Ballot Brings 40 Votes on Allowing Dispensaries
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Ballot Brings 40 Votes on Allowing Dispensaries
Posted by CN Staff on October 17, 2010 at 06:48:41 PT
By John Ingold, The Denver Post
Source: Denver Post
Colorado -- Voters in at least 40 jurisdictions will decide in this election whether they want medical-marijuana dispensaries in their communities.The wave of ballot measures will provide the best insight since the state's medical-marijuana boom began into how a broad spectrum of Colorado voters feels about the current system. But medical-marijuana advocates insist that any decisions to ban dispensaries should not be viewed as a broader indictment of medical marijuana.
"If a large number of these measures pass, it's not because people want to deny medicine to their neighbors," said Betty Aldworth, executive director of the pro-dispensary group Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation. "It's that we haven't effectively educated voters on the needs of their neighbors."The elections are an outgrowth of a bill the legislature passed earlier this year that gives cities and counties explicit authority to either ban or regulate dispensaries. Since Gov. Bill Ritter signed that bill into law, officials in 25 cities have decided to ban dispensaries, while officials in 19 other cities have enacted dispensary regulations, according to a list compiled by the Colorado Municipal League.Voters in 26 cities  from tiny Hillrose in eastern Colorado to Aurora, the largest Colorado city currently without a dispensary  will have a choice on the ballot whether to allow dispensaries. Voters in 14 counties will also decide on allowing dispensaries in the unincorporated parts of the county.A coalition of medical-marijuana- connected businesses has filed a lawsuit in El Paso County seeking to get that county's ballot initiative tossed out. Because the county first decided to regulate dispensaries  after which several opened  and now might ban them, attorney Jessica Corry said the measure amounts to a "regulatory taking" that would force existing, lawful businesses to close shop."We're fighting for not just the constitutional rights of patients but for that long-cherished Colorado ethos of live and let live," Corry said.Other unresolved lawsuits argue that local bans are illegal, advocates say, because dispensaries are protected by the Colorado Constitution. Snipped   Complete Article: Denver Post (CO)Author: John Ingold, The Denver PostPublished: October 17, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Denver Post CorpWebsite: openforum denverpost.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives 
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