State’s Top Cop Has Concerns About Med Marijuana
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State’s Top Cop Has Concerns About Med Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on October 08, 2009 at 05:28:03 PT
By Curtis Wackerle, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Source: Aspen Daily News
Colorado -- The proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries across the state is troubling to law enforcement and should be addressed by the state Legislature, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said while visiting Aspen on Wednesday.With four in Aspen, a dozen in the Roaring Fork Valley and an estimated 100 statewide, medical marijuana dispensaries have been popping up like — ahem — weeds in the last few months thanks to changes in state and federal medical marijuana policy.
Colorado voters legalized marijuana for people with certain medical conditions in 2000 by passing Amendment 20. But it wasn’t until the Obama administration came to power saying it would no longer bust medical marijuana purveyors operating in compliance with state law that storefront dispensaries selling cannabis could feel safe from the federal government. And it took the 2008 striking down of a state regulation limiting dispensaries to five patients, a policy reaffirmed this summer, for these businesses to believe they might have a customer base. The amount of people registered to legally use medical marijuana in Colorado has nearly tripled in the last year to just above 11,000. That number is expected to grow to 15,000 by year’s end.Possessing and distributing marijuana, even for medical purposes in states where such activity is legal, remains a federal crime. Suthers, a Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney from 2001 through 2005, said the Department of Justice during his tenure would not go after medical marijuana purveyors unless the operation involved more than 100 plants. Although it’s taken nine years, Suthers said the boom in medical marijuana dispensaries “is precisely what I predicted” when Amendment 20 passed. He said his office has fielded concerns from police agencies across the state that medical marijuana dispensaries might become magnets for burglaries and other crimes in their communities.Amendment 20 includes no guidance on how marijuana ought to be distributed to people who qualify. As such, Suthers said he thinks the state Legislature should offer that clarification. Whether or not it does is up to the people, through their state elected leaders, he said.“Ultimately, citizens and the legislature are going to decide what they want,” he said.Suthers, 57 and a Republican, is running for his second full term as attorney general in the 2010 election. He was appointed to the position in 2005 when former Attorney General Ken Salazar won election to the U.S. Senate. Suthers was meeting with newspapers in the Roaring Fork Valley Wednesday and attending a Republican Party fundraiser at a private home in Aspen.When the medical marijuana amendment was proposed, Suthers said he “wasn’t crazy about it.”“This wasn’t a medical marijuana thing, this was a legalization thing,” he said.Suthers was only vaguely aware of Pitkin County’s top law enforcement official and his stated advocacy for treating drugs as a health matter and not a criminal matter. “I’m not there,” Suthers said of Sheriff Bob Braudis’ position. However, “I encourage the debate. I think it’s healthy,” he said.Suthers said he doesn’t believe medical marijuana will be a campaign issue for him. It’s unclear if his only announced opponent so far, Cañon City attorney Dan Slater, will make it one.“Frankly, most people expect law enforcement officials to have a more conservative attitude,” Suthers said.Source: Aspen Daily News (CO)Author: Curtis Wackerle, Aspen Daily News Staff WriterPublished: Thursday, October 8, 2009Copyright: 2009 Aspen Daily NewsWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on October 09, 2009 at 08:33:29 PT
You made me think of this song that I played over and over again on our wurlitzer jukebox in the school cafeteria back so many years ago.Eve Of Destruction VideoURL:
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on October 09, 2009 at 07:31:52 PT
Don't forget the Mayan calendar
We need to get the laws changed for the better before it runs out in 2012, too! (I still think they just got tired of doing the thing.)
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on October 09, 2009 at 06:10:17 PT
I hope they spend money to make sure we have enough safe drinking water on the earth for future generations. I doubt anyone would want to live on the moon. 
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Comment #14 posted by GeoChemist on October 09, 2009 at 06:01:23 PT
The sun
has ~5 billion years worth of hydrogen left to convert to helium, so we are safe for a while.
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Comment #13 posted by Canis420 on October 08, 2009 at 21:16:38 PT:
Moon Shot
The moon shot is being conducted to get an idea if H2O occurs on the moon in appreciable amounts. If H2O does occur on the moon in sufficient quantities it means that it might be feasable to set up an outpost there. Not only will the H2O provide water for future inhabitants to drink, it can provide hydrogen for fuel and O2 to breathe. I believe in the space program as it might be the only savior of the human race...if we get that far. This planet is destined to be engulfed by the sun at some very distant time in the future. I know a lot of people have a hard time thinking in terms of geologic time. Now lets get on with Cannabis re-legalization before our sun burns out :)Goooo Florida PUFMM
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on October 08, 2009 at 21:13:22 PT
It's hard to believe they are taking our money to do really stupid things like this. Well... it's not hard to believe... it's just so insane. Like so much other stuff they do. Like prohibition.And what if they hurt it in their stupidity? It makes me so sad... and angry.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on October 08, 2009 at 19:31:09 PT
Christ, FoM, BGreen
Christ, it would be nice. I like your idea of a form with a check off list on how we want our contribution spent. Yep. Just a Utopian dream... but makes more sense than what we have now.FoM. Bombing the moon? Good grief! I guess I better check the news. That's not something I'd put on the check off list on my Utopian tax return. Good grief. A new high in government waste. Surely not!BGreen. I just keep thinking, "Shortly". I don't know why and I don't usually think that... but somehow, it seems more true than it ever has. Just that. Shortly. I don't know if it's two weeks or two years... but it will happen. Surely the prohibitionists have a clue that prohibition's days are numbered even if they don't act like it.But then again... I'm no prophet... that's for sure. It's just a feeling, but it's strong... stronger than I've ever had before and I've really wanted to feel that optimistic before... but haven't.Lol! Like all the news we've seen this year hasn't been a part of creating that feeling... but still... I feel it strongly.Shortly. Whatever that might mean.
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Comment #10 posted by BGreen on October 08, 2009 at 18:47:01 PT
Oh, Really? Really? Really?
""He said his office has fielded concerns from police agencies across the state that medical marijuana dispensaries might become magnets for burglaries and other crimes in their communities."Yep, there's nothing like a bunch of whiny losers to bitch and moan and make up lies.Come on, of course we all know that removing cannabis from the black market will INCREASE crime, right?I can't even type that idiotic theory with a straight face. These losers not only believe it, they want tax money to reinstate the black market into the equation.How about getting out of their faces, stop bitching and harassing MMJ patients and let the free market bring the prices down from those of the black market.As long as cannabis is worth a lot of money then there will be robberies, but it will be from real criminals stealing from the "medical marijuana dispensaries across the state" because you worthless excuses for law enforcement won't lift a finger to protect them.Gimme a break!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 08, 2009 at 17:34:18 PT
The Moon
I have been very busy (out of state company) and haven't been keeping up on the tv news. What in the world is bombing the moon going to do? We better start thinking before we do somethings.
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Comment #8 posted by christ on October 08, 2009 at 16:56:14 PT
I love that idea. Maybe have a list of all the existing federal Departments and Agencies and allocate out tax dollars. x% here y% there. Put the people in charge of the budget. Sounds more democratic... plus an incentive for those departments to represent the peoples' interest.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 08, 2009 at 16:36:04 PT
I know we need to pretect ourselves but we don't need to spend the amount of money we do to keep us safe. I am glad that I am not just starting out in life because it will be very hard to get the simple things like a car and a home.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on October 08, 2009 at 15:41:14 PT
I agree. We need a defense system, no doubt. And there might be some military stuff to be involved in... but I'd like it more if our country were a non war loving state and only practiced defense. Reasonable defense. It's a shame I'd have to actually say "Reasonable".It doesn't seem to matter what common people think anyway.With all the outsourcing by companies and no jobs and no income... the government is going to be forced to shrink a bit... but maybe not... they'll just find a way to take everything from everybody... but then what?It's such a mess. Seems like government ought to be something about making everyone more well off than they are instead of just helping big industry suck the life out of the rest of us.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 08, 2009 at 14:19:40 PT
If I could have my say where our taxes go it would never go to war but to help the poorest in our country. 
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on October 08, 2009 at 14:13:46 PT
selected tax
hope that's a great idea, that's what many colleges do, you can donate and earmark it for the college radio station, arts school, etc etc
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 08, 2009 at 13:04:41 PT
Wouldn't it be fine if we, as individuals,
could have a say in how the money collected from us, individually as taxes is spent?Wouldn't it be fine if we could say, "I want this money that I personally am contributing spent on health care and the welfare of citizens in need. I do not want it spent on consumable substance prohibitions. I do not want my contributions spent on imprisoning and persecuting nonviolent citizens. I do want it spent on infrastructure. I do want it spent on finding cures for disease. I do want it spent on insuring a safe and clean supply of fuel, food, and water. I do not want it spent on unnecessarily lining the pockets of the already rich and powerful. I do not want it spent on "the police state"."Imagine that. *sigh*
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on October 08, 2009 at 10:39:27 PT
Ah, now it gets interesting
So, let's review:- voters pass medical MJ by a wide margin, including caregivers providing medicine to the sick - LEO immediately starts raiding sick and dying people- LEO gets snubbed in the courts, caregivers area allowed to grow & provide herb for multiple patients, not just 5, that was not in the referendum- LEO gets snubbed by the Dept. of Public Health. They have a big hearing and decide that dispensaries can serve multiple patients in a 5-4 vote. They are not going to re-visit the matterSo now the only people bitching about this are cops. The only people in all of America that can help them are the state legislators.But it's too late! No state legislature has ever passed a bill that negates a medical MJ referendum. The horse is out of the barn. These cops are now asking legislators to take a huge chunk of incoming sales tax - hundreds of millions of dollars PER YEAR - and throw it away. On top of that, they're asking the legislators to act against the sick and dying - when the courts and the DPH have already refused to rule against the patients.Something tells me LEO is not going to get anywhere in the state legislature.
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Comment #1 posted by tintala on October 08, 2009 at 09:50:46 PT:
Or we could just legalize
Legalization wouldnt end the world, opponents would say oh now that wasnt so bad was it...? More and more countries are and will, in Nepal there is a day called SHIVARATRI where cannabis is legal for one day, but tolerated the rest the year. 
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