Fired Up Over Med Pot Regulations
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Fired Up Over Med Pot Regulations
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2010 at 05:54:31 PT
By Gene Davis, DDN Staff Writer
Source: Denver Daily News
Colorado -- A group of fired up medical marijuana activists yesterday blasted lawmakers’ attempts to strongly regulate Colorado’s booming medical marijuana industry.The rally, which was held across the street from the state Capitol, was partly aimed at educating medical marijuana activists about how the legislative process works, according to Laura Kriho of the Cannabis Therapy Institute, a medical marijuana lobbying group. However, emotions ran high throughout the event as speakers often refused to play nice with their rhetoric.
“We’ve been criticized as a community for not kissing enough (butt),” said medical marijuana attorney Rob Corry. “Well I’m here to tell you, there should be some (butt) kissing going on, but (lawmakers) should be kissing our (butts). They are not public masters, they are public servants.”Not every medical marijuana activist is convinced that outspoken protests are the best way to deal with lawmakers. Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado, another medical marijuana lobbying group, is among those who say they are trying to “work with legislators to craft some common sense regulations.” “This is the fastest growing industry in the state, and legislators realize that and they don’t want to cut off this new tax base,” he said.Many of the estimated 150 attendees at yesterday’s rally shared contrasting views on how they believe the industry should be regulated. Some openly chanted that marijuana should be legalized altogether, while others, like Deamma Gabriel, want regulation that would help support wellness-oriented business models that have the patient in mind.“A lot of people are divided on this,” pointed out rally attendee Jason Dreith.Everyone interviewed, however, stood fiercely opposed to the reform bill being proposed by law enforcement that would limit caregivers to five patients. The bill would effectively kill the current retail dispensary model. Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, is reported to be considering introducing the law enforcement bill in the House. The Denver Daily News could not reach Massey for comment.Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, yesterday released a copy of his revised medical reform bill. The bill would require patients under the age of 21 to get a second doctor’s opinion before being able to obtain a medical marijuana card, forbid doctors from receiving money from medical marijuana dispensaries, and provide a 24-hour registry.Vicente said that he disagrees with Romer trying to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, pointing out that the lawmaker isn’t a doctor and shouldn’t legislate as such. Other protesters at yesterday’s rally said it’s unfair for sick people under the age of 21 to have to endure the process of getting approval for medical marijuana from multiple doctors.Romer’s bill is a scaled back version of his initial proposal. He said he ditched the larger bill after not being able to find any common ground between medical marijuana activists and law enforcement agencies. The Denver Democrat thinks that the law enforcement bill might give some of the medical marijuana activists “a wake up call” and make them realize that his initial legislation was a “very moderate bill.”“They’re much more effective of being against anything than to negotiate for something,” he said. “So we will give them a little practice in civic behavior, maybe against the sheriff (bill). Maybe in 30 days we will be able to teach them to find some common ground.”Meanwhile, activists like Corry and Kriho believe that lawmakers and the media are trying to make it seem like there are only two possible state regulation bills — Romer’s and the one proposed by law enforcement. There have been many other bills proposed by medical marijuana activists, they said, with Corry planning to help introduce within the next few days.But if lawmakers decide against adopting one of the bills proposed by leaders in the medical marijuana community, Corry believes that activists deserve a seat at the table of any meetings focused on crafting reform.“And if they don’t give us a seat at that table, well, I’ve got a flame thrower we can use to deal with that table,” he said.Yesterday’s rally came three days after Denver City Council unanimously approved limiting where dispensaries can be located, who can run them, and what hours they can be open.Source: Denver Daily News (CO)Author: Gene Davis, DDN Staff WriterPublished: Friday, January 15, 2010Copyright: 2010 Denver Daily NewsContact: editor thedenverdailynews.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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