State MMJ Bill Opens Door for Local Dispenary Ban
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State MMJ Bill Opens Door for Local Dispenary Ban
Posted by CN Staff on May 01, 2010 at 12:29:06 PT
By Tom Roeder
Source: Gazette
Colorado -- The General Assembly is poised this week to give communities across the state the ability to kick the medical marijuana business out of town. Contained within a massive bill to regulate the burgeoning industry is a provision that would allow counties and cities to regulate, license or prohibit the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana.That means if HB1284 makes it through the state Senate as expected this coming week, the debate over medical marijuana would only increase in Colorado Springs, where a task force has been hashing out proposed city regulations. El Paso County, meanwhile, has temporary regulations in place for dispensaries, pending state action.
“I think we should be in control of our own destiny,” said Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Larry Liston who supports giving communities a choice on marijuana businesses.What that could mean here remains unclear. Local leaders are split on how strictly to regulate medical marijuana businesses, even as the number of dispensaries and cultivation businesses in Colorado Springs continue to skyrocket, with more than 100 in town, according to authorities.Darryl Glenn, a Colorado Springs city councilman, said he sees that provision leading to a local referendum on medical marijuana dispensaries that could tighten regulations here or ban the businesses outright.“The voters did support medical marijuana use but I don’t think the voters intended that to allow the proliferation of dispensaries,” he said.Prohibition of dispensaries, though, doesn’t appeal to everyone.“Well, my personal opinion is we would be foolish to ban dispensaries,” said Sean Paige, a Colorado Springs city councilman who is working with a committee to build regulations for medical marijuana in the city.The city council has stalled progress on new regulations while waiting for the General Assembly to act.Dispensaries to distribute medical marijuana burst onto the city’s landscape last year after the federal government, which still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug, said it wouldn’t interfere with state laws that legalize marijuana for medical uses.Amendment 20, approved by Colorado voters in 2000, legalized medical marijuana without setting up a system to legally distribute it to patients.That left dispensaries in a gray area that lawmakers, at the urging of cities and counties, are trying to clear up.“It’s not like the liquor laws where we have it so well defined and so well implemented,” said Monument’s Republican Rep. Amy Stephens.In a nondescript house on Colorado Avenue, Brian Lee has been dispensing marijuana since October at his Colorado Springs Medical Marijuana Center, which now also operates branches in Penrose and Gleneagle.“I don’t think we’ll see the city of Colorado Springs banning dispensaries,” Lee said. “They see the need of having the dispensaries here.”But fears remain that Colorado Springs and other cities could ban dispensaries, through local government decisions or through citizen-driven ballot measures.“The medical marijuana industry is very leery of this,” said Clifton Black, a Colorado Springs attorney who has consulted with about 50 medical marijuana business clients.The need for dispensaries is driven by demand. Lee said the number of people seeking marijuana to treat symptoms including chronic pain and nausea at his dispensary keeps growing.The state reports that 1,000 applications a day are arriving from people seeking medical marijuana registry cards.“People want to get legal,” Lee said.But putting the stamp of legality around the marijuana business is troubling to some lawmakers, including Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Kent Lambert, who has opposed measures to regulate the dispensaries.“It puts into law an acknowledgement of sales of an illegal drug,” he said, making reference to the federal prohibition.That attitude, Black said, could lead to dispensary bans, and court fights around Colorado.“You have individuals who are city councilors and county commissioners who will invoke their personal biases against medical marijuana to shut it down,” Black said.Black said any ban will wind up in court, with medical marijuana businesses claiming protection under Amendment 20.“They are putting local governments into bad situation,” Black said of the General Assembly. “It will be the local governments that are facing those lawsuits.”In Woodland Park, leaders are struggling with how to regulate marijuana sales.Mayor Steve Randolph said medical marijuana is far from being the city’s top issue, but it is one of the more divisive topics leaders have dealt with. “I think it has the potential to be a lightning rod for a while,” Randolph said. “You have people who are passionate about it in one way or another.”In Woodland Park and Colorado Springs, efforts are now focused on zoning and regulating the industry rather than banning it.But Randolph likes the idea of having the power to ban marijuana shops in the city council’s arsenal.“Political will needs to be driven by community will,” he said.In the Senate, the region’s biggest voice remains undecided on the proposed medical marijuana regulations.Senate Majority leader John Morse, a Colorado Springs Democrat, said he’s hasn’t decided whether he supports HB1284.“The trick is everything we are doing is a violation of federal law,” said Morse, a former Colorado Springs and Fountain police officer.Morse, who has control of when bills are entertained on the Senate floor, said the measure will be hotly debated this week.The measure, which passed the House in a different form, will wind up back in the state House if it gets Senate approval.The General Assembly session ends May 12.  Medical Marijuana Bill  This coming week, Colorado’s state Senate will take up HB1284, to regulate the medical marijuana business.The bill would:• Establish licenses for medical marijuana sellers and growers with rules similar to those set for liquor stores.• Allow cities and counties to regulate, license or prohibit medical marijuana businesses.• Impose a one-year moratorium on licensing new medical marijuana businesses. Existing businesses would be allowed to operate.• Ban doctors from getting kickbacks for medical marijuana referrals.• Allow the state Department of Public Health and Environment to write new rules for doctors who sign off on medical marijuana reccomendations and patients applying for the state registry.• Set medical marijuana labeling requirements.Source: Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO)Author: Tom RoederPublished: May 1, 2010Copyright: 2010 The GazetteWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #21 posted by Herbologist on May 04, 2010 at 05:41:49 PT:
Unite and Fight !
We have failed due to our separate interests.If you want to fight this battle all dispensaries need to unite and Fight together for the good of all patients.No more he said or she said.Time is now to bond together to see this through to the end and let government understand what we voted for.
        Be well,Be safe.Herbologist
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 18:11:25 PT
Yes it is! I hope we see a bigger article about it to post.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on May 03, 2010 at 17:42:19 PT
Comment 18 Colorado
That's such good news!
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 17:35:37 PT
Ban on Colorado Pot Dispensaries Rejected
Monday, May 3, 2010Denver -- Colorado lawmakers have rejected a proposal to ask voters to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.The Senate Judiciary Committee killed the proposal from Republican Sen. Scott Renfroe of Greeley on Monday.His referendum sought to only allow actual individuals — not shops — to provide medical marijuana to patients.Prosecutors and Attorney General John Suthers backed the proposal. They've been urging lawmakers not to regulate dispensaries, arguing that will legitimize an industry they say wasn't sanctioned under the medical marijuana law passed by voters in 2000.The law does reference dispensing of the drug and backers say dispensaries help patients get the strains of marijuana they need. Copyright: 2010 Swift Communications, Inc.URL:
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on May 03, 2010 at 05:30:15 PT
GOP Lawmakers Propose Banning Pot Dispensaries
May 3, 2010 Denver -- As Colorado lawmakers try to figure how to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, others are pushing to ban them.A referendum proposed by some Republican lawmakers would require that only actual people — not shops — be able to provide medical marijuana to patients. Those caregivers would also have to help patients with the daily necessities of life.The proposal is up for its first hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday.Prosecutors and Attorney General John Suthers have been urging lawmakers not to regulate dispensaries, arguing it will legitimize an industry that they say wasn't sanctioned under the medical marijuana law passed by voters in 2000. Backers of Amendment 20 say the law does reference dispensing of the drug.Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressURL:
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on May 02, 2010 at 07:47:28 PT
An Adult
I'm very sorry about what is being done to you and your partner, and others like you. It's not right. How can they start ordering people to "cease and desist" when the bill hasn't even passed yet?Prohibitionists need to "cease and desist" with their ignorant fears and overreaching and unreasonable edicts.Mean while... Johnson and Johnson didn't practice optimum quality control for the "safe" medicines we can get. & Johnson division recalls 43 OTC medicines for infants and children
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on May 02, 2010 at 07:47:04 PT
An Adult
You're welcome. Please be careful. These are scary times while it is being sorted out. I worry too much but I have been doing CNews for a long time and it comes with the territory.
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Comment #14 posted by An Adult on May 02, 2010 at 07:43:15 PT
Thanks FoM
We'll make it work somehow. We've sunk too much money into it to just walk away. They've done nothing but made us more determined than ever. We want to play WITHIN the rules, but if the rules make that impossible, then we won't. We're trying to move to Denver and register before the 1-year moratorium on any new MMJ businesses (also in the bill) takes effect. We have a location in mind, just have to coddle the landlord a bit, hope to get a lease in place next week.As long as Craig Kocian is the City Manager of Arvada, I will never spend a penny in a restaurant, store, etc. in that backwards-thinking town. I would urge others to do the same.
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Comment #13 posted by ezrydn on May 02, 2010 at 07:18:50 PT
They Don't Know What They Want
The powers that be in CO just don't get it. Ban dispensaries and the growth will move back out into the public areas, which they whine and cry about. They either going to have to lead, follow or get the hell outta the way. They seem incapable of "planning," playing the "what if" game and so on as any strategist would do.They don't want dispensaries. Ok, then move the crops back out into parks, public lands and understand that they'll probably be well guarded. This is the outcome the legislators want?
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 02, 2010 at 06:38:23 PT
An Adult 
I'm really sorry. This issue in Colorado isn't good at all. Mom and Pop type operations are going to have a terrible time. I am afraid big business will totally consume the smaller medical marijuana enthusiasts.
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Comment #11 posted by An Adult on May 02, 2010 at 06:21:50 PT
They shut us down yesterday
I wrote the post below on Saturday, but since I had just registered, I couldn't post.On a side-note, the Denver Post has censored my ability to comment on online articles from their website, even though I never used anything remotely close to foul language, made threats, got hostile with another commenter, or anything remotely close to that. The worst thing I've said in any of my comments was calling Chris Romer a "Clown" and a "buffoon". So much for freedom of speech. You'd think a newspaper would be sensitive to the First Amendment, but apparently the editors of the Denver Post along with Dean Singleton don't feel freedom of speech applies if the person doing the speaking is making too much sense in terms of medical marijuana.
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Comment #10 posted by An Adult on May 02, 2010 at 06:13:05 PT
This bill will be a disaster
My business partner and I just received a Cease and Desist order from the City of Arvada, CO today. We have an extremely small grow operation. We each are Caregivers to only 5 patients, so according to the State Constitution we are each allowed 15 plants in both stages of growth. We welcomed the Arvada police department into our operation about a month ago and let them, along with an Arvada Fire representative tour our small facility to make sure our electric was up to code, etc. They left completely satisfied. We are registered federally as an S-Corp, so we've tried to dot the I's and cross all the T's along the way. We aren't even growing the full number of plants we're allowed to grow per state law, and they still shut us down today.This is what can--and will--happen in every community in Colorado if this sham of a bill passes. Anyone who claims to be an advocate of medical marijuana who also supports this bill is either extremely dense, or has an agenda. My guess would be the latter, if not both.
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Comment #9 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 02, 2010 at 05:32:11 PT
smell a lawsuit brewing?
if you deny a person their right to their medication, you're denying them their treatment.
These political weasels have left the door open.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on May 02, 2010 at 05:01:30 PT
"In control of our own destiny"?
"“I think we should be in control of our own destiny,” said Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Larry Liston who supports giving communities a choice on marijuana businesses."That's mighty fine talk, Larry. You don't mean it though, do you? You really mean that you and other prohibitionists should be in control of everyone else's destiny... especially if one felt one's destiny might involve a certain natural herb. 
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Comment #7 posted by Zandor on May 01, 2010 at 23:23:31 PT
No Rights for Medical Users??
Again we are treated as Second Class Citizens who should shut up and cut our hair!!Well WERE NOT GOING TO SHUT UP, CUT OUR HAIR OR LET YOU PUSH US AROUND!!!WE ARE THE PEOPLE YOU IDIOT'S!!!
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Comment #6 posted by Totalrod2 on May 01, 2010 at 22:20:43 PT
Quote: “I think we should be in control of our own destiny,” said Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Larry Liston who supports giving communities a choice on marijuana businesses.Yeah, as long as those people "in control" aren't MMJ patients. They have no rights. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 01, 2010 at 18:44:50 PT
It seems like many of the angry politicians these days just prove this quote is true.“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”Mark Twain
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on May 01, 2010 at 18:35:31 PT
Hey Palin [have mouth, will travel]
How is all that drilly spilly thing working out for ya?
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Comment #3 posted by TroutMask on May 01, 2010 at 17:07:54 PT
Easy as Pi!
Hey! If every county decides to make medical marijuana illegal, ta-dah! No more legal medical marijuana in Colorado! But, uh... that's against the Colorado Constitution...
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 01, 2010 at 15:49:35 PT
Boulder Patient
Thank you for the information. 
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Comment #1 posted by Boulder Patient on May 01, 2010 at 14:46:29 PT
HB 1284 has passed the first Senate Comittee
Hopefully it will fail on the floor vote. Supposedly the governor will veto it if there are certain things he doesn't like. I have not yet been able to find out what those things are.
Boulder Medical Marijuana News - HB 1284 Passes Comittee
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