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CannaBiz: A study in secret



Public vs. private

The state of Colorado has a subcommittee — underneath the umbrella of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, which makes recommendations to the state Legislature — studying the issue of placing limits on how much THC can legally exist in a Colorado driver's blood.

State lawmakers previously considered the limit, but it was shelved for future study. This is that further study.

But the existence of the marijuana per se workgroup was previously unknown, at least to Laura Kriho and Robert Chase of the Cannabis Therapy Institute and the Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers, respectively. Upon learning of it, they say, they asked group leader and attorney Sean McAllister to provide minutes of all previous meetings; to post sufficient online notification of future meetings; and to open meetings to the public. Under Colorado's Sunshine Laws, all of those are required of any public state rulemaking body.

McAllister apparently denied this request (he failed to return our calls), but did mention the next meeting. So the pair, in conjunction with Kathleen Chippi of the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project, showed up at the state Criminal Justice Division to protest the group's stance. Except, that meeting had been summarily canceled. When trying to find out why, the group (as shown in a YouTube video, available on the IndyBlog) was given the runaround by staff.

Earlier this week, we e-mailed spokesman Lance Clem with the Colorado Department of Public Safety for answers.

"[The marijuana per se] group [is] associated with the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. The commission has no rulemaking authority or responsibility," Clem replied. "It was created by the Colorado legislature to discuss a wide variety of issues in the criminal justice field and make recommendations to state agencies, the governor and general assembly."

In the meantime, Chase is anything but appeased, as his e-mails to Germaine Miera, the workgroup's liaison, attest.

"I again request that the CCJJ acknowledge that the Marijuana Per Se Working Group is a State public body in order to dispel the unfortunate impression conveyed by Sean McAllister and personnel of the Department of Public Safety that the CCJJ intends to continue to violate the Law," he wrote on Monday.

More driving & drugs

Denver's 9NEWS reports that race-car driver and Colorado MMJ patient Ronnie Hults has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR. The report says Hults, who uses the drug to combat chronic back pain from an auto accident, failed a marijuana test.

"I am sober at the time when I race a car," he told the TV station.

— Bryce Crawford

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