When it comes to medical marijuana policy, Colorado has been a leader in almost every way. Colorado’s dispensary system is superior, with the state fully embracing the industry. However, Colorado is lacking in one area of medical marijuana. Colorado doesn’t have any provisions for out of state patient access to medical marijuana, nor does it provide any protections to out of state medical marijuana patients. My medical marijuana is just as effective in Colorado as it is in Oregon, yet if I was caught with marijuana in Colorado I would be looking at problems.
One would think that if states like Arizona and Montana have reciprocal agreements to honor other states’ medical marijuana patients, that Colorado would as well. Or even better yet, it would be better for out of staters if Colorado had a provision like Oregon, where out of state residents can still get enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program. But, out of state patients are left to fend for themselves when visiting beautiful Colorado.
Planning a trip to Denver, Colorado? If so, you better bring your own medical marijuana, because the medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado don’t sell to out of state patients (in theory!). My friend learned this lesson the hard way the last time he was in Colorado. He was in the Denver area and went into several medical marijuana dispensaries. No matter what he told them about his long time enrollment in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), they just gave him the ‘I’m sorry’ look and asked me to leave. He didn’t bring any medicine with him because he was always told how medical marijuana friendly Colorado is, but apparently that was a different part of the state!
My uncle went to Boulder, Colorado to purchase medical marijuana once upon a time and he told me that he found a place that sells to out of state medical marijuana patients, but only after they got their Colorado prescription in-house. I don’t know if this ‘pay to play’ deal exists elsewhere in Colorado, but I couldn’t find it anywhere I was at this last visit. Any suggestions from TWB readers in the Colorado area? Colorado is a top tourist destination, and who knows how many of those tourists are medical marijuana patients who are in need of safe access to medical marijuana.
Marijuana policy reform in Colorado is a constant evolutionary process. There are efforts to legalize marijuana in Colorado, to regulate it similar to alcohol, to put in place anti-medical marijuana discrimination in the workplace measures, etc. However, I never hear about anyone talking about opening up the program to patients visiting from other states. If Colorado is going to stay a leader in medical marijuana policy in America, I really hope that the system will be fixed sooner than later.
Patients only risk a minor fine if they get caught in Colorado with less than two ounces of marijuana, so it’s not as vital as in other harsher states. But with full protection not only would medical marijuana patients avoid all fines, it would also allow those patients to visit Colorado’s endless supply of medical marijuana dispensaries. Which as a medical marijuana patient from Oregon who has visited Colorado, I can say first hand the help would be greatly appreciated!