Colorado Dispensary Regulation: Where Is Middle Ground On Medical Marijuana?

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Photo: Aaron Thackeray, Westword
Dispensaries like Herbal Connections in Denver could be legislated out of existence if law enforcement has its way.

​Colorado lawmakers writing a major medical marijuana regulation bill plan to meet Friday with officials from the state attorney general’s office to work on what they’re calling a “compromise” to include “more law-and-order language” in the bill. But advocates of safe and legal access for patients are blasting the current version of the bill, saying it is already too restrictive, reports John Ingold of The Denver Post.

The bill “cannot be supported by any serious patient or caregiver in Colorado’s medical marijuana community,” attorney/activist Rob Corry wrote in a letter Thursday to state Sen. Chris Romer, the Denver Democrat who is drafting the legislation.


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Photo: Sensible Colorado
Brian Vicente: “We’re somewhat concerned that this bill is going to be reflective of law the law enforcement agenda as opposed to looking out for what’s really best for patients”

​Medical cannabis advocates will work to put a ballot issue before voters if the Legislature passes a restrictive bill which clamps down too hard on the booming industry, according to Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado.
Once again, medical marijuana patients, already in many cases facing serious or life-threatening illnesses, find themselves in the odd position of having police, rather than doctors, offering input on their medical decisions.
“We’re somewhat concerned that this bill is going to be reflective of the law enforcement agenda as opposed to looking out for what’s really best for patients,” Vicente said Thursday.
The clash over the bill between law enforcement, which wants strong “regulations” that would, for all practical purposes, eliminate marijuana dispensaries, and cannabis advocates, who favor regulations to professionalize the industry, but otherwise leave it free to fluorish, will make finding a middle ground elusive for the bill’s sponsors, the Post reports.
“This is not going to be an easy negotiation process,” conceded Sen. Romer.
Romer said he wants to give medical marijuana patients a path to safely obtain their medicine. The state senator said he hopes law enforcement will abandon a provision in its proposal that would limit to five the number of patients being provided by any one caregiver.
Having such an arbitrarily low limit, Sen. Romer said, could force gravely ill people “to buy medical marijuana in back alleys or parks or parking lots.”
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