Every major news organization is reporting this today: State officials in Colorado have announced their intention to set up the nation’s first seed-to-sell tracking system for medical marijuana purchases, in order to prevent people from buying large amounts and re-selling it on the black market.
Patients and pro-marijuana activists are concerned that the tracking system will result in them being harassed once computers and cameras begin to monitor every ounce of pot that is sold in Colorado, while officials are considering requiring medical marijuana-using patients to be finger printed, and using RFIDs to track the actual pot.
Diana Bilyeu, a 49-year-old double amputee who uses up to 2 grams of cannabis a day as a treatment for chronic pain, says, “This is a matter of my functioning daily living. Some days I need more or less. I don’t know what business it is of the government’s.”
State officials maintain that the proposed regulations will establish the ability to ensure that medical marijuana, which has been legal in Colorado for ten years though there has been a recent increase in the number of dispensaries, isn’t being abused by users or drug dealers.
Colorado isn’t alone in its concerns, however, since fourteen other states already allow medical cannabis use, and several others having legalization initiatives on their November ballots. While no other state has gone as far as the tracking plan the Mile High state is proposing, it’s likely the Colorado plan could become a model for other states. Montana, for example, is expected to consider such tracking when lawmakers convene there next year.
The details of Colorado’s tracking plans haven’t yet been released, but regulators said that a plan involving the use of video surveillance and computers to flag multiple purchases will be in place by January.