The Utah "Patient Portal"…
Here's some language that will be in the revised medical cannabis law the legislature is preparing to pass. And we believe it will be passed, but that doesn't mean that if people have feelings about the various aspects we've been highlighting that input from enough of you might be able to influence improving the product before it passes….
The Patient Portal ("state electronic verification system [EVS]") is going to keep track of all aspects of patient approval and patient activity. The portal will even tie each purchase to the dispensary and beyond that to the batch of product – tracked all the way back to the plant(s) it was grown from and their growth history.
Which is all very interesting in the age where everything can be digitally tracked – but the concerning aspect is who gets access to the database, access which includes all duly authorized law enforcement (LE) officers.
944 (f) provides access to and interaction with the state central patient portal;
945 (g) provides access to state or local law enforcement:
946 (i) during a [traffic stop] law enforcement encounter for the purpose of determining if
947 the individual subject to the [traffic stop] law enforcement encounter is in compliance with
948 state medical cannabis law; or
949 (ii) after obtaining a warrant;
Note that law enforcement officers (LEOs) can access and review ALL information in the EVS during any routine “encounter” OR after obtaining a warrant. This means that in theory if a driver was pulled over, the LEO could run the plate before even engaging with the driver. It seems to us that this could easily lead to a biased agenda at the beginning of and encounter.
In contrast, the Utah state CSDB (controlled substance database that keeps controlled drug prescription info) in only available to officers with a warrant.
It's ALSO very different than Colorado's policy:
"What information can the Medical Marijuana Registry verify with law enforcement?
In specific circumstances, the Medical Marijuana Registry can verify limited information with law enforcement.
Pursuant to Colorado Constitution Article XVIII Section 14:
The Registry can only verify whether or not a patient is lawfully in possession of a registry identification card. The Registry cannot verify plant counts or physician certifications.
Law enforcement must have stopped or arrested an individual before they can request that the Registry verify information."
Much more constitutionally sound in our reading and more respectful of 4th Amendment privacy rights.
One of our original goals was to remove the stigma of being a medical cannabis patient. The way the Patient Portal is set up in contrast just automates keeping the stigma in the foreground of patients' relationship with the state.
Want to share your opinion with lawmakers? http://bit.ly/Find_my_UT_Rep