Medical marijuana: Would 137 of 150 grows close by July 1 under new Denver proposal?

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Since last year, we've been reporting about various Denver City Council proposals to update zoning rules for medical marijuana grows, with attorney Christian Sederberg warning weeks ago about huge repercussions if there's no MMJ grandfathering. Now, lawyer Warren Edson says more than 90 percent of Denver grows could close in months if a council plan to be debated today passes.

Edson attended last Monday's special issues committee meeting at which medical marijuana grows were a major topic. At that session, two amendments offered by councilwoman Judy Montero (who did not respond to an interview request last week) and a third backed by councilman Chris Nevitt got the most attention.

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Warren Edson.
According to Edson, Montero would only grandfather in grows that complied with paperwork deadlines established by HB 1284, the main MMJ regulatory measure, and began operations prior to January 1, 2011. Problem is, "she was very specific that it had to be the original person who filed the paperwork, so anybody who's transferred ownership would be out" -- and transfers tend to be the rule, not the exception. "Back when we had the green rush, a lot of landlords pulled plant husbandry permits themselves and marked their buildings as ready to go," he explains.

Numbers vary in regard to the number of grows impacted, but the data Edson's seen suggests that of 150 grows in Denver, only thirteen would comply. The others would have to close by July 1.

The result, notes Edson, would be "137 empty buildings -- and because grows have to be in a chain with medical marijuana centers that have retail outlets, that's 137 places that would no longer be able to manufacture for their retail outlets."

Montero's second proposal, which deals mostly with application forms, an area map and insurance requirements, would have less sweeping ramifications, Edson believes. As for Nevitt's, he says, "we could almost deal with it if the overall theme wasn't so offensive. It affects the places that a plant-husbandry-use permit is no longer allowed in whatever new zoning district it's located. They didn't give a number of grows that would be affected -- twenty to thirty is my guess. But Nevitt creates this weird situation where the businesses that aren't in compliance with plant husbandry and zoning can come back within two years and the council would consider if the business was in compliance with the current tone and tenor of the neighborhood.

"On initial glance, that's kind of nice, because it gives you a chance to argue your case, and it allows you to stay for two years. But if you take a step back, it's really saying, 'We've got these empty buildings now, but if we make this neighborhood pretty in two years, we're going to boot your butts out.' And to me, that's taking advantage of the industry at a time when it's already reeling from all these rules and regulations."

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Judy Montero.
Is this another example of a solution in search of a problem? Edson points out that "at one point, someone -- I think it was Doug Linkhart -- asked, 'How many of you people actually get complaints about these grows?' And only Montero raised her hand."

Of course, Montero and Nevitt aren't the only ones with amendment ideas. Over the weekend, Edson got a chance to peruse a whopping nine amendments offered by mayoral candidate Carol Boigon, and he considers them "worse" than Montero's measures -- "and I didn't think that was possible."

He adds, "It is interesting to see the city council come to the rescue of food carts with a claim of saving jobs [despite] the risk of loosening food-health safety standards and putting jobs at brick-and-mortar restaurants at risk, yet wanting to stick it the the MMJ industry despite the apparent lack of complaints from the general community or potential harm to the general community and many more jobs at risk."

Today's hearing is slated for 2 p.m. in Room 391 of the City & County Building.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana hearing: Advocate says Dept. of Revenue hostile to privacy concerns (PICS)."

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42 comments
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smilek
smilek

The "medical" marijuana locations have been established in Denver without a shred of honesty and openness. As a Denver resident, overnight there was a "medical" marijuana store every few blocks. This whole experience has been an outrageous assault on the residents of Denver. GO JUDY MONTERO - fix this ridiculous situation through any legal means necessary!

Warren
Warren

No "honesty and openness'? Do you realize that all of these people had to turn over all their financial records, tax records, educational history, their families information, all lender information, pay $5,000 to the city and $10,000 plus to the State, have to be 2 year Colorado residents, not felons, and pass background checks both with the City and State?

What else is needed to be appropriately "honest and open"?

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

Would you be interested in coming to tour our facility? An open and honest discussion of these issues is important.

Patient
Patient

TooSmart4TheirOwnGood posted this 1 week ago elsewhere but I thought should not be missed.

"So I have done a little research into Rep Massey and his history. An interesting fact, Massey comes from a district which has already banned MMJ, why is he the main proponent of rule writing? It doesn't effect his district?

Well the answers comes from a review of the Elect Tom Massey campaign finance disclosures. Rep Massey and Senator Romer and Senator Steadman have all been major beneficiaries of a select group of dispensary owners.

Massey, Romer, and Steadman have each received at least $1,000 in campaign finance donations directly from the owners of 4 of Colorado's largest dispensaries.

Joshua Stanley-Budding Health/Peace In MedicineNorton Albarez- River Rock WellnessJill Lamoreux- Boulder County CaregiversStacy Vilos-Fauth- Granny's Edibles/Infused Product Manufacturer/b*goods apothecaryJoseph Cohen- THE CLINIC

I find it ironic that these Albarez and Lamoreux are also both on the department of revenue's working advisory panel. Could it be that these new onerous regulations that threaten to kill 80% of Colorado's small dispensaries and outlaw caregivers, were designed by the largest in the industry to do just that?

Could it be that a coalition of 4 or 5 dispensary owners in Colorado decided that they could just buy the whole MMJ industry by influencing a few easy to purchase politicians?

Why also is it that Boulder County Caregivers and RiverRock are two of the largest wholesalers in Colorado, with a sales force pounding the streets to supply MMJ to the very dispensaries that they have nearly regulated out of existence? What will the face of Colorado MMJ look like when these owners are done buying their monopoly?"

No More Tax $$ for CO
No More Tax $$ for CO

CO House bill currently under consideration will make the Denver City council regulations look like a walk in the park. Legislators want to videotape and fingerprint each and every transaction at all MMC's. All of this info will be kept in a database accessible to the DOR and law enforcement. So much for confidentiality guaranteed by Amendment 20.

As a patient, I will never consent to being fingerprinted and videotaped for buying MEDICINE!!! Goodbye MMC's. Time to find a local caregiver. Guess the state didn't really want any tax revenue.

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

Fingerprinting has never been discussed for patients, only for those applying for a MMC license.

Let's either cite source or bury the rumor here.

kathleen chippi
kathleen chippi

Also, The DoR did request 4 million dollars for the database.

Releaf--are you suggesting we wait until it's up and running to take action against it?

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

Kathleen, that's intellectually dishonest at best. We've spoken out against the DoR having the statutory authority to even CREATE a database. We took part in the two day public comment on (mostly against) the proposed rule. We did so as patient advocates, just like you.

They proposed a rule that faces heavy opposition; in theory, they should be rewriting it or tossing it altogether. If they don't, we have a new fight. And we'll be back to fight them if that day comes.

------------

To anyone worried about a database, please send a short letter letting the MMED know where you stand: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Sat... or e-mail them here: MMEDRulecomments@dor.state.co.us

Don't buy in to the notion that your voice doesn't matter. The MMED is seriously considering all input. The deadline is 2/11.

kathleen chippi
kathleen chippi

The DMV was in the integrated surveillance database 'circle' presented in the DoR meeting on Dec 5th, 2010.

The DMV already has your thumbprint if you are a patient that has a drivers license. The DoR surveillance database will link patient fingerprints with ALL Colorado law enforcement (yes, that includes the DEA), DoR, CDPHE, DMV, and the CO Dept of Labor and Employment.

Freedom, Not Fingerprints
Freedom, Not Fingerprints

According to an AP article in September, 2009 "Officials are also considering fingerprinting marijuana patients and keeping tabs on pot with radio-frequency (RFID) devices."http://www.9news.com/rss/artic...

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the info at public comment, Releaf Center. Much appreciated.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

The data base seems like the foundation of everything that they have in mind 'to ensure the public welfare' they are paying that company in Denver a lot of money to make it work. The foundation of the enforcement and doing it on a budget is to have invasive measures that the dispensaries will pay for to 'Ensure public confidence'

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

They're still accepting public comment until the 11th of February, we'll know soon after that. I'd be surprised if the database went through, as nearly everyone who spoke did so against a system as it was described during a single MMED meeting. Nothing is currently in existence as rule.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Releaf, are they actually going to go through with the cameras and stuff though? This is really concerning. I would have loved to have been at the meeting, but it's difficult, I'm 3 hours away in the mountains.

So far nothing has been enforced, am I really going to walk into a dispensary and have to have my card photographed and purchase recorded to the DOR? It just seems unbelievable, but I wasn't there. Can you shed light?

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

That Daily Camera article is the same AP article mentioned above, HCC. Cook is not quoted, for the record, about fingerprint scanners. We were at the MMED meeting last Friday and I wish I could explain how shocked he looked when someone who testified mentioned fingerprinting. I genuinely don't think it's in play and that we're doing more to scare patients as opposed to having an honest discussion.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

It's easy to be confused as to what is what, but the fingerprint scanners were discussed, even by Matt Cook, here is an article in the Boulder Daily, and I believe the reality of finger print scanners is out there http://www.dailycamera.com/sta...

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

First, there are a lot of websites out there trying to cash in on the MMJ movement. That doesn't mean they're operational.Second, there is no DoR database, so it's disingenuous to say that they're ready to "link up" with it.Third, getting 130,000 patients to come in for fingerprinting isn't feasible. Fourth, even Matt Cook was visibly taken aback when a speaker mentioned fingerprinting at the 1/28 MMED. It's simply not being pursued.

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

The remarks, sourced from "officials", haven't been reported anywhere else but this isolated AP story. Biometrics would be almost impossible to implement.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, No More Tax $$ for CO. Thanks for posting.

Caution
Caution

Have you ever wondered who helps write these amendments?The Medical Marijuana Industry Group (same address as Colorado Petroleum Association) is currently the main lobbyist influence in the medical Cannabis industry and they want to shut down the small mom and pop's. I hear ACT4CO is about to hire a lobbyist to represent the mom and pop's which can counter act MMIG.

yurmomma
yurmomma

Is Judy Montero in a relationship with a developer as jacksonstunna implies?. If that is the case I would imagine that is a conflict of interest and Ms Montero should releave herself from her duty.

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

Developers are entitled to their say just as much as dispensaries, but we deserve to know which council members have taken money from them and how much. Transparency is important here.

jacksonstunna
jacksonstunna

asad - its about ONE developer who's upset he cant buy cheap industrial property anymore. This guy wants landlords to lose money and industrial neighborhoods to stay empty so he can get good deals and build more steel and glass condos that nobody needs. He and his girlfriend judy couldn't care less about the hundreds of folks who would suffer as a result of this nonsense.

z26272829
z26272829

O F'it lets just keep buying it on the blackmarket supporting the drug war. That sounds like the best solution to the problem. That seems to be the goal with all these tight asses. Legalize it idiots.

Jim
Jim

It's exactly what's going to happen, these regulations aren't going to reduce the size of the market, they're only go to move it. People who only intend to consume cannabis and not grow it are better off staying under the radar and not registering to be a part of the state's "program" given its new and far reaching regulations. The state currently offers very little incentive for people to become "patients", non-patients will only pay a small fine if they happen to be found in possession of less than an ounce of cannabis. Patients can't legally own a firearm, have all of their federally illegal transactions taped and logged, have to worry about their status as a cardholder being shared with any number of federal agencies, and could lose their job, home, or custody of their children if their "confidential" information is compromised. Honestly, if one's responsible, running the risk of having to pay a $100 fine is far more appealing than being documented and tracked as someone who is in violation of Federal law. I guess legislators would rather have a huge, unregulated market than have to look at storefronts with images of plants.

InigoCO
InigoCO

I agree with the legalization issue. I have nothing against Marijuana itself and I do think it can have some medicinal value. I don't personally use it, but I know many who do.

However, I do think that the whole Medical Marijuana(MMJ) loophole has really harmed the movement. If we were being honest with ourselves, we'd treat marijuana as a medicine. That's not the case currently.

You have to buy it at a specialty store, not at a pharmacy. The dispensaries way outnumber pharmacies as well by the way, despite the fact that there should be far less who "need" MMJ compared to the thousands of other prescription drugs out there. Only certain doctors can and will prescribe it(which again brings up the question of why there are so many dispensaries). Additionally, the prescriptions themselves are suspect, with the patient being allowed to determine how much MMJ they buy and use.

What about MMJ is anything like the way we treat other prescription drugs? If MMJ advocates want to be treated as a prescription drug, then let's do so. That's going to require even more regulation and the closure of probably all of the existing dispensaries. Somehow, I think they'd prefer not to go that route.

The writing is all over the wall, MMJ is being hijacked as a "legal" way to bring Marijuana to the casual user. I think overall, that harms the MMJ movement. Just fight for legalization and get away from this whole notion of the medical uses being the primary goal of dispensaries.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

We don't want to be treated like prescription drugs. Prescriptions kill. We don't want to shop in pharmacy's. They are not prescriptions, they are recommendations and verbal recommendations have won in court.

Cannabis is an herb. It is therapeutic just like chamomile, or echinacea except it is not toxic, unlike most herbs. Patients decide how much they want because it is non toxic, there is no lethal dose (and the constitution says that's how it is)

Many activists fought against Cali in the 1990's when they broke off medical from full legalization for all uses, (industrial, therapeutic, spiritual, recreational, nutritional). But the national advocacy groups hijacked therapeutic and called it medical. Now we are screwed as many (in control and uneducated to cannabis) now think cannabis requires HEAVY regulation.

There is another hurdle (for MMC's and perhaps patients and caregivers) that never gets mentioned in the media and that is that hb1284 required the CDPHE request the Feds make cannabis schedule II.

Sounds good to people who don't know what that means. Schedule II "drugs" can ONLY be sold in pharmacies. MMC's can kiss it goodbye then. I figure they use every other way through hb1284 to get rid of the promised 80% closure rate Romer wanted and then they'll whip out the schedule II ride and when the final 20% get closed they'll say--it's federal law--pharmacies win, MMC's unnecessary.

The ONLY thing Americans should want is for cannabis to be REMOVED from the schedule altogether.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

InigoCO, long posts are great, especially when they're as passionately written as yours. Thanks.

InigoCO
InigoCO

@ The Releaf Center:quote - "@ The Releaf Center:

quote - "The idea that the medical side of cannabis is a convenient argument for the socially-conservative is wrong and offensive to people who suffer. Furthermore, the idea that those people should somehow stop fighting for their medical (and constitutional) rights so your friends and family can get high recreationally is morally reprehensible." -

Just as I've stated in my other comments, I have no issue with legitimate medicinal usage of MMJ, or even recreational use. I just feel that there are many out there who take advantage of the medical side of it and are using the laws to obtain their own license so that they can smoke marijuana quasi-legally. You are twisting my words into something I never claimed. On your second point, how does making marijuana completely legal harm the rights of those who use it for medicinal reasons? If nothing else, that would open up the market even more and make it even easier and likely cheaper for them to obtain the MMJ they want. No recommendations needed, no license to pay for, no doctors to consult, no special stores to buy it in, etc.

quote - "when the Holder memo was issued, it was physicians that no longer had to fear writing recommendations for MMJ" -

Everything I've read states that the ruling was actually aimed at dispensaries and care providers, not doctors or even the end-user. Regardless, I stand by my point. That ruling, combined with the loosening of possession rules in numerous areas across the state meant that recreational users could more readily come forward without fear.

Additionally, I've yet to hear a response as to why there should be more dispensaries in CO than Starbucks? Do these dispensaries serve more people than Starbucks? Doubtful, certainly not on a daily basis anyhow. Every dispensary I drive by seems to have 1 or 2 cars outside, not usually much more, I hardly see a Starbucks with fewer than 5 cars in the lot. There are 5million people in CO(agreed not all visit Starbucks) and 100k registered MMJ users, not hard to see that the ratio is off in a big way. Why is that? Could it by chance be that those dispensaries are actually supplying the recreational market in addition to their patients?

Don't take this the wrong way; I'm in no way claiming that any dispensary is acting outside of the law, selling on the side or anything. I'm simply raising a question. What is stopping any of these registered users from buying MMJ at a dispensary then turning around and selling it on the open market or passing it off to non-registered, recreational users? Once it's out of the jar, it's indistinguishable from marijuana obtained from any other source. Again, I can tell you without a doubt that this occurs all over the state. To what extent, I can't say. But, based on my observations, I'd say it's fairly widespread. This would explain why the market is larger than it seems, with seemingly far more dispensaries than are necessary for the number of patients involved. I know you're going to bring up alcohol and other prescription drugs as a counter-argument. I agree that the very same can happen in those instances and probably does. However, neither prescription drugs nor alcohol are federally illegal and in the case of prescription drugs, the market is far more locked-down than the MMJ market is currently. I have to go to a pharmacy(which is heavily regulated) with a prescription(which is tougher to get) to buy prescription drugs.

quote - "Drug dealers gone corporate? I'll borrow from Warren's post below: "all of these people had to turn over all their financial records, tax records, educational history, their families information, all lender information, pay $5,000 to the city and $10,000 plus to the State, have to be 2 year Colorado residents, not felons, and pass background checks both with the City and State" -

I can assure you that not every drug dealer is a convicted criminal and many of them wouldn't have any issue passing a background check. Those requirements would not be a hindrance for all drug dealers. Additionally, they don't seem to have stopped more than half of the current dispensary owners in CO, http://www.9news.com/rss/artic...quote from link - "More than half of the medical marijuana center owners in Colorado have criminal arrest or conviction records for crimes like dealing drugs, sexual assaults, burglaries and weapons..............The DEA says 18 percent of medical marijuana center owners have been convicted of felonies." -

In any case, this post has gone on far longer than I intended. I feel that I've made my point(s). I don't expect to change your mind and you won't change mine. I'm just interested in getting more info out there. Info that's not directly from anyone involved in the MMJ industry, either financially or medicinally. Just simply looking at all the information I've seen and making some observations based on that.

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

@InigCO

There are already three groups working on a legalization iniative (CTI, SAFER, Sensible) for 2012, so there are plenty of people fighting for legalization right now. I'm not sure what else you're looking for. I'd ask them how much medical marijuana has set back the cause of legalization, but don't expect an answer that mirrors your own.

The idea that the medical side of cannabis is a convenient argument for the socially-conservative is wrong and offensive to people who suffer. Furthermore, the idea that those people should somehow stop fighting for their medical (and constitutional) rights so your friends and family can get high recreationally is morally reprehensible.

Turn your own argument on its head: when the Holder memo was issued, it was physicians that no longer had to fear writing recommendations for MMJ. With more physicians comes more recommendations. More people getting their recommendations means more people discussing MMJ and getting their cards. Finally, more patients means that a more streamlined distribution model is needed, so dispensaries start opening up.

Drug dealers gone corporate? I'll borrow from Warren's post below: "all of these people had to turn over all their financial records, tax records, educational history, their families information, all lender information, pay $5,000 to the city and $10,000 plus to the State, have to be 2 year Colorado residents, not felons, and pass background checks both with the City and State." This industry is chock full of legitimate business people, trade organizations and advocacy groups.

The NIH says that 48 million people a year use prescription drugs for non-medicinal purposes. 7.2 million teens BINGE drink. To declare 100,000 people smoking cannabis, recreationally or not, the elephant in the room is short-sighted.

You're half right on your next point: 800 licenses were issued state wide. Operating dispensaries? Far fewer. Many purchased a license with the hope of selling it, others couldn't open for financial reasons. The actual number is far less dramatic, and MMC's are only closing their doors right now, not opening new storefronts.

InigoCO
InigoCO

@ The Releaf Center:

I'm not angry about anything. I'm just advocating for the legalization of Marijuana without the medical pretense, just as I stated.

I think it's largely a farce and is really just a backdoor way to allow recreational users to be able to smoke and obtain marijuana legally. I've had countless conversations with friends, family, and people I see around town who are license holders and basically admit that it's exactly that. Let's just be honest and fight for its outright legalization and drop the medical side of it since that's just a convenient argument that is used only to make it more palatable to the more socially-conservative out there.

Look at it this way, MMJ has been legal in CO since 2000 right? Roughly anyhow, that's when the law was first passed.

So, why is it only in the past couple of years that the dispensary market has seemingly exploded overnight? Why is it that MMJ licenses have suddenly become the hottest thing to have? Were those with legit medical conditions not able to receive MMJ before and needed hundreds of dispensaries to fill their need? What changed to suddenly cause so many users to come out of the woodwork??

It's not rocket science. In early 2009, the Obama administration, through Eric Holder, stated that they were not going to prosecute MMJ users so long as they were adhering to state laws.http://www.denverpost.com/ci_1...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

This suddenly meant that any casual user who could game the system and get "legal" was seemingly in the clear. Then countless dispensaries sprung up to fill that demand, the drug dealers went corporate. Why not get a license to sell it to other users with licenses and avoid the whole "illegal" part of it? I'm not dogging them for it, they made a smart choice to take advantage of an opportunity laid out right in front of them.

The abuse of the system is far more prevalent than you give it credit for and comparing it to the abuses of prescription drugs or to a kid buying liquor with a fake ID is ignoring the huge elephant in the room and trying to rationalize it.

Prior to 2009, there were about 2000 registered MMJ users in the state. Since that announcement by Holder in early 2009, the numbers have absolutely skyrocketed, along with the number of dispensaries. Some estimates are that there are now more than 100k registered MMJ users in CO and about 800 dispensaries. Come on, put two and two together here. How many of those new licensees suddenly came down with medical issues that required MMJ? Why couldn't they get their licenses before, 2000 others did? It was legal so long as you could provide medical proof of need. If you truly needed it, it was there.

There are over 800 dispensaries in CO currently(source: http://www.enewspf.com/latest-.... That's nearly 4 times as many dispensaries than there are Starbucks in this state and we all know you can't spit without hitting a Starbucks.Source: http://www.thedenverchannel.co...

The numbers(of both users and dispensaries) skyrocketed because the fear of prosecution was lifted, marijuana became quasi-legal and thousands of casual users have taken advantage of that (and the lax standards for receiving a license) and suddenly we have dispensaries on every other street corner(slight exaggeration, but they are all over). I'm not saying it's some recreational users that are gaming the system, I'm outright saying that most of the registered users are gaming the system. Yes, I think it's that widespread and I don't think any of that helps their argument.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Interesting post, InigoCO. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

@InigoCO:

Cannabis isn't prescribed, though. It's obtained through a physicians recommendation. There is no reason for it to be as heavily regulated as prescription drugs because it's non toxic and relatively harmless. You also ignore the fact that while prescription drug abuse has an overwhelmingly negative effect on our communities, "cannabis abuse" has little to none.

If you look at legalization within a broader historical context, you'd answer your own question. Cannabis has medical benefits and we believe the sick and dying have a right to access that outweighs recreational users in the short term. While some recreational users may "game the system", you fail to explain why this is unique to medical marijuana. It happens in all aspects of our society, whether it's fireworks across a state line to a kid using a fake ID to buy alcohol. Both of which are more dangerous than cannabis.

So what are you REALLY angry about? The number of people who registered? That there aren't more than the two legalization efforts already being planned?

InigoCO
InigoCO

True, prescription drug abuses are rampant. However, that doesn't mean there should be less strict standards on MMJ. I fail to see how one could make that conclusion. If nothing else, both should be more heavily regulated to reduce the abuses.

Again though, back to my original point, if Marijuana is made legal outright(without a medical pretense), then none of this matters much and you'll be able to buy Marijuana cigarettes just as easily as you can buy tobacco ones currently. That's where the fight should focus. With the turning of the tide socially, I can easily see that occurring in the coming years and I'm all for it as has been my feeling all along.

I just don't like the ruse that MMJ has set up. Anyone with any knowledge of the system knows that the vast majority of "patients" are actually just casual users who found a doctor, one of the few btw, (http://www.denverpost.com/news..., yes I know it's an old story) who will write them a recommendation so that they can "legally" smoke marijuana casually. I hold nothing against those who have legitimate medical reasons for using MMJ, but they are a small fraction of the license holders in CO and across the country. I guarantee it.

I can tell you that when I've been around numerous acquaintances who use Marijuana, the majority of them now are smoking Marijuana they got from a dispensary which they often share with those without licenses and even resell to others as well. All of them rave about how easy Marijuana is to get now because of the dispensaries. All these dispensaries did was bring the black market out into the open. It's no wonder most users don't want to have their purchases tracked(as other prescription drugs can and likely are). Then, they might be forced back underground due to fear of prosecution for what is still an illegal substance Federally.

So, again, why keep up the fight for MMJ when you can instead start to focus on legalizing Marijuana outright and not have to deal with all these issues?

The Releaf Center
The Releaf Center

@InigoCO:

The idea that only legitimate medical users can get drugs from pharmacies is laughable. Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in this country and has wide ranging adverse effects on our communities. People will find ways around any system of safeguards, that's not particularly indicative of MMJ.

InigoCO
InigoCO

If you don't want it to be treated like a prescription drug, then don't fight for its medicinal usage, fight for its legalization outright. That's my main point. You even made my point yourself(perhaps unwittingly).

Fact is, as it stands now, you need a doctor's permission to buy MMJ(unlike chamomile or echinacea which you compare it to). Therefore it is just like any other prescription drug and that should mean that you have to purchase it at a pharmacy. Any opinion otherwise starts to sounds pretty suspect, I hope you can see that.

As I stated above, I fully believe that if we treated MMJ as we do any other prescription drug, 95%+ of the dispensaries would close up shop because only those users with legitimate medical issues would be able to buy. Currently, it's like a free for all, virtually anyone can get a license and doctor to recommend them MMJ with nary any proof of illness or pain at all. I personally know many who have done exactly that. Do you see how that abuse of the system harms the cause? Do you think that in any way changes the mindset that the general public has about the stereotypical "pothead"?

Regardless of what you want to call it, it's essentially a prescription drug currently. If you want it treated like any other herb, then fight to have the medicinal label removed so that you don't need a prescription and then you can buy it anywhere for any reason with no license or prescription. Isn't that what you want?

Warren
Warren

The City Council members keep questioning each other about which one is taking money from the MMJ industry, yet no one asks which one of them is taking money from the developers.

Common sense is lacking
Common sense is lacking

So after the state takes in over $20 MILLION in application and licensing fees, Denver City Council would like to end a new source of tax revenue. The Reefer Madness mentality that is constantly on display with Judy Montero is laughable. Can we please have some adults in charge?

asad
asad

It's not about a Reefer Madness mentality - it's about developers.

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