Medical marijuana: In Boulder, "moral turpitude" arrests = license rejections

Categories: Marijuana, News

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Is Boulder less liberal than Denver when it comes to medical marijuana licensing? Although MMJ business rejection rates suggest the answer is "yes," Boulder officials haven't done an analysis. However, the City of Boulder provided us with the background check form it uses in licensing, and it's pretty tough stuff, especially in comparison with Denver -- which doesn't even have one.

According to Tom Downey, the new director of Excise and Licenses, Denver doesn't have a standalone background check form for MMJ business applicants. Instead, folks are fingerprinted, with that info, along with basic data from their application form (name, address, social security number, etc.), transmitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those agencies do the actual background checks.

In contrast, Boulder has assembled its own, one-page form, which makes it clear that criminal convictions aren't necessary for license rejection. The document, on view in its entirety below, begins with five questions. The first reads like so:

Are there arrests without disposition or convictions for crimes of Moral Turpitude for any of the named persons? Yes or No.

Disposition, in this context, means the outcome of the case -- dismissal, acquittal or conviction, typically. In other words, an arrest for a crime deemed to exhibit moral turpitude -- aka "conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals" -- is verboten if it didn't lead to dismissal or acquittal. And there's no mention that said crime must be a felony, suggesting that a misdemeanor infraction in this area is off-limits, too.

Two subsequent categories do explicitly mention felonies, but two others do not. One pertains to arrests that imply a dubious pattern of behavior, while the other includes a clause about arrests indicating disputes with "law enforcement powers."

That's pretty broad language, and it carries heavy weight. According to the form, "Yes to any of the above 5 questions indicates denial of license application."

No wonder more than a third of the MMJ license applications received in Boulder to date have received thumbs-down. Look below to see the entire document.

Boulder Medical Marijuana Background Check Review Form

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana dispensary inspections -- and what about those discontinued DVRs?"

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I don't really understand why this is a big deal, I just looked up what crimes fall under this category and to be honest I think this actually is reasonable as long as the standards are what I have read.


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Every year 1.5 million people are sickened or severely injured by medication mistakes, and 100,000 die.

According to a 2007 study by Furberg and colleagues, 4 of the top 10 deadliest drugs are the strong opiate painkillers like oxycodone.

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86 million people suffer chronic pain. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) more than 1/3 of Americans suffer a chronic pain condition at some point in their life. In a 1998 guide on directions of pain research by the NIH, and still in today’s economy as noted in a NIH January 2010 document, the economic impact is 100 Billion Dollars a year.

Not one person has ever died from cannabis in the entire history of the plant! Cannabis is a proven anti-inflammaory. Inflammation causes diseases of all sorts.

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High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

If you don't like the marijuana laws today, just wait til the wind blows. 

The first US Civil War was fought because all men were created equal.  Looking ahead... The second Civil War is about to begin because the first Civil War was a failure.  There is less equality every day. 

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Remember people you need to respect the law, sorry.  The law on the other had does not need to respect you.  And if you don't respect the law you are doing everyone a great disservice and hurting the movement.  Don't fight, submit.

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