in the first Conference Committee on Wednesday, May 3.
This is a far cry from the original intent of the bill which was to allow local governments the flexibility to regulate public consumption and to provide privately regulated places for consumers and patients to consume marijuana. The language that was rejected would go further than the front porch to include everywhere visible, making smoking marijuana in your home a criminal activity if it was visible through a window from any legal vantage point.
This language attacks the home. The home is the only place where patients have the Constitutional right to consume their medicine. However this language doesn’t just affect patients. It affects every individual in our state who consumes marijuana.
At a time when medical marijuana patients are fighting to be recognized, this marginalizes these vulnerable patients, turning them into criminals, forcing them to hide, shoving them all back into the closet. Unlike other medications, not only are patients not allowed to consume their medicine in public, under the proposed definition, it would be a criminal offense for them to even be seen using their physician-recommended medicine, on their own property.
SB-184 was intended to give local governments tools to regulate public consumption, not create a standard that effectively bans consumption statewide, even on private property. What constitutes open and public consumption, particularly on private property, has been the subject of many conversations since the passage of Amendment 64, primarily because of concerns about infringing on property rights. Now this bill is being used to sidestep those important conversations and apply a definition to private property with no consideration of the rights of those most affected: patients and consumers. There has been no public input on this important decision. Such a maneuver in the final days of the legislative session, without feedback from the communities this impacts, is disingenuous and would be in opposition to the opinion of the majority of voters in Colorado and the country.
- February 2015 – Quinnipiac University found that 58% of Colorado Voters still support Marijuana legalization more than two years after Coloradans voted to allow recreational marijuana use compared to 38% of state’s residents who are against legalization.
- June 2015 – Public Polling Policy poll of likely Denver voters showed a 56 percent majority in favor of allowing marijuana consumption at commercial venues, with 40 percent opposed and 5 percent unsure.
- May 2016 – A nationwide poll on medical marijuana by Quinnipiac University found 89 percent support for “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it.”
- October 2016 – Gallup releases poll showing 60% support legalizing marijuana in the US. Up from 35% in 2005.
- February 2017 – Quinnipiac Poll shows 93% of Americans favor medical marijuana.
- April 2017 – CBS News Poll shows 61% of Americans Support legalizing marijuana all together.
Will parents risk losing their kids if someone sees them medicating their child to stop a seizure? Will cancer patients risk going to jail if someone sees them smoking marijuana in their home while trying to quell the nausea from chemotherapy? What options will patients who want to consume in a ventilated area away from their children have, if not in a social club or on their own front porch? This is not fair and equitable treatment of patients. This does not respect constitutional rights.
Colorado can do better than this last-minute attempt to infringe on our constitutional rights. Please support SB-184 as it passed the House and Vote NO on any attempt to make it a criminal offense to consume at home.
Founder / Executive Director
Cannabis Patients Alliance
Now we need you to do the same! Don’t wait! Since this bill is still being worked on, this language could come back again. We want to make sure the legislature knows that this is bad policy, especially without public comment from the people most directly affected.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
With just 3 days left in the session, this fight isn’t over. We want YOU to fill up their inboxes as quickly as possible. Make a quick call or send a short email. Use talking points from the email above. Please be brief and keep your tone respectful. DO IT TODAY!
SB 184 Conference Committee Members to Contact
Sen John Cooke: email@example.com 303-866-4451
Sen Bob Gardner: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-4880
Sen Lois Court: email@example.com 303-866-4861
Rep Mike Foote: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-2920
Rep Dan Pabon: email@example.com 303-866-2954
Rep Kevin Van Winkle: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-2936
Senate Leadership and Key Contacts
Sen Irene Aguilar: email@example.com 303-866-4852
Sen Kevin Grantham: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-4877
Sen Lucia Guzman: email@example.com 303-866-4862
Sen Chris Holbert: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-4881
Sen Cheri Jahn: email@example.com 303-866-4856
Sen Andy Kerr: SenatorAndyKerr@gmail.com 303-866-4859
Sen Kevin Lundberg: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-4853
Sen Vicki Marble: email@example.com 303-866-4876
Sen Dominick Moreno: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-4857
Sen Tim Neville: email@example.com 303-866-4873
House Leadership and Key Contacts
Rep Crisanta Duran: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-2925
Rep KC Becker: email@example.com 303-866-2578
Rep Alec Garnett: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-2911
Rep Joann Ginal: email@example.com 303-866-4569
Rep Leslie Herod: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-2959
Rep Chris Kennedy: email@example.com 303-866-2951
Rep Steve Lebsock: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-2931
Rep Jovan Melton: email@example.com 303-866-2919
Rep Patrick Neville: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-5523
Rep Joe Salazar: email@example.com 303-866-2918
Rep Jonathan Singer: firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-2780
Thank you for supporting cannabis patients and helping to ensure that their constitutional right to consume their medicine at home is protected.
Cannabis Patients Alliance is working hard to change hearts and minds one conversation at a time. We can’t do it alone. We need your support! Please DONATE NOW or BECOME AN ALLY so we can continue this important work.