Medical marijuana: Fort Collins voters to decide about retail ban (again)

Last November, Fort Collins voters elected to shut down all medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits, with the MMCs closing by midnight on Valentine's Day.

Now, a group of pro-dispensary supporters is hoping voters will bring the industry back to the northern Colorado town.

Former dispensary owners and union workers from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7 collected about 9,000 signatures in favor of the initiative -- more than double the 4,214 needed to put the measure before voters, and about 1,500 beyond what the pro-ban contingency turned in last July. Yesterday, the Fort Collins city clerk confirmed that the office had received the signatures.

Former Organic Alternatives dispensary owner Steve Ackerman was shut out by the ban and has helped lead the charge in overturning it since last year. He says that because this year is a presidential election, more voters in general will be turning out, including those he feels look favorably toward medical marijuana centers in the city.

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The former Organic Alternatives in Fort Collins.
The repeal would remove the ban and allow dispensaries within the Fort Collins city limits, as long as they are more than 1,000 feet from schools and playgrounds and at least 500 feet from daycare centers and churches. The proposal would also limit the number of dispensaries to one for every 500 medical marijuana patients.

Ackerman is uncertain if the limitation would be based on the number of patients in the city or county. Based on Department of Public Health and Environment patient statistics from April, Larimer County numbers would limit the number of shops to about ten -- down from the the 21 that were operating before the ban went into effect. Ackerman says the limitations would help the image of the industry in Fort Collins.

"The way that medical marijuana dispensaries came into being was somewhat of a free-for-all," Ackerman concedes. "People looked at the early days of dispensaries and said, 'We don't want this.' I can understand that and agree with them. But after the Department of Revenue and the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division got involved and set up regulations...it was a different story than what was depicted by the [pro-ban contingency].

"Another thing: People don't want to see what you guys have in Denver," he adds. "South Broadway with dispensary after dispensary, with the marijuana leaves on the signs and everything else.... In Fort Collins, we'll have a different way of doing it here. It will be less in-your-face business."

The talking points of Concerned Fort Collins Citizens, the group that pushed the ban, included the vague assertion that medical marijuana centers had increased "crime and delinquency" in the city since their proliferation in late 2008.

Speaking on behalf of CFCC, former Fort Collins mayor Ray Martinez dismissed the repeal efforts as well as medical marijuana in general -- which he insists is being abused by the majority of patients.

Page down to read more of Ray Martinez's arguments against overturning the MMJ ban in Fort Collins.



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15 comments
Rpettener
Rpettener

Silly heartless fucks try living here in the uk where we smoke weed that has glass in it! Least in Collins it's controlled and produced safe.. It's a natural herb not a tablet made from various chemicals that clearly don't work for everyone!

Ice Pick
Ice Pick

useless link to non-related issue.  Donkey is a shill for the alcohol lobby.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Close ... but No Cigar! Those are total arrests for ALL marijuana offenses, all weights, all sales, all cultivation quantities . A64 does NOT legalize marijuana as the lying proponents falsely claim, it regulates pathetically tiny amounts, does not allow individual sales, nor any functional self-reliant cultivation. The Tiny Limits of A64 only allow for 1 (one) ounce possession, and only for those over 21 years old. In Colorado, current state law has already decriminalized possession of 2 (two) ounces, for all adults age 18 and over. So there is NO functional advantage provided by A64, which in fact has a LOWER limit and HIGHER age requirement. So now you're left with only the Cultivation portion of A64 -- again the pathetic, dysfunctional and impractical limits imposed by A64 are no more than 3 (three) flowering pot plants, indoors only, and again only for those 21 and older. So unless you can uncover 10,000 arrests of these mythical 3-Plant Farmers, A64 once again FAILS to provide any real harm reduction or functional benefit to the actual Marijuana Users and Growers in Colorado. What you're left with is the reality that A64 would still allow the arrest and prosecution of those 12,000 victims you've cited, who were all either possessing more than 2 ounces -- otherwise no arrest under Colorado law -- or were Selling pot -- no protection under A64 -- or were likely Cultivating 4 or more producing pot plants. A64 = NO TANGIBLE REDUCTION in Arrests! A64 = an empty, deceptive, pro-law enforcement, pro-tax, pro-government regulation joke.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Stupid to suppose that the mendacious prevaricators behind the sham A64 who've claimed that it would "prevent 10,000 arrests" in Colorado would actually have ANY facts or examples to back up their ABSURDLY FALSE claim ? How about supplying data to support just 1% of that lie -- provide 100 examples of adults over 21 years old who've been arrested for Cultivating 3 (three) or fewer flowing pot plants in Colorado. [cue crickets chirping]

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

 0-4-287 - ARTICLE XVIII - Miscellaneous Art. XVIII - Miscellaneous "Not later than June 1, 2001, the state health agency shall develop and make available to residents of Colorado an application form for persons seeking to be listed on the confidential registry of patients. By such date, the state health agency shall also enact rules of administration, including but not limited to rules governing the establishment and confidentiality of the registry, the verification of medical information, the issuance and form of registry identification cards, communications with law enforcement officials about registry identification cards that have been suspended where a patient is no longer diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition, and the manner in which the agency may consider adding debilitating medical conditions to the list provided in this section.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

So provide the DATA and FACTS to back up your assertions -- 1) How many adults over 21 years old are arrested for Cultivating 3 (three) or fewer flowering marijuana plants in Colorado ? 2) How many adults over 21 are arrested for Possession of 1 (one) ounce or less in Colorado ? So far, you and the other prevaricating pimps behind A64 have FAILED to produce A SINGLE CASE, must less the absurdly mendacious 10,000 claimed.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The only deception going on are the lies about cannabis which sustain Prohibition and Prohibitionists and your crazy insinuations and claims that people are not being arrested for growing a few plants or possession of under two ounces of cannabis.  It is hard to imagine that anyone who uses cannabis is stupid enough to believe that, but if they are, it is not hard to see how they have no inkling that the statistics you clamor for do not exist.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Stupid to suppose that he would or should know the answer.  You will never make your case to anyone with half a brain until you learn how to make definite, logically connected assertions instead of asking insinuating questions.

Muzzy Lu
Muzzy Lu

Just legalize marijuana! It is much better for people than prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco or bad illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, and meth. 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. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

C.R.S. 12-43.3-103 (2) (a):   "Prior to July 1, 2011, a county, city and county, or municipality may adopt and enforce a resolution or ordinance licensing, regulating, or prohibiting the cultivation or sale of medical marijuana." (emphasis added) You do work at being annoying, demanding that every phrase be spelled out to the letter, and at inducing me to provide references to what you already know to be true -- you are a tedious, libellous, obfuscator!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

So you don't support Free Market Capitalism ? You favor Big Government Regulation, Taxation, Restriction and Control now ?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Another one of Robert's legal fantasies ... If Robert declares it "illegal" then it is, even when it isn't, it's simply the entire Executive and Judicial branches of Government ignoring his declarations.

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