Denver Pot Rally Lights Up as House Cracks Down
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Denver Pot Rally Lights Up as House Cracks Down
Posted by CN Staff on April 21, 2010 at 04:58:20 PT
By Joe Hanel, Herald Denver Bureau
Source: Durango Herald
Colorado -- The Colorado House toughened a plan to regulate medical marijuana stores Tuesday, even as music from a pro-pot rally drifted into the Capitol.Under Tuesday's changes to House Bill 1284, local governments could forbid marijuana dispensaries by a vote of a city council, county commission or local voters. People with past drug-related convictions would be banned for life from running a medical marijuana store. And marijuana edibles could not be consumed inside a dispensary.
Even in its newly toughened form, the bill still would offer the first legal recognition to the storefront medical marijuana operations that sprang up around Colorado during the last year.Voters legalized medical marijuana in 2000, but the law so far says nothing about dispensaries.“The voters did not approve a dispensary model. We're in the process here of building a dispensary model," said Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs.HB 1284 would make it more difficult to operate a dispensary. It sets up state and local licenses, similar to the ones needed to open a liquor store. Stores would have to cultivate most of their own marijuana, and they could not open near schools or drug-treatment centers.On Tuesday, lawmakers made the bill expire in five years, unless a future Legislature and the state Department of Regulatory Agencies renew it or change it.They also decided to forbid people from eating or smoking marijuana products inside a dispensary. Earlier this year, a committee decided to allow the consumption of edible marijuana on site, after disabled veterans testified that they could get kicked out of their federal housing for using medical marijuana at home.Legislators said Tuesday that on-site consumption increases the risk that patients will drive while intoxicated.But Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, argued against the change.“What if someone's using a bus? What if someone's walking? What if someone lives in federal housing and they can't use their medical marijuana? Where are they supposed to do it?" Pace asked.As the debate started, legislators could hear a cover of the Allman Brothers' “Ramblin' Man" and other jam-band tunes from the park outside the Capitol, where hundreds of people had gathered for a rally to mark 4-20, the unofficial holiday for marijuana enthusiasts.But the revelers found few friends inside the House chamber, as most amendments to toughen the bill passed on wide margins.House Majority Leader Paul Weissmann, D-Louisville, said much of the added regulation isn't necessary, and legislators were succumbing to “reefer madness."Weissmann runs the House calendar, and he scheduled the debate for 4-20 day - not intentionally, he said.“It's a wacky coincidence," Weissmann said. “It is pretty funny, though."HB 1284 passed on a voice vote, and a final, recorded vote could come as early as today.Source: Durango Herald, The (CO)Author: Joe Hanel, Herald Denver BureauPublished: April 21, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Durango HeraldWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on April 21, 2010 at 09:18:03 PT
FDL marijuana campaign slogan contest
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on April 21, 2010 at 05:56:01 PT
....and the citizens of Colorado slept better!
"People with past drug-related convictions would be banned for life from running a medical marijuana store. And marijuana edibles could not be consumed inside a dispensary." The level of violent and danger related crimes have gone down overnight due to the astute attention given by these lawmakers.Just last week I said to my wife, what if they eat those pot laced, dope cakes right there in the store? They could fall asleep reading High Times on the can? Now that would be a crime law makers should be concerned about!
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