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Medical Marijuana Advocates Set To Challenge New Colorado Dispensary Bill

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As Colorado House Bill 1284 moves closer to the Governors desk, a group of medical marijuana lawyers plan to file an injunction challenging certain aspects of the new bill. The injunction hopes to bring the concerns of patients, who may be disenfranchised as a result of caregiver limits and the ability of communities to ban dispensaries; and dispensary owners, at least half of whom could be out of business as a result of the new bill, to the attention of lawmakers.

The lawyers are concerned about 5 particular provisions of the bill: (1) setting a limit of 5 patients on caregivers operating outside the state-sanctioned “center” model, (2) imposing licensing fees on dispensaries reorganizing under the state-guided “wellness center” model, (3) ensuring that only residents of Colorado for at least two years can own dispensaries or wellness centers, (4) not granting licenses to anyone accused or convicted of felony crimes, and (5) giving cities and towns the authority to ban dispensaries.

“The ultimate goal here is to ensure that suffering patients have access to their medicine,” said attorney Rob Corry, who is leading the push against HB 1284. “And there’s nothing wrong with making money off of your Constitutional rights.”

Chris Romer, the bill’s sponsor disagrees saying, “The constitution does protect the patients’ right to have access to medical marijuana. The constitution does not protect the business model or the approach or that people with felonies have the right to be running dispensaries. Rob’s just out to lunch on that.”

Romer concedes that the bill pushes the balance of power in the favor of law enforcement over the dispensary owners. “Maybe if it becomes legal, we can soften up the regulations,” Romer said. “But this is still a controlled substance. It’s illegal to cross state lines with it. I’m not interested in the out-of-staters who want to rush to Colorado to make money off of medical marijuana.”

http://hometestingblog.testcountry.com/?p=8039

http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-lawsuit-050710,0,4247946.story

Image from Colorado Marijuana Coalition

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15 Comments

  1. This bill will all but destroy the intended access to medical marijuana that
    Amendment 20 created and will severely limit patient options, forcing many of them to drive all over the state just to get their medicine from one of the few “centers” that will exist if this bill is passed. And it will endanger other patients who cannot access/get to one of the few centers and are forced back into the street/black-market.

    This bill is a play by a few to take over an industry that has the potential to help small towns and big cities throughout Colorado, while creating true access for patients. It appears Romer isn’t really concerned about Colorado’s economy or patient access, just lining his friends’ pockets.

    Romer says he’s protecting patients, but this bill throws the patient under the bus and then backs up over them a few times. Closing half the dispensaries will result in inflated prices, decreased access, and decrease options for patients (like edibles, teas, rubs, tinctures, etc…).

    We need sensible regulation and sane licensing fees, not a bill that completely dismantles the only system that can meet patients’ medical needs and the only system that will thrive (competition, not unreasonable regulation, creates increased quality, more widespread access, more consistency of product, more diversity in cannabis medicines, and lowered prices).

    I am not surprised Romer is exploiting and endangering our constitutional access to medical cannnabis, but I am surprised and ashamed that so many other Colorado’s elected representatives are going along with a bill that destroys patient access.

    And if dispensaries can afford to change into a “center,” won’t the provision that each center must grow 70 percent put most of the centers over the informal 100 plant federal limit, increasing their legal risk exponentially?

    Sounds like a set up to me.

    Rathering than helping to protect patients and helping to make the current system safer, this bill endangers patients’ access and increases the legal risk for caregivers and dispensary/center owners (except for an elite few) by opening up the door for even more federal-assisted raids.

    This bill will cripple one of Colorado’s few growing industries so that a few can corner the market.

    Please don’t get hoodwinked by Romer’s underhanded, “against the people” GRANDSTANDING.

    Send Romer home this election and end his fifteen minutes. He has diverted our resources away from real crime to subvert his own Constitution.

    Creep.

  2. I’ll never understand people’s intentions to limit access to medical marijuana. I mean even if perfectly grown people are accessing weed under a false guise, fuck it. What’s more American than the pursuit of happiness.

  3. What’s crazy about it is people need to make a lot of noise and stop this from happening before it’s really too late. If I lived in Colorado, I’d be calling my local rep and making my voice heard. Here’s some contact info from the Cannabis Therapy Institute (http://www.cannabistherapyinstitute.com/) :

    CALL AND EMAIL
    Click here to contact your state senators:
    http://www.cannabistherapyinstitute.com/advocacy/contact.colorado.state.legislature.html

    READ THE BILL
    Here is a link to the General Assembly Home Page. Look for House Bill 1284.
    The versions keep changing, so we cannot provide a direct link.
    http://www.leg.state.co.us/

    WATCH VIDEO
    HB1284 House hearing (5/5/10), posted by Angela Macdonald of the Reefer Report.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFhQjxiSKEo

  4. I haven’t checked in here for a while as I thought it was becoming uninteresting, but the last few blogposts are very good high-quality so I think I’ll add you back to my regular bloglist. You deserve it my buddy :)

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