If you think that you’re not being monitored by some nerdy dude in a dark room somewhere, you’re wrong. Everything you do on your phones and computer is tracked, not to mention your medical records are on file in how many computer systems? Patients that are using medical marijuana (as well as those who are using recreational) have great concerns for their privacy and who knows that they’re using marijuana to combat illness. Being kept on file can be very scary for some people and thankfully, the recreational shops in Colorado are doing what they can to provide recreational users with some privacy and hopefully medical shops will follow suit.
The amendment that Colorado passed doesn’t require that records be kept on those that purchase recreational marijuana. You simply walk in to the store, flash your ID (which I’m sure goes under very intense scrutiny to make sure that you are who the ID says you are, as well as the realness of the ID itself), and you can have your pick from the many strains that this shops carry. While the shops aren’t required to take down information, some have implemented rewards programs for what Brooke Gehring of Bud Med says is a way to “show the success of the business”. Which definitely makes a lot of sense! By instilling a rewards program, the shops can gain regular customers as well as offer promotional deals to those who return.
Since the law in Colorado was written to strongly resemble the rules set forth to govern alcohol, the stores are not required to get any additional information from their customers other than the government issued ID. However, customers must be aware of the presence of cameras in these shops (cameras are MANDATORY which means every shop will have them somewhere), where the images of customer faces are captured and can be looked at by the enforcement agents hired by the state up to 40 days after you visit the shop. Treating marijuana like alcohol in the recreational aspect is an extremely good idea that not only maintains the privacy of people buying but promotes that the employees pay much closer attention to their customers, much like the role of a bartender in a bar. Keep an eye out for sketchy behavior, know what a fake ID or passport looks like, and always stay alert.
In such a new industry, the laws and rules aren’t going to be perfect the first time around. There is a lot of work to be done in order to get the programs perfect and only time will show us where the cannabis industry will go from here. Medical patients deserve privacy like recreational users too. Even though some stoners don’t really care who knows that they’re smoking, there are others who just want to get stoned in peace. We can only wait to see where things go from here!