By Joe Amon | Published in DenverPost.com
About 2 percent of Colorado residents now have cards to buy medical marijuana. The state health department said Tuesday that it came up with the figure while clearing a backlog of pot applications.
Officials said the number of approved medical- marijuana users totals about 116,000 — more than the population of Pueblo.
Clearing the backlog means people who apply for medical-marijuana cards will know within the 35 days required by law whether their applications have been approved, said Mark Salley, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
For months, the backlog was so large that applicants were allowed to buy pot as long as they could prove they had applied. That left thousands of people able to shop at marijuana dispensaries before recommendations from their doctors were reviewed.
Temporary workers were hired to clear the backlog.
Applicants must show they are Colorado residents and attach a form from a doctor stating they suffer from an ailment that qualifies them to use medical pot.