Marijuana: Responsible vendors bill modeled on alcohol program, advocate says

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Yesterday, we told you about the medical-marijuana-related responsible vendors bill. And while the measure, which is about to face its first committee test, has garnered less attention than, for instance, MMJ banking and THC driving standards proposals, it's got some high-profile advocates, including Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente. Why does he favor the legislation?

"I think it's just another example of the medical marijuana industry in Colorado taking steps to be responsible community members," says Vicente of the measure, sponsored by Senator Lois Tochtrop. "It would be an avenue for additional professional training for people who work in this industry. I think it provides an excellent opportunity for them to professionalize the work they're doing, and professionalize the entire industry."

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Brian Vicente.
As we've reported, the legislation would direct the state to authorize a server and seller training program with a core curriculum focusing on licenses, records keeping, privacy issues, criminal liability, acceptable forms of ID and more. Taking part would win shops brownie points with the state: If a business committed a regulatory violation, participation in the program could be taken into account when doling out sanctions.

Vicente notes that this approach is hardly unprecedented.

"It's modeled after the responsible vendor program that's been in place regarding alcohol sales in Colorado for quite a while," he points out. "Basically, either medical marijuana business owners or employees would have the opportunity to enroll in professional development programs that are sanctioned by the state government, to learn about the various regulations and laws that provide guidance for this industry. And if businesses or individuals who graduate from those programs later face any administrative practices -- if they accidentally stay open until 7:01 p.m., for example -- this would be a mitigating factor in the decision to sanction those individuals. It basically shows that they went through this best-practices course, engaged in professional development, and should maybe be given a second chance if they engaged in some minor violation of state regulations."

Vicente echoes Tochtrop's belief that because those taking the courses would cover their costs, there would be no fiscal cost to the state -- a key factor given the tightness of the current budget. And if the measure passes, he expects the idea to catch on elsewhere.

"This is a pretty unique bill in the medical marijuana world, and I think it shows Colorado is again attempting to really lead the way in common-sense medical marijuana distribution," he maintains. "I'm not aware of any other state taking this on, but there's a real template in the alcohol industry. It's worked in the past, which is why I think it has a good chance of passing. It's a responsible step forward."

The bill is expected to be heard tomorrow by the business, labor and technology committee, on which Tochtrop sits. Read it below.

Senate Bill 12-154

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More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana banking bill dies in Senate committee."


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17 comments
michael guest
michael guest

Brian Vincente lost all his credibility when he lobbied in favor of HB1284, which is now crushing the industry. Now here he is lobbying harder in favor of this worthless bill than he is lobbying against SB117, the mj/dui bill. Good work Brian, give a pat on the head to Matt Cook and let him make even more money of the dying mmj industry in Colo. That sohws real compassion.

Muzzy Lu
Muzzy Lu

Sounds like a great idea, but alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana. Great e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA - Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints. 

Muzzy Lu
Muzzy Lu

Medical marijuana, and all marijuana should be legal! It is helpful to people for pain reduction and other maladies, plus marijuana can be a much less harmful recreational drug than liquor, heroin, crack, and cocaine.

Great e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA - Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints. goo.gl/iYjPn  goo.gl/Jfs61

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Brian's right, this BILL is "like alcohol". 

Unfortunately, A64 IS NOT "like alcohol". 

I appreciate Brian making this point so CLEAR----there IS a difference in what "like alcohol" means when it comes out of Brian's mouth--that many of us have been making since I30 was submitted--including the proponents admitting at title board hearings that "like alcohol" in I30 title would be too misleading to voters. 

So lets review:

This Bill is "like alcohol" and affects no patients.  If businesses want to be further extorted, so be it.  Apparently this is how the system works--you hand someone money and you get closer to what you want.  The someone can be a lobbyist. 

A64 IS NOT 'like alcohol".  And Brian Vicente just clarified why so many are more than concerned about the fraudulent marketing of A64.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

"It would be an avenue for additional professional training for people who work in this industry. I think it provides an excellent opportunity for them to professionalize the work they're doing, and professionalize the entire industry." Vicente.

"This is going to give the dispensaries more legitimacy," Tochtrop says.

Dispensary owners may be lobbying for HB 1284 bill, but Attorney General John Suthers’ office says the bill is flatly unconstitutional.

Yes By all means teach people how to break Federal Law and the Constitution of Colorado.  Brian Vicente, you are a legal genus.  How's the whole:

February, 27 2012 Office of the Administrative Courts 633 17th Street, Suite 1300 Denver, CO 80202Your Honor,

As to the failure to identify the petition taker, with theassistance of the Secretary Of States office, we have determined that theaffidavit for petition section 03525 from the petition for Proposed Initiative2011-2012 #30 was signed by Andrea Harding. She gave an address of 5790 W. 20thAve. Lakewood, CO 80214.  I believe that this information will satisfyhalf of the Courts motion to show cause, specifically, the notice to theciculator in Section 24-4-105(2)(a). 

As to the second half of the notice to show cause.  The evidence providedto the court in the attachments to the original complaint and the CD providedwith this response will show that the officers of petition willfully andknowingly violate section 1-40-130 (1)(g)(h) and 1-13-109(1)(a)(b).  Theevidence will show that in the proponents and their lawyers agreed that thecomparison to both "legalization" and "regulation in a mannersimilar to alcohol," would confuse and mislead voters. The evidence willshow that even after the officers of this petition agreed, twice in front ofthe title board, to take out wording that would be confusing and misleading tothe public and agreed to the title set as "Regulation of Marijuana."The officers of the campaign then presented this initiative to the public,uniformly, with wording that was removed from the title by the title board,spicifically using the words, “legalization” and “regulation of marijuana likealcohol.” The proponants marketed inititive, 2011-2012 #30, with published, broadcastedand curculated letters, circulars, advertisements, or posters making falsestatement designed to affect the vote on this issue which is intended to confuseand mislead the voters of Colorado and in violation of 1-40-130(1)(g)(h) and 1-13-109(1)(a)(b). Thishalf of the complaint is against sections, 00001-08527, of 2011-2012 Initative#30, and all signatures there in.  

 

I believe that this response will provide ample evedence tothe Court to hear this complaint.

 

Thank You,

 

Corey Donahue

...Working out for you you brilliant lawyer?

Monkey
Monkey

I hope they teach those vendors about firearms, where they can carry and when they san use them. The Supreme Court in Colorado just said CU can't ban guns, despite their unconstitutional rules. Maybe Colorado should stand up for marijuana rights, every city can ban MMCs and they also think they can limit patients and caregivers. The feds say no one using Colorado approved medicine can posses firearms. It's time Colorado stands up for its self and clarifies our State laws, the feds and any City allowed to disregard our rules makes for pretty silly rules. CU was put in their place, now it's time for the rest of Colorado to follow our rules or get rid of them, these rules that don't protect anyone and trample on our rights do nothing but harm. Long live self preservation through superior firepower and choice of medical treatments, if you make laws, stand behind them, or they are meaningless.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

That is fair criticism which cites historical fact.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Tip, Hip:  Legislators are idiots who hang on every word which falls from the prohibitionist parasites' lips -- take what authority over cannabis you can from them in November.

Of course cannabis and alcohol are not equivalent -- there is no point in posting something so blindingly obvious over and over again to an audience that is already convinced!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The word is obsessed -- this idea that because the Amendment would not regulate cannabis exactly the same or even much the same as alcohol is regulated long since obsessed you and Corey in particular.  How about this:  the DOR regulates alcohol, and the DOR would regulate cannabis -- the Amendment would regulate cannabis like alcohol in that regard, would it not?  The Amendment would empower the DOR to license retailers of cannabis; the DOR now licenses retailers of alcohol -- that is another way in which the Amendment would regulate cannabis in a similar manner to alcohol.  Your fixation on the many differences which would exist between the regulation of cannabis and alcohol does not constitute evidence of the perfidy of proponents, just evidence of obsession.

As I have pointed out before, the entire issue of retail sales is moot because the Feds definitely will target any general retail outlet for cannabis.  Having predetermined that the Amendment must be fought to the death, you worry its essentially meaningless but mostly inoccuous provisions for retail sales like a dog with a rat, while completely ignoring the one provision of the thing that is likely to have legal import for people who use cannabis in Colorado -- its provision for the cultivation of cannabis for personal use.

There was never a hint of objectivity in your assessment of the Amendment.  For all my antipathy for the thing's framing, language, and limited scope, I retain some objectivity about the legal effect of its provisions.  Two of the stated purposes of Amendment 64 have no business being in there, but you all have imbued "so that driving under the influence of marijuana shall remain illegal" with grandiose maleficence, as though this would be some legal threat to people who use cannabis (which is nonsense; the C.R.S. makes it illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis) or even more preposterously, that Peter Lewis somehow stands to gain because of the Amendment's (nonexistent) effect on DUID.

The arguments mounted against Amendment 64 have very little substance -- you are reduced to pointing out that it will not completely legalize cannabis (duh), that proponents misrepresented it (weak), that retail sales would be regulated by the evil DOR (not quite an intelligible argument, and moot until the Federal CSA is repealed, i.e. for the foreseeable future), that it would make it impossible to repeal laws against driving under the influence of cannabis (also not to be expected anytime soon), and that you dislike the proponents (not an argument at all).  Kathleen, you have poured over that transcript more times than could possibly be warranted searching for the secret to its undoing, even purporting to find in its provision for legal hemp some dark design against cannabis hidden in mathematical obscurity.

This is all not much more than crazy. almost without political import, and what there is of significance in these exchanges, counterproductive for our ultimate goal, the legalization of cannabis for adults.  As distasteful as you may find the exercise, try imagining that Mason Tvert is not really an agent of the Devil attempting to extend Prohibition into eternity, but someone who shares our ultimate goal, and who otherwise differs with us substantially -- there are no good drug therapies for paranoia, but sanity may return if you can conceive that whatever its flaws, the Amendment objectively reduces criminal liability for cannabis in Colorado.  You have somehow managed to convince yourselves otherwise, but could not (at least did not) try to answer the similar analysis I posted at:  http://blogs.westword.com/late....  Feel free to respond now.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

**** Vote NO on A64 !! ****

It's simply HB1284 dressed in drag.

Don't get fooled by the greedy Big $$ Dispensary lobby again.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Isn't it unethical for Lawyers to encourage their clients or others to willfully and deliberately violate Criminal law ?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Colorado can't void Federal law.

Federal Gun law will get you a minimum mandatory 5 year prison sentence for having a gun whilst engaging in Federal drug crimes -- and that 5 years is consecutive to any prison sentence received for the drugs.

At your peril ...

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

*******   Vote YES on A64!   *******

It legalizes cultivation of a little cannabis for personal use.

Don't get fooled by police agents who want to keep germination of even one seed a felony!

Ross Karr
Ross Karr

I knew within an hour of when I met Vicente in July of 2009 that he was a piece of garbage.

I see you all agree too.

Monkey
Monkey

"Colorado can't void Federal law." Exactly!!!Colorado law is only upheld in Colorado court. The odds of being prosecuted in federal court for possession of marijuana is slim, so your gun will likely be returned to you and you will not face federal mandatory minimum sentencing. MMCs on the other hand might find themselves in a fed court room more easily and concern should be greater in that situation. I think our own fed just warned MMCs their continued closers will include those who "unlawfully" posses firearms. Will these "responsible vendors" be taught federal law, State law or City law, if they are all conflicting, what's the point? If federal law relates to all cases whether they are prosecuting or not, it provides enforcement officers too large of a playing field to choose which laws they want to uphold. Two cops, each upholding the law, one Colorado law and the other federal law, and both are considered doing their job correctly. Just like a cop on CU campus, does he charge a permit holder for a concealed firearm because of CUs rules or stick with State rules and let him go?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

" If federal law relates to all cases whether they are prosecuting or not, it provides enforcement officers too large of a playing field to choose which laws they want to uphold"

Bingo !!

As seen routinely in California, where local anti-marijuana law enforcement can't prosecute, so they use the DEA as their more than willing proxy.

It's already happened here in Colorado, with the case against the Do family, where the MMED brought in the Feds instead of prosecuting them under State law.

It will become de rigueur here too, as the Malleus Maleficarum of Federal Prosecution provides NO DEFENSE in Criminal court, guaranteeing a 100% conviction rate.

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