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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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
Want to do something? write the CDPHE
Contact info For CDPHE
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
Web site: www.colorado.gov/cdphe/medicalmarijuana
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
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