Medical marijuana bill: Current version of HB 1284 would allow city councils to ban dispensaries

Thumbnail image for robert fisher picture of a dispensary display.jpg
Photo by Robert Fisher
Maybe not coming to a town near you.
During an interview last week, Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation front man Matt Brown wasn't certain that new language inserted into House Bill 1284, a measure designed to regulate the medical marijuana industry, gave city councils the right to ban dispensaries. After all, there'd been so much fiddling done over such a short period of time that no one seemed sure where things stood.

Now, however, the so-called "reengrossed" version of HB 1284 is out in advance of senate committee hearings slated for 2 p.m. tomorrow. And it seems clear that the new language does indeed give such bodies the power to forbid dispensaries in their town.

Read the measure in its entirety by clicking here. In addition, look below to see the specific "local option" passage, which provides several ways of deep-sixing dispensaries, including a prohibition vote by "a majority of the members of the governing board for the municipality, county, city, or city and county," as well as a release from the Cannabis Therapy Institute urging supporters to make their voices heard.

HB 1284 "Local option" passage:

THE OPERATION OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE STATEWIDE UNLESS A MUNICIPALITY, COUNTY, CITY, OR CITY AND COUNTY, BY EITHER A MAJORITY OF THE REGISTERED ELECTORS OF THE MUNICIPALITY, COUNTY, CITY, OR CITY AND COUNTY VOTING AT A REGULAR ELECTION OR SPECIAL ELECTION CALLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE "COLORADO MUNICIPAL ELECTION CODE OF 1965", ARTICLE 10 OF TITLE 31,C.R.S., OR THE "UNIFORMELECTIONCODE OF 1992", ARTICLES 1 TO 13 OF TITLE 1, C.R.S., AS APPLICABLE, OR A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BOARD FOR THE MUNICIPALITY, COUNTY, CITY, OR CITY AND COUNTY, VOTE TO PROHIBIT RETAIL SALE, DISTRIBUTION, CULTIVATION, AND DISPENSING OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

Cannabis Therapy Institute release:

Medical Cannabis Day of Action

Senate Local Government Committee
Hearing on HB1284
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
State Capitol Building
200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80201

11am-12pm: Grassroots Lobbying Tours of the Capitol

Grassroots lobbying tours led by community organizers from Mile High NORML and the Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers will leave from the Cafeteria in the Basement at 11am and 12 noon. This will be an opportunity to lobby senators before the hearing begins. See Mile High NORML's grassroots lobbying demonstration video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APdu-hkFVfg

2:00 pm: Hearing on HB1284

Senate Local Government Committee
Old Supreme Court Chambers
Second Floor, North End, State Capitol Building
The south entrance is handicapped accessible.

*** Please arrive early to sign up to testify. ***

Sign-up inside the Old Supreme Court Chambers
Attire: Dress to Impress
Provisions: Bring food and water, as the hearing may last a while.

ACTION ALERT: HEARING ON HB1284

This is your *last chance* to give public testimony on House Bill 1284, a bill designed to destroy the current medical marijuana program in Colorado.

We are also urging you to CALL and EMAIL the Senate Local Government Committee Members (see below.)

HB1284 is now a 72-page monstrosity that allows the Department of Revenue to control the licensing and all standards of medical marijuana "centers." On April 22, the bill passed the full House by a vote of 39 to 23. The bill requires a dispensary to get a state license, a local license and a cultivation license. A state license might cost up to $50,000, according to Senator Chris Romer, one of the bill's sponsors. Most dispensaries will not be able to comply with the requirement to cultivate 70% of their medicine
onsite.

HB1284 creates Medical Marijuana Enforcement Investigators, who could investigate the center any time it is open, or appears to be open. They do not need a search warrant, but they would have police powers to enforce all Colorado laws. Senator Romer has said that dispensaries could expect an auditor to be at their clinic every 5 to 7 days.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFXOxU5tNi8

HB1284 is fraught with problems. CTI proposes that the state instead set up a commission to study the issue and introduce a sensible bill next year, to make sure this complicated issue gets addressed properly.

HB1284 now moves on to a public hearing in the Senate Local Government Committee, scheduled for Tuesday, April 27.

This will be the last opportunity to give public testimony on the bill

CAREGIVERS TAKE ACTION

Caregivers are urged to rally their patients to attend this hearing at the Capitol. Forward this action alert to your email list and post it on your website.

LISTEN ONLINE

You listen online to the Old Supreme Court Chambers.
http://www.coloradochannel.net/

ANALYSES

Click here to read a more detailed analysis of HB1284 from two attorneys.

Attorney Danyel Joffe's Action Alerts on HB1284
http://www.cannabistherapyinstitute.com/bills/hb1284.danyel.joffe.13.pdf
http://www.joffelawfirm.com/MedicalMarijuana.htm

Attorney Lauren Davis' Action Alert on HB1284
http://www.cannabistherapyinstitute.com/bills/hb1284.lauren.davis.html

READ THE BILL

Latest version of HB1284 from the General Assembly webpage

CALL AND EMAIL

URGENT -- URGENT -- URGENT

Contact these Committee members by phone and email. Be polite and professional. Ask them to vote No on HB1284 and instead form a Commission of patients, caregivers, lawmakers and law enforcement that will draft a bill that will work, instead of pushing through a 72-page regulatory nightmare that will force all but the richest dispensaries out of business.

Senate Local Government Committee Members

Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass), Chair
District 5 (Alamosa, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale,
Mineral, Pitkin, Rio Grande and Saguache Counties)
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4871
E-mail: gail.schwartz.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Joyce Foster (D), Vice-Chair
District 35 (Arapahoe and Denver Counties)
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4875
E-Mail: joyce.foster.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Bill Cadman (R)
District 10 (El Paso County)
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2737
E-mail: bill.cadman.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Mary Hodge (D)
District 25 (Adams County)
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4855
E-Mail: mary.hodge.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Ken Kester (R)
District 2 (Baca, Bent, Crowley, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas,
Otero and Pueblo Counties)
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4877
E-Mail: ken.kester.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R)
District 15 (Larimer County)
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Capitol Phone: (303)866-4853
E-Mail: kevin@kevinlundberg.com

Sen. Linda Newell (D)
District 26 (Arapahoe and Jefferson County)
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4846
E-mail: linda.newell.senate@gmail.com

COPY AND PASTE EMAILS:
gail.schwartz.senate@state.co.us,
joyce.foster.senate@state.co.us,
bill.cadman.senate@state.co.us,
mary.hodge.senate@state.co.us,
ken.kester.senate@state.co.us,
kevin@kevinlundberg.com,
linda.newell.senate@gmail.com

Please send us copies of any letters you send.

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