Browsing: Legislation

Photo: Aaron Thackeray, Westword
Herbal Connections dispensary, located at 2209 W. 32nd Avenue in Denver, offers a variety of strains including Pineapple Kush.

​​Colorado’s medical marijuana community got a bit of editorial support today from a very influential source — leading newspaper The Denver Post.

In an Dec. 5 Op-Ed piece with the headline “Cities shouldn’t ban dispensaries,” the Post comes down firmly on the side of supporting the will of the Rocky Mountain State’s people as expressed in the 2000 voter initiative which legalized medical pot.
“Far too many muncipalities — including Greeley, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs and Broomfield — are just outright banning the dispensaries, citing the fact that the sale of marijuana is still illegal under federal law,” the Post editorial said.
“We think cities have a role in regulating businesses in a manner that reflects local needs and values,” the Post said, “but some seem to have reacted in haste or simply hope to pass the regulatory buck to other authorities.”
“It is wrong for cities to issue blanket bans,” the Post said. “The Colorado Constitution grants residents with debilitating medical conditions the right to acquire and possess medical marijuana.”

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Photo: David Shankbone
With views like this AND legal pot, what’s not to like about Breckenridge?

​The place looks like a storybook, and on January 1, the story’s getting a lot cooler. Plans for implementation of a voter-approved citywide legalization of marijuana in the Colorado ski resort town of Breckenridge are nearly complete.

In response to the voter initiative which passed Nov. 3, when an overwhelming 71 percent of Breckenridge voters approved removing all penalties for pot, the town council has prepared a draft ordinance making it legal for those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of dank.

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C3 Collective
A sample of the wares at Walnut Creek’s C3 Collective.

​Five hundred bucks a day adds up fast. Brian Hyman, director of the only medical marijuana dispensary in Walnut Creek, California, can tell you that.

Hyman’s dispensary, the C3 Collective, has been fined $500 a day by Walnut Creek since shortly after opening in June.
As people discover all the time, once you’re in city government’s crosshairs, they can find something to for which to harass you. In C3’s case, the official reasons have been things like violation of a general nuisance clause in the city code that prohibits any organization that violates federal law.
Sounds reasonable enough, until you remember that federal law recognizes no such thing as medical marijuana. Seems even if the Obama Administration is reluctant to enforce federal marijuana laws, Walnut Creek isn’t willing to back down.

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Photo: Derrylwc
Mendocino fave OG Kush at about 6 weeks into flowering.

​Two members of the Mendocino County, Calif., Board of Supervisors’ Health and Human Services Committee say their reworking of the county’s medical marijuana ordinance is ready to be sent to the full board, reports Mike A’Dair of The Willits News.

Committee member John McCowen said the draft revision, prepared along with Kendall Smith, would be sent to the board sometime next month.
Even while the proposed ordinance clamps down on some aspects of medical marijuana growing, it loosens others.
The indoor growing of marijuana would e limited to a space of no more than 100 square feet, and outdoor cultivation would “not subject residents of neighboring parcels who are of normal sensitivity to objectionable odors.” (You know, every time I read something like that, I try to imagine why anyone would find the odor of fresh marijuana “objectionable.”) 

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DEA
“Drug money” and cartel weapons seized by the Mexican Federales and the DEA

​Promised security help from the United States for Mexico’s drug war, including helicopters and scanners for contraband detection, has been held up by bureaucratic red tape and is slow in arriving, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Ken Ellingwood reports in the Los Angeles Times.

The GAO examination said that just $26 million, or 2 percent of the nearly $1.3 billion appropriated for security aid, had been spent by the end of September.
The multi-year Merida Initiative is intended to help Mexican officials, who are locked in a bloody three-year offensive against illegal drug cartels. The Mexicans have complained that the promised American help has been too slow to reach them.

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Westword
“Nature’s Choice” is a dispensary located near South Colorado Boulevard and Evans. This ad appeared in a recent edition of Westword.

​​Denver City Council members, in the midst of hammering out regulations for the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries, suggested Wednesday that they’d bar recently convicted felons from getting into the business of dispensing pot.

The council held no formal vote on Councilman Charlie Brown’s package of proposed dispensary regulations, Christopher N. Osher reports in The Denver Post, but agreed to meet in committee again on Dec. 16.
A full set of dispensary regulations will likely go before the city council in January.
Brown’s initial language, requiring applicants for marijuana dispensaries to state whether they had “ever been convicted of a felony, or of violating any federal, state or local law governing the manufacture, distribution, possession or use of controlled substances,” struck some council members as too onerous.

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Photo: Coaster420
Washington state health officials are considering expanding the categories for which medical marijuana may be used.

​Washington State health officials are on the verge of deciding whether patients suffering from depression or certain anxiety disorders should be allowed to use medical marijuana as part of their treatment, Molly Rosbach at The Seattle Times reports.

Washington’s medical marijuana law, adopted by voter initiative in 1998, limits the legal use of medical marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with a “terminal or debilitating medical condition.”
That includes patients with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C and several other diseases causing pain or nausea  “unrelieved by standard medical treatments and conditions.”

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Photo: Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Plant limits may become a thing of the past in California.

​A California court of appeals in San Diego has ruled that the amount of marijuana a medical user can legally possess is a question jurors should decide, and using limits defined in state law is improper.

The unanimous ruling could change the way many medical pot cases are handled at the trial stage, according to legal experts. A ruling is expected soon from the California Supreme Court that deals with a similar issue, SignOnSanDiego reports.
Medical marijuana patient Nathaniel Archer of San Diego was arrested by San Diego police with 98 pot plants in his home, along with 1.72 pounds of dried marijuana. He was convicted in 2007 for cultivating and possessing marijuana and sentenced to probation.

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Photo: Polluxx
Not in Norco, or you may get Narco’d.

​Norco, Calif., is proposing a local law against selling drug paraphernalia.

Doing so is already against both state and federal law, but having a city law on top of that would “make it easier for authorities to enforce the regulation,” Norco officials claimed, according to the Press-Enterprise.
Norco officials admit there isn’t a problem with drug paraphernalia being sold in the city. Nobody in recent history has even been cited for the offense. But the bright idea of putting a local law on the books just seemed irresistible after officials noticed neighboring town Corona had passed its own local law.
“The councils of Norco and Corona have been trying to coordinate their responses to regional issues, and drugs are currently a regional issue,” said Lt. Ross Cooper of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Norco station. (Blah, blah, blah.)
Cooper said other cities also have adopted similar ordinances, and Norco wants to spread the anti-drug message. Great idea, Lt. Cooper. Show what a moron you are by wasting the city’s scarce resources going after potheads.
The ordinance would echo a California Health and Safety Code section making it unlawful to sell drug paraphernalia, including water and ceramic pipes, scales and balances, and roach clips for joints.
If passed, the ordinance would become law in 30 days.

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Photo: Matt Wright, Wikimedia Commons
Denver is now collecting 3.9 percent tax on medical marijuana sales.

​The Mile High City started collecting sales tax on medical marijuana today.

The City of Denver expects every medical marijuana dispensary in the city to pay 3.6 percent sales tax starting Dec. 1, reports Patricia Calhoun in Westword.
“Tax revenue agents will be meeting with all dispensaries, giving them the information,” said City Attorney David Fine.
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