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House of Mirrors

From the El Paso County Jail. There may be glitches while i learn WordPress. http://hipgnosis21.blogspot.com/2014/07/of-mirrors-june-2014-el-paso-county.html

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2014

House of Mirrors

House of Mirrors

26 June 2014

El Paso County Jail

Don’t freak out now, anyone. I’m still out of jail, pending appeal, as of today, 23 July 2014.

Sorry, no footnotes in the blogger. You can get them here
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1umk-RPyxoiQTPSS84Cp4sR80UAXFzsVRpuiRBVzrdNA/edit?usp=sharing

Pogo couldn’t have known the heft and resonance of his words: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

I wrote a screed a while back, (Today’s Tom Sawyer), excoriating shitty Christian behavior. There’s still plenty to say about all that, and maybe some of it will come out here, but it’s not the point of this one. During that earlier rant, i promised to harp, eventually, about bad behavior on the part of pagans, dope fiends, felons, bikers, disgruntled employees, GIs, vets, and some of my other natural affinity groups as well.

That isn’t it either. Or maybe it is. But not really. Not quite. I promised to write about the Fear, too, and nor is it that, though the Fear runs through it all. This is about a war.

Many members of of various of the groups on that funny little list i jotted just now recognize and will now openly state that there’s a war looming. They’re wrong about that much anyhow–the looming is all done and the fight is on. Right now. It’s been on for decades, (or maybe forever). I’m here “jotting” because that’s what one does in the county jail, where i am a political prisoner–a POW, really, though i prefer to think of myself as a prisoner of conscience–but maybe it’s a digression to say so. Or maybe not. Let’s explore this amalgam of notions a bit, and see if we can find out.

Here at the county jail one finds a  peculiarly refined microcosm of the way the dynamics of the variously conflicting groups involved in this bizarre  war interact, cleared of much of the dross of false civility that ordinarily circumvents the fight out on the sidewalk, at least here in the U.S.A.

I know Europeans here that want to skedaddle from this place and others afraid to come here because many of them can see the shitstorm brewing and it scares them. They often seem to see it more clearly than we Americans are able to do at least in part because our access to real news is barely over nil, of maybe because as outside observers they aren’t saddled with the cognitive dissonance we sorry brainwashed frogs that live in this hot-ass boiling lake must so often suffer. I don’t know. I hope they realize this pond holds us all.

Oddly enough, while the interactions at the county jail display some of the finer points of conflict in out absurdly labeled free society, they also show some reasons for hope. There are still lights burning.

“Fuck the Police!”

I don’t know how many times i’ve heard that phrase from some of my dearest friends. I’ve uttered them myself. Often. Sometimes at the top of my lungs. Sometimes it was far more personal: “Fuck you! That’s right, you, personally, whomever you may be in your opposition to me, my pursuits, my people. Maybe i should refer to the less common; “Fuck the Pigs,’ because the police are only a fractional representation of one segment, one camp of that particular overarching social entity the hippies were talking about when they began to disparage swine so badly as to label their opposition thusly in this odd existential war from whence the flesh and blood scrap derives.

“Battle lines are being drawn,” went the line from the Buffalo Springfield some fifty-ish years back. They’re pretty well drawn, now, though they resemble lines a three-year-old might scribble. The shit’s on. People are fighting. The skirmishes often feel like some kind of kids’ game though too, involving blindfolds and billyclubs. Maybe i can’t deny swinging a stick around myself, sometimes. Maybe that’swhat this is–a chance for me to look in the mirror a little, Maybe it’s because it’s hard to sit the game out when i keep getting hit in the head. Whatever. Let’s keep on through the maze and just hope we don’t smash too many mirrors.

During the Occupation we intrepids staged a few years back, (and some of us still engage–viva la revolución and all), my son and i traveled to Denver for the final push when the cops razed the encampment there. The scene that October of 2011 there in Denver was some shit this country hadn’t seen in over forty years maybe, where armored brigades of soldiers–not cops at all but stormtroopers–rolled on a huge, disparate group of unarmed citizens. It was tragic. And beautiful. Versions of the same scene played out all around the world that fall.

There at Civic Center Park, across the avenue from the State Capitol building, the Boy and i stood in the thick of it as those battle lines sharpened, and then blew apart as the whole outhouse hit the fan.

Some thousands of us had marched boisterously through Denver’s business district, pausing for a special visit at the Federal Reserve. After completing a wide loop around downtown we mounted the Capitol steps for whatever confrontation the Denver planners had planned. They, (to claim a thing–we), had been warned explicitly beforehand to stay off that particular edifice, so the moment we took the steps and began railing through one of our ubiquitous bullhorns, the shock teams appeared, as if the bearded-Spock Enterprise had beamed them to the scene.

Honestly, i was pretty fucking nervous at that point. It’s not as though i’d never been beaten up by the cops before, but that stuff is kind of a young man’s sport, and i was never really all that much a fan anyhow. Besides, those had always been cops, not armored sci-fi gladiators. But the main thing was the Boy. He was fifteen then and down for plenty, but he looked pretty worried too, and, (the mainthing, actually), i knew i’d never live through my next conversation with his mother if i allowed him to be beaten and busted by the police. I suggested we pull back to the park and we did, but i felt pretty spineless for having done it, really.

The Boy and i had a quick consult: “You see what this is going to be, right?” “Yeah.” “Are you down, or not?” Nervous but firm, “Yeah.” “Fuck it then…God damn it; your mom is gonna kill me. Let’s get some lunch.”

The park itself  was packed with crowds of Occupiers, some having returned with us from the march and probably harboring thoughts similar to mine. The encampment had been there for a good while by then, and the Black Flag Anarchists’ Free Kitchen was in full flight. It had already been dismantled more than once as a special preparatory project for the cops–kind of a warm-up. Knowing well what was coming, the no-nonsense scrappy men’n’women in black behind the table were all assholes with elbows, flying around in a frenzy with grim serious joy in their eyes as they did their level best to sling as much great tasting free food as possible before the inevitable hammer fell. Those guys were freaking awesome sauce with motherfuckin’ cherries on top!

Rather than spark an actual and possibly justifiable war on the Capitol steps, even the most radical and adrenaline-blinded of the group holding that position chose to retreat and quickly joined us at the park. The scene was oddly festive, with tents and art projects and folks dressed for carnival. The mid-autumn day was one of those beautiful Colorado Indian summer affairs with pristine blue skies through which flitted happy and blissfully oblivious birdies merrily on the lookout for delectable kitchen scraps. But wait! What the hey!!? The second the steps were abandoned and that contingent joined those meeker souls at the park, the rest of the cops in the danged known universe materialized in a huff and began setting up for some sort of paramilitary invasion. No shit–we all saw pretty quickly what the Denver PD had in mind for all those fun military vehicles and equipment they’d been collecting.

The scene changed dramatically there on the sidewalk where the Anarchists’ Kitchen was set up. There was plenty of action before then, but the top-gun radicals had been at the Capitol along with most of the cops. Now a phalanx quickly formed four deep with armored, shielded, armed, dangerous, implacable, and apparently stoically unflappable police stretching all around, up and down–all over the fucking place. Where the Boy and i stood a few sidewalk squares south of the Kitchen the scene was still like a carnival spreading away and outward into the park in every direction save the east, buy more like something Ray Bradbury or John Clifford might have dreamt up. Moving east to west one would have passed through four rows of cops in a formation that i’d only seen before in movies about Fascist  takeovers where American patriots saved the day by vanquishing some identically clad and positioned foe as we occupiers faced that day, armored only with our damn-the-torpedoes ethical certitude. Stepping by the entrenched police if one were to dare it, one would have passed a modest tree lawn, an ordinary sidewalk crowded with dark festival-goers, and could then step up to the folding table that served as the Anarchists’ ordering counter and serving table set up facing east from the immediate western line of the sidewalk across from the antiMayberry lines facing the stubbornly unaltered scene in the Kitchen.

The cops just stood there for what seems to memory like hours, but it couldn’t have been all afternoon or anything. Maybe so. The Boy and i milled around a bit getting a look at the overall scene and scoping out the various sections of the park. Behind the Kitchen to the west were the bulk of the tents, say a hundred or more, though others were scattered about. Further  west a concrete round with maybe a fountain or something hosted a bunch of info tables, some artsy hippies working on various projects, a triage setup, some chanting Hare Krishnas. More cops surrounded the camp, even more moved to close off the farthest reaches of the west side, We all saw we were utterly circumscribed and our physical position was hopeless. There was plenty of Hope, mind you, but all of it founded on our spiritual position, see.

As we awaited  what everyone knew to be inexorable, not so many of us remained quiet, (by “us” i mean Occupiers here; the most visible government employees were silent). I did mostly, and so did the Boy, he for his reasons and i for mine. The whole scene produced its own racket, but the most noticeable volume arose from the collection of spirit-moved Occupiers working the lines of eerily insensate gendarmes. Each was moved by his or her own personal spirit, few of which were very friendly toward the collective juggernaut we faced. More than one strode frenetically up and down whichever line was convenient  hurling f-bombs and spittle with as much force as he could muster. You know: “Fuck the Police!!!” and,“Fuck Yoooou!!!” from distances as close as the collected officers’ gear would allow. The pointillistic rows of cops, each in his own world, stared into space, eyes forward and directed at some Unknown, refusing eye contact. Only God and each man in his solitude knew what blackness filled his vision, (and possibly anyone operating one of those guv’mint mind-reading gizmos, if you’re into that sort of thinking).

Sensibly, few of the “non-violent” protesters were mad–that is crazy–enough to attempt to get physical. Those that did were promptly stomped, smashed and removed from the game. Otherwise with many pushing the envelope right to its most extreme limit, the arms-down-and-rigid-face forward-inches-from-any-nearest-random-cop’s-shielded-face stance of extreme and barely checked agitation rapidly became familiar. I for one was amazed at the extraordinary and rather creepy restraint the beleaguered police were displaying, though few shield-screened eyes could keep from betraying internal turmoil. Virtually none of the cops would assent to eye contact.

As this scene played itself out, a few Occupiers attempted to convince their fellows to mellow. In the midst of the very front and most electrical line of all this, there in front of the aforementioned Kitchen, one lone Occupier was working the line of gear-laden men, moved by a different spirit indeed. He was preaching it, baby. Pleading. Begging. Beseeching. As near to tears as i am now as this scene spills its way from my fingertips, fluid in his expressive motion to and fro as any practiced Sunday morning crowd-pleaser can i get a amen. “Don’t you see it? You are us! We are you! Please, stop this! We are one–we must stop fighting!” And in some brilliant, divinely inspired voice, “Lay down your shields! Join us! Put down your clubs and have some lunch!”

And then …right there in front of the Boy and me…with the scene in the actual Kitchen production area behind the table unchanged from before the lines formed…one of them did exactly that.

There was actually a fat queue at the Kitchen counter that parted like the Red Sea, astonished, for this newborn brother of ours to step up and claim his serving. He ate his food in silence and retook his spot in that other line which remained unaltered as his fellows stood unmoved, apparently in both senses. The Boy and i collected our portion of genuinely bomb-ass risotto and began to  eat with more on our minds than i can possibly describe. Before we were half through our plates the order came and we found ourselves dining amidst a police riot, our rice flavored by tear gas. (I got off the hook before, when the story remained vague. I suppose his mom is going to kill me now, after all).

The rest of the action went down as one would expect, with ample blood, outrage, and pepper-bullet injury and indignity and tears and drama. It was all on the news, with much expansion available on YouTube. You can look it up. None of that is the point.

I heard that one cop was fired perfunctorily that night.

We were there. Right fucking there. It really happened. It was so surreal i almost have to ask the Boy if it actually wasn’t some kind of dream.

Those two guys, though. That cop! When we all do what he did, just maybe then the war will be over. He looked up  and noticed he was looking in the fucking mirror.

The thing about all this is that the crowd of Occupiers was a full-on quorum of average joes with representation across several spectra. There were Christians, pagans, dope fiends, felons, bikers, disgruntled employees, GIs, vets, blue-collar Barney Rubbles, Republicans, Democrats, hippies, neo-hippies, and chanting, jangling Hare Krishnas, The cops were disguised as an invading foreign force but we all know they were really just a bunch of Christians, pagans, dope fiends, felons, bikers, disgruntled employees, GIs, vets, blue-collar Barney Rubbles, Republicans, and Democrats. The only groups lacking representation really were the hippies and the chanting, jangling Hare Krishnas that stayed with the rest of us till late into the night serving free food as a replacement for the Anarchists who had been quite the hell shut down. Oh yeah–there likely weren’t too many Anarchists on the cops’ side of the lines. I’m pretty sure  those differences are significant. Maybe the cops would be better if they got some of those groups they were missing. The janglier the better.

Back here at the county jail where i’m still Occupying, there’s lots of conflict, though not nearly so boiling hot. The old standby, “Fuck the Police,” is scrawled or carved around and about and plenty of folks on either side of whatever line each has drawn are fully prepared to swing  clubs at one another. Many of the sheriff’s deputies and sad, paycheck-to paycheck “detention specialists” are happy to evoke a very dark spirit indeed in their efforts to control us inmates who represent Other to them. I have been struck by the observation that these obnoxious fucks are the respected  representatives of a society that so many of our deluded citizenry expect us of the criminal class to emulate.

Ha! I may be an asshole myself, but no thanks: I have no interest in joining your obnoxious and shitty club.

Meanwhile, virtually all of us prisoners, including myself sometimes, react…”Grumble grumble fuck the police why i oughtta etc. etc. ad nauseum” Various of us slink around and steal or fight among ourselves or in general practice a sort of blindfolded subservience to Self. (Marco! Polo!…Ouch! Motherfucker!!!). We’re fucking obnoxious. We want the cops and the guards and judges and bankers and presidents to act differently but…why would they want to join our obnoxious and shitty club? When they do we wind up with a spectacular clusterfuck like the found at the Denver county jail last month, where a dep was helping a banger sling dope and administer beat-downs. Happens all the time. In every kaleidoscopic variation you can imagine.

Pogo couldn’t have known the heft and resonance of his words: “ We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

I wrote a screed a while back, (Today’s Tom Sawyer), excoriating shitty Christian behavior. There’s still plenty to say about all that, and maybe some of it will come out here, but it’s not the point of this one. During that earlier rant, i promised to harp, eventually, about bad behavior on the part of pagans, dope fiends, felons, bikers, disgruntled employees, GIs, vets, and some of my other natural affinity groups as well.

That isn’t it either. Or maybe it is. But not really. Not quite. I promised to write about the Fear, too, and nor is it that, though the Fear runs through it all. This is about a war.

Many members of of various of the groups on that funny little list i jotted just now recognize and will now openly state that there’s a war looming. They’re wrong about that much anyhow–the looming is all done and the fight is on. Right now. It’s been on for decades, (or maybe forever). I’m here “jotting” because that’s what one does in the county jail, where i am a political prisoner–a POW, really, though i prefer to think of myself as a prisoner of conscience–but maybe it’s a digression to say so. Or maybe not. Let’s explore this amalgam of notions a bit, and see if we can find out.

Here at the county jail one finds a  peculiarly refined microcosm of the way the dynamics of the variously conflicting groups involved in this bizarre  war interact, cleared of much of the dross of false civility that ordinarily circumvents the fight out on the sidewalk, at least here in the U.S.A.

I know Europeans here that want to skedaddle from this place and others afraid to come here because many of them can see the shitstorm brewing and it scares them. They often seem to see it more clearly than we Americans are able to do at least in part because our access to real news is barely over nil, of maybe because as outside observers they aren’t saddled with the cognitive dissonance we sorry brainwashed frogs that live in this hot-ass boiling lake must so often suffer. I don’t know. I hope they realize this pond holds us all.

Oddly enough, while the interactions at the county jail display some of the finer points of conflict in out absurdly labeled free society, they also show some reasons for hope. There are still lights burning.

“Fuck the Police!”

I don’t know how many times i’ve heard that phrase from some of my dearest friends. I’ve uttered them myself. Often. Sometimes at the top of my lungs. Sometimes it was far more personal: “Fuck you! That’s right, you, personally, whomever you may be in your opposition to me, my pursuits, my people. Maybe i should refer to the less common; “Fuck the Pigs,’ because the police are only a fractional representation of one segment, one camp of that particular overarching social entity the hippies were talking about when they began to disparage swine so badly as to label their opposition thusly in this odd existential war from whence the flesh and blood scrap derives.

“Battle lines are being drawn,” went the line from the Buffalo Springfield some fifty-ish years back. They’re pretty well drawn, now, though they resemble lines a three-year-old might scribble. The shit’s on. People are fighting. The skirmishes often feel like some kind of kids’ game though too, involving blindfolds and billyclubs. Maybe i can’t deny swinging a stick around myself, sometimes. Maybe that’swhat this is–a chance for me to look in the mirror a little, Maybe it’s because it’s hard to sit the game out when i keep getting hit in the head. Whatever. Let’s keep on through the maze and just hope we don’t smash too many mirrors.

During the Occupation we intrepids staged a few years back, (and some of us still engage–viva la revolución and all), my son and i traveled to Denver for the final push when the cops razed the encampment there. The scene that October of 2011 there in Denver was some shit this country hadn’t seen in over forty years maybe, where armored brigades of soldiers–not cops at all but stormtroopers–rolled on a huge, disparate group of unarmed citizens. It was tragic. And beautiful. Versions of the same scene played out all around the world that fall.

There at Civic Center Park, across the avenue from the State Capitol building, the Boy and i stood in the thick of it as those battle lines sharpened, and then blew apart as the whole outhouse hit the fan.

Some thousands of us had marched boisterously through Denver’s business district, pausing for a special visit at the Federal Reserve. After completing a wide loop around downtown we mounted the Capitol steps for whatever confrontation the Denver planners had planned. They, (to claim a thing–we), had been warned explicitly beforehand to stay off that particular edifice, so the moment we took the steps and began railing through one of our ubiquitous bullhorns, the shock teams appeared, as if the bearded-Spock Enterprise had beamed them to the scene.

Honestly, i was pretty fucking nervous at that point. It’s not as though i’d never been beaten up by the cops before, but that stuff is kind of a young man’s sport, and i was never really all that much a fan anyhow. Besides, those had always been cops, not armored sci-fi gladiators. But the main thing was the Boy. He was fifteen then and down for plenty, but he looked pretty worried too, and, (the mainthing, actually), i knew i’d never live through my next conversation with his mother if i allowed him to be beaten and busted by the police. I suggested we pull back to the park and we did, but i felt pretty spineless for having done it, really.

The Boy and i had a quick consult: “You see what this is going to be, right?” “Yeah.” “Are you down, or not?” Nervous but firm, “Yeah.” “Fuck it then…God damn it; your mom is gonna kill me. Let’s get some lunch.”

The park itself  was packed with crowds of Occupiers, some having returned with us from the march and probably harboring thoughts similar to mine. The encampment had been there for a good while by then, and the Black Flag Anarchists’ Free Kitchen was in full flight. It had already been dismantled more than once as a special preparatory project for the cops–kind of a warm-up. Knowing well what was coming, the no-nonsense scrappy men’n’women in black behind the table were all assholes with elbows, flying around in a frenzy with grim serious joy in their eyes as they did their level best to sling as much great tasting free food as possible before the inevitable hammer fell. Those guys were freaking awesome sauce with motherfuckin’ cherries on top!

Rather than spark an actual and possibly justifiable war on the Capitol steps, even the most radical and adrenaline-blinded of the group holding that position chose to retreat and quickly joined us at the park. The scene was oddly festive, with tents and art projects and folks dressed for carnival. The mid-autumn day was one of those beautiful Colorado Indian summer affairs with pristine blue skies through which flitted happy and blissfully oblivious birdies merrily on the lookout for delectable kitchen scraps. But wait! What the hey!!? The second the steps were abandoned and that contingent joined those meeker souls at the park, the rest of the cops in the danged known universe materialized in a huff and began setting up for some sort of paramilitary invasion. No shit–we all saw pretty quickly what the Denver PD had in mind for all those fun military vehicles and equipment they’d been collecting.

The scene changed dramatically there on the sidewalk where the Anarchists’ Kitchen was set up. There was plenty of action before then, but the top-gun radicals had been at the Capitol along with most of the cops. Now a phalanx quickly formed four deep with armored, shielded, armed, dangerous, implacable, and apparently stoically unflappable police stretching all around, up and down–all over the fucking place. Where the Boy and i stood a few sidewalk squares south of the Kitchen the scene was still like a carnival spreading away and outward into the park in every direction save the east, buy more like something Ray Bradbury or John Clifford might have dreamt up. Moving east to west one would have passed through four rows of cops in a formation that i’d only seen before in movies about Fascist  takeovers where American patriots saved the day by vanquishing some identically clad and positioned foe as we occupiers faced that day, armored only with our damn-the-torpedoes ethical certitude. Stepping by the entrenched police if one were to dare it, one would have passed a modest tree lawn, an ordinary sidewalk crowded with dark festival-goers, and could then step up to the folding table that served as the Anarchists’ ordering counter and serving table set up facing east from the immediate western line of the sidewalk across from the antiMayberry lines facing the stubbornly unaltered scene in the Kitchen.

The cops just stood there for what seems to memory like hours, but it couldn’t have been all afternoon or anything. Maybe so. The Boy and i milled around a bit getting a look at the overall scene and scoping out the various sections of the park. Behind the Kitchen to the west were the bulk of the tents, say a hundred or more, though others were scattered about. Further  west a concrete round with maybe a fountain or something hosted a bunch of info tables, some artsy hippies working on various projects, a triage setup, some chanting Hare Krishnas. More cops surrounded the camp, even more moved to close off the farthest reaches of the west side, We all saw we were utterly circumscribed and our physical position was hopeless. There was plenty of Hope, mind you, but all of it founded on our spiritual position, see.

As we awaited  what everyone knew to be inexorable, not so many of us remained quiet, (by “us” i mean Occupiers here; the most visible government employees were silent). I did mostly, and so did the Boy, he for his reasons and i for mine. The whole scene produced its own racket, but the most noticeable volume arose from the collection of spirit-moved Occupiers working the lines of eerily insensate gendarmes. Each was moved by his or her own personal spirit, few of which were very friendly toward the collective juggernaut we faced. More than one strode frenetically up and down whichever line was convenient  hurling f-bombs and spittle with as much force as he could muster. You know: “Fuck the Police!!!” and,“Fuck Yoooou!!!” from distances as close as the collected officers’ gear would allow. The pointillistic rows of cops, each in his own world, stared into space, eyes forward and directed at some Unknown, refusing eye contact. Only God and each man in his solitude knew what blackness filled his vision, (and possibly anyone operating one of those guv’mint mind-reading gizmos, if you’re into that sort of thinking).

Sensibly, few of the “non-violent” protesters were mad–that is crazy–enough to attempt to get physical. Those that did were promptly stomped, smashed and removed from the game. Otherwise with many pushing the envelope right to its most extreme limit, the arms-down-and-rigid-face forward-inches-from-any-nearest-random-cop’s-shielded-face stance of extreme and barely checked agitation rapidly became familiar. I for one was amazed at the extraordinary and rather creepy restraint the beleaguered police were displaying, though few shield-screened eyes could keep from betraying internal turmoil. Virtually none of the cops would assent to eye contact.

As this scene played itself out, a few Occupiers attempted to convince their fellows to mellow. In the midst of the very front and most electrical line of all this, there in front of the aforementioned Kitchen, one lone Occupier was working the line of gear-laden men, moved by a different spirit indeed. He was preaching it, baby. Pleading. Begging. Beseeching. As near to tears as i am now as this scene spills its way from my fingertips, fluid in his expressive motion to and fro as any practiced Sunday morning crowd-pleaser can i get a amen. “Don’t you see it? You are us! We are you! Please, stop this! We are one–we must stop fighting!” And in some brilliant, divinely inspired voice, “Lay down your shields! Join us! Put down your clubs and have some lunch!”

And then …right there in front of the Boy and me…with the scene in the actual Kitchen production area behind the table unchanged from before the lines formed…one of them did exactly that.

There was actually a fat queue at the Kitchen counter that parted like the Red Sea, astonished, for this newborn brother of ours to step up and claim his serving. He ate his food in silence and retook his spot in that other line which remained unaltered as his fellows stood unmoved, apparently in both senses. The Boy and i collected our portion of genuinely bomb-ass risotto and began to  eat with more on our minds than i can possibly describe. Before we were half through our plates the order came and we found ourselves dining amidst a police riot, our rice flavored by tear gas. (I got off the hook before, when the story remained vague. I suppose his mom is going to kill me now, after all).

The rest of the action went down as one would expect, with ample blood, outrage, and pepper-bullet injury and indignity and tears and drama. It was all on the news, with much expansion available on YouTube. You can look it up. None of that is the point.

I heard that one cop was fired perfunctorily that night.

We were there. Right fucking there. It really happened. It was so surreal i almost have to ask the Boy if it actually wasn’t some kind of dream.

Those two guys, though. That cop! When we all do what he did, just maybe then the war will be over. He looked up  and noticed he was looking in the fucking mirror.

The thing about all this is that the crowd of Occupiers was a full-on quorum of average joes with representation across several spectra. There were Christians, pagans, dope fiends, felons, bikers, disgruntled employees, GIs, vets, blue-collar Barney Rubbles, Republicans, Democrats, hippies, neo-hippies, and chanting, jangling Hare Krishnas, The cops were disguised as an invading foreign force but we all know they were really just a bunch of Christians, pagans, dope fiends, felons, bikers, disgruntled employees, GIs, vets, blue-collar Barney Rubbles, Republicans, and Democrats. The only groups lacking representation really were the hippies and the chanting, jangling Hare Krishnas that stayed with the rest of us till late into the night serving free food as a replacement for the Anarchists who had been quite the hell shut down. Oh yeah–there likely weren’t too many Anarchists on the cops’ side of the lines. I’m pretty sure  those differences are significant. Maybe the cops would be better if they got some of those groups they were missing. The janglier the better.

Back here at the county jail where i’m still Occupying, there’s lots of conflict, though not nearly so boiling hot. The old standby, “Fuck the Police,” is scrawled or carved around and about and plenty of folks on either side of whatever line each has drawn are fully prepared to swing  clubs at one another. Many of the sheriff’s deputies and sad, paycheck-to paycheck “detention specialists” are happy to evoke a very dark spirit indeed in their efforts to control us inmates who represent Other to them. I have been struck by the observation that these obnoxious fucks are the respected  representatives of a society that so many of our deluded citizenry expect us of the criminal class to emulate.

Ha! I may be an asshole myself, but no thanks: I have no interest in joining your obnoxious and shitty club.

Meanwhile, virtually all of us prisoners, including myself sometimes, react…”Grumble grumble fuck the police why i oughtta etc. etc. ad nauseum” Various of us slink around and steal or fight among ourselves or in general practice a sort of blindfolded subservience to Self. (Marco! Polo!…Ouch! Motherfucker!!!). We’re fucking obnoxious. We want the cops and the guards and judges and bankers and presidents to act differently but…why would they want to join our obnoxious and shitty club? When they do we wind up with a spectacular clusterfuck like the found at the Denver county jail last month, where a dep was helping a banger sling dope and administer beat-downs. Happens all the time. In every kaleidoscopic variation you can imagine.

Sorry, reader; a glitch is preventing the end of this from displaying just now. I’ll fix it, but meanwhile, this link is better for the footnotes anyway. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1umk-RPyxoiQTPSS84Cp4sR80UAXFzsVRpuiRBVzrdNA/edit?usp=sharing

Although those of you that have read or will now read the other stuff here on hipgnosis will easily recognize the common ground that one may imagine stands to be found on the lawns inside the moats of our adjacent castles in a neighborhood full of loons, all built on air, i am deeply indebted to Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason for some of the truly fine and beautiful language i snatched more or less wholesale to help me build the last four paragraphs here. Even though their book,The Rule of Four is a best-seller of a popular genre, i highly recommend it as the best book i’ve read produced during the twenty-first century. I wish i had written it myself, (while noting the title of this piece). Everyone should read this book.

POSTED BY STEVE BASS AT 9:45 PM

Homeless Colorado Springs man emboldened by Occupy effort appeals jail time

from the Colorado Springs Gazette

http://gazette.com/article/1534440

By Jakob Rodgers Updated: July 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Nearly three years ago, Steven Bass’ tent led to a police ticket – a ticket that led to a trial, an appeal denied and 160-day sentence in El Paso County jail.

Bass, the first person cited under Colorado Springs’ camping ban, remains mired in a legal battle backed by a University of Denver assistant professor working for free.

He represents a small segment of the homeless issue – a man on a personal crusade against the camping ban emboldened by the Occupy Colorado Springs movement. His case is not emblematic of others who have been cited for camping on public property; rather, it is more of an outlier.

While people ticketed for camping typically include the chronically homeless – people whose only home is a tent, and who often rebuff police officers’ offers of secure housing – Bass wants to make a point.

Right now, he is free while appealing the jail time. Bass lives with a fellow veteran of the Occupy movement and blogs occasionally on what he sees as injustices in the world.

“I contend now that this thing has burgeoned well beyond the camping ban itself, and has now become a giant discussion of principle, and just what the hell we’re doing here in the United States of America, and the whole world,” Bass said.

Police issued the ticket in October 2011 when he pitched a tent on a sidewalk in Acacia Park, despite warnings from police that doing so would lead to a citation.

For Bass, the ticket and the Occupy gathering proved an opportune time for a stand against the city’s camping ban – an ordinance passed by the City Council in 2010 that outlawed camping on public land. He said he has volunteered at soup kitchens and for other homeless services for about 30 years, and he lives homeless – usually by couch surfing.

“Just because they don’t have any money, poof, they are made criminals,” Bass said of people affected by the ban.

Eleven tickets have been issued under the ban through June 5, with the majority coming in 2014, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department.

The ban came as camps swelled along Monument and Fountain creeks amid the Great Recession in 2009 and early 2010. So many people lived there that bystanders dropped off donated food and clothing along the creek beds – philanthropy that proved overwhelming to the point of concern, some homeless advocates say. Sanitation issues also arose.

City Council member Jan Martin said she voted for the ordinance for the safety of people using creekside trails, along with concerns about the image that such tent cities would create for the city, she said Friday. Proponents of the ban said it is a tool to get people into more stable housing.

“In my opinion, it’s not a matter of out of sight, out of mind,” Martin said. “It’s just trying to find resources that can help people get back on their feet.”

Because of Bass’ indigent status, a judge decided against a fine in favor of a 60-hour community service sentence for the citation.

Bass said he almost did it – he planned on helping Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity – until a DU professor offered to help. With the pro bono advice of Christopher Lasch, who teaches at the university’s Criminal Defense Clinic, Bass appealed the case.

A district court judge upheld the municipal court’s decision – a blow to the notion that the ban is unjust.

A subsequent appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court was denied in March, said Rob McCallum, spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Through it all, Bass contemplated his 60-hour of community service sentence. And in an April hearing before Municipal Judge Spottswood W. H. Williams, Bass said he will never complete the requirement.

Identifying himself as an Occupier, Bass wrote to Williams that the camping ordinance is “effectively status-based incarceration,” because forcing people into shelters could be another form of incarceration. He also said he already does community service but railed against the court forcing him to do so.

“Therefore, i (sic) am here in front of you forcing your hand,” he wrote. “You must now either acknowledge the ethical poverty of the ordinance, or prove my point.”

In June, Williams answered Bass’ statement with a 160-day jail sentence for contempt of court.

Bass is appealing that sentence with Lasch’s help after having served more than a month in El Paso County jail.

Lasch said the jail sentence was excessive because jail time for failing to pay a fine is usually half of what Bass has served.

Even if he serves all 160 days, Bass has no plans of completing the 60-hour community service order – a requirement that remains.

Lasch wants all of it thrown out.

“The fact that the government would go to such lengths to punish this activity certainly supports Steve’s position that this (ban) effectively punishes being homeless,” Lasch said.

“In this case, it certainly punished him for speaking out against the ban.”

Contact Jakob Rodgers: 476-1654

Twitter @JakobRodgers

Facebook: Jakob.Rodgers

Read more at http://gazette.com/homeless-colorado-springs-man-emboldened-by-occupy-effort-appeals-jail-time/article/1534440#TIqUcdEm4KE8udlJ.99

CDPHE, Please keep to the LAW Regarding Privacy

CDHPE Violates Patients Privacy

This past Wednesday, several patients came out in support of the CDHPE MMJ Privacy breach. I’m sure you heard that the CDHPE rejected a petition to stop police from getting our private patient data. Wait, What? You didn’t know about it? Didn’t the Registry contact you about it? Isn’t it is the duty of the Health department to “notify all mmj patients of any changes in the code?” It would be easy to post about the violation on their website, in fact, it should be mandatory! However, they “didn’t realize they were in violation,” so that must be why they didn’t post it? Really?
In Colorado Revised Statues, Regulation 5 it states:
“A). Authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies shall be granted access to the information contained within the department’s registry ONLY for the purpose of verifying that an individual who has PRESENTED a registry identification card to a state or local law enforcement official is lawfully in possession of such card. The department shall report to authorized state or local law enforcement officials whether a patient’s registry identification card has been suspended because the patient no longer has a debilitating medical condition.”
So, what’s the problem? Several patients have come forward with the same story. They get stopped for whatever reason, in another state and after the officer calls in, he somehow has knowledge that said person is a “red-card” holder. How can this be? They didn’t offer up the information, so how did they get it? Isn’t the Registry supposed to be confidential and protected? Officers are ONLY supposed to have this knowledge if said person presented them a red-card. In all of these instances, no red-card was presented.
For me, this is a huge problem! It’s bad enough the daily discrimination we face as cannabis patients. We have no protection in housing, employment, CPS or otherwise. The state reeled us in, took our money and then screwed us, bottom line! Offering us “protection and Confidentiality” and we have NONE! Oh, that’s right, we have A20, affirmative defense.
That’s all we have…As far as I’m concerned, the CDHPE should be held accountable. The program should be revised and they should pay a fine! But, I doubt that will EVER happen. It’s all a dangling carrot and the state has and is making bank off of sick people. We get treated like second class citizens and all we want is to be well. To be able to treat ourselves with a plant, without putting poison into our bodies. A plant that works for us all!

Audrey Hatfield/ President C4CPR website: http://www.c4cpr.org/

Another eye witness to the protest has this to say

MMJ Wobble me

“My comments on the CDPHE illegal violations, first I believe that the CDPHE has proven to be incompetent and no patient should feel confident that this government agency will honor the American peoples rights and protections, furthermore their lack of intelligence is no excuse for the crimes they have committed on innocent mmj patients and all parties of this breach should be terminated, in fact I strongly believe that the mmj patients are better off without an illegal database. I believe that the CDPHE hasn’t fulfilled its end of the deal by passing protected information to those who have no business having it, and it for their ignorance have put near 200,000 mmj patients in harms way by exposing anonymous locations and personal information which would be used to incriminate oneself, I say terminate the CDPHE database and we would rid the mmj patients from an unnecessary harm.”

Privacy is near and dear to the man behind the MMJ Wobble Me pen name. He has even created a social network online meant to offer more privacy while still offering the social networking of sites such as Facebook.

He has this to say about the site he created, “WobbleMe where we care about our natural, god given, human, constitutional and protections.

2013-08-23 wobble me

you may visit the site he created here:  http://wobbleme.com/

Images of the protest By: Mr. MMJ Wobble me they are his intellectual property and used with his permission.

2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (1) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (2) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (3) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (4) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (5) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (6) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (7) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (8) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (9) 2013-08-21 CDPHE privacy protest (10)

Were you down in Denver at the recent CDPHE privacy protest? Do you have pictures or a story to share about the experience? I am working on a writing piece highlighting the protest and why it is important and I want to hear from you. Couldn’t make it down to the protests but still have an opinion? i would like to hear that as well…. be sure to let me know if you wish your commentary to appear in the article or if you are just registering your opinion to help me form my arguments. If you have photos, please let me know whom the photo credit should go to…. Thanks in advance. email to btokeefer@gmail.com or comment below.

more news stories on this protest:

Colorado health authorities reject emergency privacy petition

DENVER (AP) — Colorado health authorities have rejected an emergency petition from medical marijuana patients to destroy the state patient registry because of security breaches.

The state Board of Health apologized Wednesday to marijuana patients who demanded they destroy the 107,000-person marijuana patient registry. The patients are angry about security problems outlined in a June audit. However, the health board unanimously rejected the emergency request, saying they want to hear from the state attorney general before proceeding.

Colorado’s medical patient list is supposed to be accessible to law enforcement only under limited circumstances. But state auditors in June blasted the health department for lax security of the registry. The official who manages the registry told board members the security problems are being addressed.

Some marijuana patients on Colorado’s registry put paper bags over their heads to protest the Board of Health meeting on Wednesday.

http://www.nbc11news.com/news/headlines/Colorado-marijuana-patients-protest-privacy-breaches-220503261.html

Colorado Marijuana Patients Protest Privacy Breaches

DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Medical marijuana patients asked Colorado health authorities on Wednesday to destroy and rebuild the state’s 107,000-person marijuana patient registry because of security breaches.

The Board of Health unanimously rejected the emergency petition. But officials expressed alarm about a recent state audit showing the Colorado Department of Health and Environment isn’t keeping the registry confidential, as required by law.

“Patients can lose their jobs and they’ve had their children taken away, all because it’s been found out they’re a medical marijuana patient,” a medical marijuana patient who didn’t want to be identified for privacy reasons told CBS4.

Colorado last year made marijuana legal for all adults, but medical marijuana cards are still required to shop in dispensaries.

Colorado’s medical marijuana patient list is supposed to be accessible to law enforcement only under limited circumstances. But state auditors in June blasted the health department for lax security of the registry.

In one 2012 case, the health department turned over 107 names to an officer investigating a dispensary, a violation of the protocol for sharing registry information with authorities. In another case, the health department shared with auditors the names of 5,400 people designated to grow marijuana on behalf of others, without notifying the caregivers of the breach.

Auditors also criticized the health department for not getting confidentiality agreements from temporary employees hired to help process medical marijuana applications.

“The registry is compromised beyond repair. We don’t believe there’s any reason to trust this,” said Laura Kriho, who leads a patient advocacy group and filed the emergency petition asking the health department to destroy the database and start it again.

About a dozen protesters pulled paper bags over their heads to protest the privacy breaches outside the Board of Health meeting.

“That is why we are wearing paper bags over our heads; to symbolize these little pieces of paper are probably doing a better job protecting our confidentiality than the health department has,” the patient at the rally said.

“I’m disgusted. No other patients’ medical information is treated this way,” protester Kathleen Chippi said.

The administrator of Colorado’s pot patient registry insisted the state is making security upgrades suggested in the audit. Ron Hyman, the state’s registrar of vital statistics, said the agency needs more time to work with law enforcement and other state agencies to rectify problems involved in keeping the database secure.

“We take security and confidentiality of our registry very seriously,” Hyman said.

Hyman told the health board that isolated breaches notwithstanding, police are allowed to perform only individual registry checks, and only if the patient provides a registry number.

“The way it works is they submit information from the registry card that includes first and last name of the registered, the date of birth, and unique identification number,” Hyman said. “We feel we have prudent practices in place … they are not permitted to go on fishing expeditions.”

And the Colorado Bureau of Investigation confirmed to CBS4 they have a link to the registry. The health department agreed to improve security, but patients say it needs to be done sooner rather than later.

“One of the main reasons that we have a medical marijuana registry is because of the discriminations patients face,” a patient said.

Washington state, the only other state to allow medical and recreational marijuana use, does not keep a patient registry.

Colorado’s medical registry has declined since adult use was made legal, but only slightly. Colorado had 108,481 patients a month before the legalization measure passed, and 106,817 patients at the end of June, the most recent statistics available.

The protesters said they want the registry to continue, but they want it to be rebuilt and kept more secure. Colorado’s pot patients can possess more marijuana than recreational users, and they could face lower taxes, depending on what voters approve this November.

– By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/08/21/colorado-marijuana-patients-protest-privacy-breaches-2/

Colorado board rejects petition to stop cops from getting data on med pot users

POSTED:   08/21/2013 02:45:58 PM MDT55 COMMENTS
UPDATED:   08/22/2013 01:04:40 AM MDT
Wayward Bill Chengelis, Chairman of the U.S. Marijuana Party, along with other marijuana patients on Colorado’s registry, attending a state Board of Health meeting, Aug. 21, 2013. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

The state Board of Health on Wednesday rejected an emergency petition filed by medical marijuana patients who urged the panel to halt the sharing of patient information with law enforcement.

A June audit found that the Colorado Department of Health and Environment hasn’t kept the registry confidential.

The board apologized to marijuana patients who demanded they destroy and rebuild the 107,000-person registry. Information from the registry is supposed to be accessible to law enforcement only under limited circumstances.

Board president Laura Davis said the panel doesn’t have enough information to determine that the registry is not working properly.

That information will come from the state Attorney General’s Office, which so far has made no formal recommendations about what, if anything, should be changed, Davis said.

“We don’t know that we are doing anything wrong,” she said. “The prudent thing to do is have a conversation with the attorney general.”

Audrey Hatfield, president of Coloradans for Cannabis Patient Rights, said three patients had contacted her to complain that officers who stopped them and ran their names through their computers found that they were on the registry. “It has been going on for at least a year,” she said.

Ron Hyman, the state’s registrar of vital statistics, said his office has been in contact with the attorney general “to assure we are adequately following what we should be doing. The audit said we are moving through uncharted waters and we want to be prudent.”

The state has been making changes recommended in the audit, he said.

In a 2012 case, according to the audit, the health department turned over 107 names to an officer investigating a dispensary, a violation of the protocol for sharing registry information with authorities. In another case, the health department shared with auditors the names of 5,400 people designated to grow marijuana on behalf of others, without notifying the caregivers of the breach.

Auditors also criticized the health department for not getting confidentiality agreements from temporary employees hired to help process medical marijuana applications.

Laura Kriho, of the Cannabis Therapy Institute, said she would resubmit the petition. The names on the registry should be confidential “so patients won’t fear being treated as criminals.”

Marijuana activists demonstrated during the meeting outside the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. They wore paper bags over their heads to protest what they called the breach of confidentiality.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

The Associated Press contributed to this report

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23911097/colorado-board-rejects-petition-stop-police-from-getting

Want to do something? write the CDPHE

Contact info For CDPHE

CDPHE

HSV-80608

4300 Cherry Creek Drive South

Denver, CO 80246-1530

 e-mail: medical.marijuana@state.co.us

 Web site: www.colorado.gov/cdphe/medicalmarijuana

 Phone: 303-692-2184

Lets remind ourselves what amendment 20 says in its entirety. I have highlighted some passages that deal with privacy:

0-4-287 – ARTICLE XVIII – Miscellaneous Art. XVIII – Miscellaneous

Section 14. Medical use of marijuana for persons suffering from debilitating medical conditions. (1) As used in this section, these terms are defined as follows:
(a) “Debilitating medical condition” means:
(I) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or treatment for such conditions;
(II) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or treatment for such conditions, which produces, for a specific patient, one or more of the following, and for which, in the professional opinion of the patient’s physician, such condition or conditions reasonably may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana: cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
(III) Any other medical condition, or treatment for such condition, approved by the state health agency, pursuant to its rule making authority or its approval of any petition submitted by a patient or physician as provided in this section.
(b) “Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, production, use, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia related to the administration of such marijuana to address the symptoms or effects of a patient’s debilitating medical condition, which may be authorized only after a diagnosis of the patient’s debilitating medical condition by a physician or physicians, as provided by this section.
(c) “Parent” means a custodial mother or father of a patient under the age of eighteen years, any person having custody of a patient under the age of eighteen years, or any person serving as a legal guardian for a patient under the age of eighteen years.
(d) “Patient” means a person who has a debilitating medical condition.
(e) “Physician” means a doctor of medicine who maintains, in good standing, a license to practice medicine issued by the state of Colorado.
(f) “Primary care-giver” means a person, other than the patient and the patient’s physician, who is eighteen years of age or older and has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition.
(g) “Registry identification card” means that document, issued by the state health agency, which identifies a patient authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and such patient’s primary care-giver, if any has been designated.
(h) “State health agency” means that public health related entity of state government designated by the governor to establish and maintain a confidential registry of patients authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and enact rules to administer this program.
(i) “Usable form of marijuana” means the seeds, leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant (genus) cannabis, and any mixture or preparation thereof, which are appropriate for medical use as provided in this section, but excludes the plant’s stalks, stems, and roots.
(j) “Written documentation” means a statement signed by a patient’s physician or copies of the patient’s pertinent medical records.
(2) (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (5), (6), and (8) of this section, a patient or primary care-giver charged with a violation of the state’s criminal laws related to the patient’s medical use of marijuana will be deemed to have established an affirmative defense to such allegation where:
(I) The patient was previously diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition;
(II) The patient was advised by his or her physician, in the context of a bona fide physician-patient
relationship, that the patient might benefit from the medical use of marijuana in connection with a debilitating
medical condition; and
(III) The patient and his or her primary care-giver were collectively in possession of amounts of marijuana
only as permitted under this section.
This affirmative defense shall not exclude the assertion of any other defense where a patient or primary
care-giver is charged with a violation of state law related to the patient’s medical use of marijuana.
(b) Effective June 1, 2001, it shall be an exception from the state’s criminal laws for any patient or primary
care-giver in lawful possession of a registry identification card to engage or assist in the medical use of
marijuana, except as otherwise provided in subsections (5) and (8) of this section.
(c) It shall be an exception from the state’s criminal laws for any physician to:
(I) Advise a patient whom the physician has diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition, about the
risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana or that he or she might benefit from the medical use of
marijuana, provided that such advice is based upon the physician’s contemporaneous assessment of the
patient’s medical history and current medical condition and a bona fide physician-patient relationship; or
(II) Provide a patient with written documentation, based upon the physician’s contemporaneous assessment
of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition and a bona fide physician-patient relationship,
stating that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and might benefit from the medical use of
marijuana.
No physician shall be denied any rights or privileges for the acts authorized by this subsection.
(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person, including a patient or primary care-giver, shall be
entitled to the protection of this section for his or her acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use,
sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana for any use other than medical use.
(e) Any property interest that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of marijuana
or acts incidental to such use, shall not be harmed, neglected, injured, or destroyed while in the possession
of state or local law enforcement officials where such property has been seized in connection with the
claimed medical use of marijuana. Any such property interest shall not be forfeited under any provision of
state law providing for the forfeiture of property other than as a sentence imposed after conviction of a
criminal offense or entry of a plea of guilty to such offense. Marijuana and paraphernalia seized by state or
local law enforcement officials from a patient or primary care-giver in connection with the claimed medical
use of marijuana shall be returned immediately upon the determination of the district attorney or his or her
designee that the patient or primary care-giver is entitled to the protection contained in this section as may
be evidenced, for example, by a decision not to prosecute, the dismissal of charges, or acquittal.
(3) The state health agency shall create and maintain a confidential registry of patients who have applied for
and are entitled to receive a registry identification card according to the criteria set forth in this subsection,
effective June 1, 2001.
(a) No person shall be permitted to gain access to any information about patients in the state health
agency’s confidential registry, or any information otherwise maintained by the state health agency about
physicians and primary care-givers, except for authorized employees of the state health agency in the
course of their official duties and authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies which
have stopped or arrested a person who claims to be engaged in the medical use of marijuana and in
possession of a registry identification card or its functional equivalent, pursuant to paragraph (e) of this
subsection (3). Authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies shall be granted access to
the information contained within the state health agency’s confidential registry only for the purpose of
verifying that an individual who has presented a registry identification card to a state or local law
enforcement official is lawfully in possession of such card.
(b) In order to be placed on the state’s confidential registry for the medical use of marijuana, a patient must
reside in Colorado and submit the completed application form adopted by the state health agency, including
the following information, to the state health agency:
(I) The original or a copy of written documentation stating that the patient has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition and the physician’s conclusion that the patient might benefit from the medical use of marijuana;
(II) The name, address, date of birth, and social security number of the patient;
(III) The name, address, and telephone number of the patient’s physician; and
(IV) The name and address of the patient’s primary care-giver, if one is designated at the time of application.
(c) Within thirty days of receiving the information referred to in subparagraphs (3) (b) (I)-(IV), the state health agency shall verify medical information contained in the patient’s written documentation. The agency shall notify the applicant that his or her application for a registry identification card has been denied if the agency’s review of such documentation discloses that: the information required pursuant to paragraph (3) (b) of this section has not been provided or has been falsified; the documentation fails to state that the patient has a debilitating medical condition specified in this section or by state health agency rule; or the physician does not have a license to practice medicine issued by the state of Colorado. Otherwise, not more than five days after verifying such information, the state health agency shall issue one serially numbered registry identification card to the patient, stating:
(I) The patient’s name, address, date of birth, and social security number;
(II) That the patient’s name has been certified to the state health agency as a person who has a debilitating medical condition, whereby the patient may address such condition with the medical use of marijuana;
(III) The date of issuance of the registry identification card and the date of expiration of such card, which shall be one year from the date of issuance; and
(IV) The name and address of the patient’s primary care-giver, if any is designated at the time of application.
(d) Except for patients applying pursuant to subsection (6) of this section, where the state health agency, within thirty-five days of receipt of an application, fails to issue a registry identification card or fails to issue verbal or written notice of denial of such application, the patient’s application for such card will be deemed to have been approved. Receipt shall be deemed to have occurred upon delivery to the state health agency, or deposit in the United States mails. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no application shall be deemed received prior to June 1, 1999. A patient who is questioned by any state or local law enforcement official about his or her medical use of marijuana shall provide a copy of the application submitted to the state health agency, including the written documentation and proof of the date of mailing or other transmission of the written documentation for delivery to the state health agency, which shall be accorded the same legal effect as a registry identification card, until such time as the patient receives notice that the application has been denied.
(e) A patient whose application has been denied by the state health agency may not reapply during the six months following the date of the denial and may not use an application for a registry identification card as provided in paragraph (3) (d) of this section. The denial of a registry identification card shall be considered a final agency action. Only the patient whose application has been denied shall have standing to contest the agency action.
(f) When there has been a change in the name, address, physician, or primary care- giver of a patient who has qualified for a registry identification card, that patient must notify the state health agency of any such change within ten days. A patient who has not designated a primary care-giver at the time of application to the state health agency may do so in writing at any time during the effective period of the registry identification card, and the primary care-giver may act in this capacity after such designation. To maintain an effective registry identification card, a patient must annually resubmit, at least thirty days prior to the expiration date stated on the registry identification card, updated written documentation to the state health agency, as well as the name and address of the patient’s primary care-giver, if any is designated at such time.
(g) Authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies shall immediately notify the state health agency when any person in possession of a registry identification card has been determined by a court of law to have willfully violated the provisions of this section or its implementing legislation, or has pled guilty to such offense.
(h) A patient who no longer has a debilitating medical condition shall return his or her registry identification card to the state health agency within twenty-four hours of receiving such diagnosis by his or her physician.
(i) The state health agency may determine and levy reasonable fees to pay for any direct or indirect administrative costs associated with its role in this program.
(4) (a) A patient may engage in the medical use of marijuana, with no more marijuana than is medically necessary to address a debilitating medical condition. A patient’s medical use of marijuana, within the following limits, is lawful:
(I) No more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana; and
(II) No more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.
(b) For quantities of marijuana in excess of these amounts, a patient or his or her primary care-giver may raise as an affirmative defense to charges of violation of state law that such greater amounts were medically necessary to address the patient’s debilitating medical condition.
(5) (a) No patient shall:
(I) Engage in the medical use of marijuana in a way that endangers the health or well-being of any person; or
(II) Engage in the medical use of marijuana in plain view of, or in a place open to, the general public.
(b) In addition to any other penalties provided by law, the state health agency shall revoke for a period of one year the registry identification card of any patient found to have willfully violated the provisions of this section or the implementing legislation adopted by the general assembly.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) (a) and (3) (d) of this section, no patient under eighteen years of age shall engage in the medical use of marijuana unless:
(a) Two physicians have diagnosed the patient as having a debilitating medical condition;
(b) One of the physicians referred to in paragraph (6) (a) has explained the possible risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana to the patient and each of the patient’s parents residing in Colorado;
(c) The physicians referred to in paragraph (6) (b) has provided the patient with the written documentation, specified in subparagraph (3) (b) (I);
(d) Each of the patient’s parents residing in Colorado consent in writing to the state health agency to permit the patient to engage in the medical use of marijuana;
(e) A parent residing in Colorado consents in writing to serve as a patient’s primary care-giver;
(f) A parent serving as a primary care-giver completes and submits an application for a registry identification card as provided in subparagraph (3) (b) of this section and the written consents referred to in paragraph (6) (d) to the state health agency;
(g) The state health agency approves the patient’s application and transmits the patient’s registry identification card to the parent designated as a primary care-giver;
(h) The patient and primary care-giver collectively possess amounts of marijuana no greater than those specified in subparagraph (4) (a) (I) and (II); and
(i) The primary care-giver controls the acquisition of such marijuana and the dosage and frequency of its use by the patient.
(7) Not later than March 1, 2001, the governor shall designate, by executive order, the state health agency as defined in paragraph (1) (g) of this section.
(8) Not later than April 30, 2001, the General Assembly shall define such terms and enact such legislation as may be necessary for implementation of this section, as well as determine and enact criminal penalties for:
(a) Fraudulent representation of a medical condition by a patient to a physician, state health agency, or state or local law enforcement official for the purpose of falsely obtaining a registry identification card or avoiding arrest and prosecution;
(b) Fraudulent use or theft of any person’s registry identification card to acquire, possess, produce, use, sell, distribute, or transport marijuana, including but not limited to cards that are required to be returned where patients are no longer diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition;
(c) Fraudulent production or counterfeiting of, or tampering with, one or more registry identification cards; or
(d) Breach of confidentiality of information provided to or by the state health agency.
(9) Not later than June 1, 2001, the state health agency shall develop and make available to residents of Colorado an application form for persons seeking to be listed on the confidential registry of patients. By such date, the state health agency shall also enact rules of administration, including but not limited to rules governing the establishment and confidentiality of the registry, the verification of medical information, the issuance and form of registry identification cards, communications with law enforcement officials about registry identification cards that have been suspended where a patient is no longer diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition, and the manner in which the agency may consider adding debilitating medical conditions to the list provided in this section. Beginning June 1, 2001, the state health agency shall accept physician or patient initiated petitions to add debilitating medical conditions to the list provided in this section and, after such hearing as the state health agency deems appropriate, shall approve or deny such petitions within one hundred eighty days of submission. The decision to approve or deny a petition shall be considered a final agency action.
(10) (a) No governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider shall be required to be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.
(b) Nothing in this section shall require any employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any work place.
(11) Unless otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of this section shall become effective upon official declaration of the vote hereon by proclamation of the governor, pursuant to article V, section (1) (4), and shall apply to acts or offenses committed on or after that date.
Enacted by the People November 7, 2000 — Effective upon proclamation of the Governor.

retrieved from: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-CHEIS/CBON/1251593017076 August 23, 2013 6:39pm MDT

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