Colorado MMJ Numbers Climbing, but Still Far from Peak
While medical marijuana numbers continue to rise in Colorado, they are still far below the peak achieved last year.
As of the end of May, there were 98,910 card-holding medical marijuana patients in the state according to MMJ registry numbers released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
But at this time last year there were over 128,000 patents registered in the state. From July to November of 2011 almost 50,000 patients dropped off the official rolls, but there has been a small, steady climb since December to the current number just under 100,000.
Where are the patients going? Simply put, they are returning to the registry slowly. More invasive rules regarding tracking in the state are seemingly making some patients wary of who is following the course of their medical history.
Most patients live in the Denver metro area and severe pain is the most common reason for medical cannabis recommendations.
Patients know very well that medical marijuana is illegal under federal laws, and the idea that the feds are seeing them purchase medical cannabis and knowing what they purchased is unsettling at best. So patients dropped off the registry and went another route, most probably moving back into the black market.
But as time goes on more patients are going back to the convenience and quality of regulated medical marijuana. While it is disconcerting for the feds to know your business, they are only going after providers and caregivers so far, and unless they start randomly arresting people who are solely patients, it is unlikely they will prosecute individual patients at all, unless they want to arrest 100,000 people.
The numbers will likely continue to climb in Colorado, at least until the federal government decides to thoroughly crack down on dispensaries in the state.
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