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Medical Marijuana Records Found Near Dumpster


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DENVER - It was the last thing Harold Morton expected to find while taking some recyclables out to the alley behind his home. When he walked past a Dumpster, he saw it in a cardboard box: a thick blue binder.


<BR itxtvisited="1"> OAS_AD('ArticleFlex_1'); <P itxtvisited="1">"I picked the book up and I opened it and right away. I noticed the top of each page; medical marijuana registry forms. The next thing I noticed is there is all these people's personal information on each one of those sheets," Morton said.


The forms were inside plastic sleeves and contained social security numbers and dates of birth, along with patient names, addresses and telephone numbers. The binder contained the personal and medical information of dozens of patients.


The forms were on letterhead identified as Apothecary of Colorado, a dispensary in Denver.


Adam Stapen, an attorney for Apothecary of Colorado, says their patient records are "kept under lock and key to protect privacy of patients."


He says the current owners purchased the dispensary on July 1 and it is possible the patient records are from before that.


While the Colorado Department of Revenue is charged with overseeing medical marijuana dispensaries, they have no statutory authority regarding the handling of patient records. The state legislature would need to pass a statute creating such authority.


"This is really upsetting that patient personal information, their medical records, could be so carelessly discarded and left for others to find. Not only does it raise the specter of identity theft, but is also compromises people's personal medical information," Pat Steadman, a Colorado state senator representing Denver, said. "This is something the legislature probably will be debating come next month."


Morton was going to deliver the binder to the Denver Police. He says his concern is for the patients with information in the binder.


"I thought people should know all this information was loose, lying in an alley in Denver," Morton said. "I've had problems in the past with identity theft myself and that was my first thought, that all of these people's identities could or already have been stolen."





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"He says the current owners purchased the dispensary on July 1 and it is possible the patient records are from before that."


I call B.S. They've owned the records since July and they just now make it to the garbage? That means the current owner threw away the records. Hope they get sued.

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well that's tragic :( I sort of wonder if the binder was right behind the business, or in another alley? The article wasn't super clear on that. If it was by the business, probably bust the owners. If it was in another alley, there might need to be some further investigation on just how that binder got there- might end up leading to an employee doing something stupid rather than the owners. Never can tell, maybe it was a drop that the guy accidentally intercepted. Still horrid though.

Edited by Rashore
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Let the law suites begin. If we are to be taken seriously we have to be more professional about patient records. Though in all honesty patient records are leaked all the time in the mainstream medical field but no one ever hears about it.


Technically any time a doctors office that has electronic health records gets a virus there should be an investigation to see if patient information was access or transmitted to a unauthorized party. However in practice the virus is cleaned off and the assumption is made that no data was transmitted.

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