Video: 60 Minutes offers nation a primer on Colorado medical marijuana

60 minutes marijuana.jpg
Video below.
In recent years, Colorado's medical marijuana business has been chronicled by news purveyors as varied as National Geographic (via the program American Weed) and The Daily Show (which featured our MMJ critic, William Breathes). Last night, 60 Minutes weighed in with its own report, offering a somewhat staid but notably solid report on the scene, and where it may be going. See it below.

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Matt Cook in the "60 Minutes" report.
Reported by Steve Kroft, the package is unimaginatively titled "Rocky Mountain High," and while the tone throughout is rather introductory in nature, the sources seen on camera suggest that the producers did their homework. The man who serves as Kroft's early guide is Matt Cook, a multiple Westword profile subject (read our 2010 Q&A here) who's credited with writing the lion's share of state MMJ regulations. He's since moved from state bureaucracy to a private gig as an industry consultant.

And providing a legal perspective is someone else you've met in this space: Sam Kamin, a DU professor who's one of the legal experts on the intersection of state and federal pot law. Get more details in our January item "Marijuana at the Crossroads: Event asks if MMJ lawyers are breaking oath."

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James Cole.
In addition, Kroft is granted a sit-down with Deputy Attorney General James Cole, author of the so-called Cole memo -- the document that recommends against using federal resources to bust patients and caregivers who are using medical marijuana in compliance with state laws. On camera, Cole stresses what has become the usual federal line on this issue: The Justice Department will step in to protect the interests of children and to prevent people from using medical marijuana laws to build large-scale illegal drug operations.

Of course, the entire MMJ biz is an illegal drug operation as far as the U.S. government is concerned, and DU's Kamin opines that the current contradictions between state and federal law are unsustainable over the long haul. Kroft follows up on this observation by noting that measures to allow marijuana use for recreational purposes in various states -- including Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act -- are currently too close to call.

Oh yeah: There's also a scene in which Kroft salivates over a chocolaty medical edibles mix while visiting the Dixie Elixirs facility. However, he stops short of asking for a taste.

Look below to see the 60 Minutes report. Below that, as a bonus, we've included the complete Cole memo.

James Cole Memo Regarding Medical Marijuana

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Amendment 64's new ad features veteran Denver cop attacked by opponents."

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23 comments
Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

all this because marijuana is illegal...you don't see teenagers selling alcohol in school do you??  oh wait they don't have sell it, they can just go the fridge and get it from there.  http://420College.org

Kevins_Mom
Kevins_Mom

Dear Kevin,

 

Would amendment 64 help this poor teenager?

 

"Teen drug dealer gets at least 6 months in juvenile prison"

 

-- A teenager convicted of selling up to $20,000 worth of high-grade marijuana a month to high school students was sentenced Monday to serve six months to three years in a juvenile prison by a judge who called him "a pretty fine young person ...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57537202/teen-drug-dealer-tyler-pagenstecher-gets-at-least-6-months-in-juvenile-prison/

 

Mom

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

Not bad for 20 minutes of news.At least they managed to talk about Marijuana on the news without finding someone to play Anslinger on camera half the time!

Capri Brock
Capri Brock

it was a nice piece and I liked that they portrayed everyone as legit business owners and not just some "pot heads"

Hatty Marris
Hatty Marris

great special! the most sly remark was "you can smell it from here," but im sure that once he got over the initial "oh my lord, look at all that pot" response – he realized how very real and very important this is for CO and the US. The closing remarks were fantastic!

Stupid_Stoner
Stupid_Stoner

The media continue to hype and lie about a nearly dead horse in order to sell publicity and advertising.

 

Regulation Works! -- so well that 75% of the dispensaries in the state have been forced out of business by the onerous arbitrary regulations and huge parasitic fees and taxes.

 

Did they report that the regulators at MMED have purchased so many new expensive SUVs that they don't even have enough agents on the payroll to drive them all? Purchased with millions of dollars extorted and bled from struggling and failing dispensary businesses, who then of course pass those costs and expenses on to the poor suffering individual patients in the form of higher prices for their medicine.

 

Regulation Works! -- for the regulators.

 

Vote yes for more government regulation!

Vote yes for surrendering total control of all marijuana to parasites like Matt Cook and the DOR!

Vote yes on A64!

 

 

 

Patient
Patient

LOL - Well, even 60 Minutes couldn't find an actual copy of an actual MMC license to put in their show! The Denver Relief "license" is really just the "Certificate of Application on File" that all MMC-applicants received when they paid their protection money to the DOR. Notice it has a date filed of 07/31/2010, but no "Date Issued". hahaha Perhaps this is the same "license" that keeps  fooling William Breathes into thinking that the state has granted licenses to these dispensaries. So I guess I won't go too hard on Westword for not following up on their reviews on whether these places actually  have REAL LICENSES to operate, since 60 Minutes couldn't do any better.

Emm Tee
Emm Tee

Not overly spun to drum up a negative public response. I thought it was great! I love how the DA of Boulder said 'no...its not a problem at all.' :)

Brian T. Jacobson
Brian T. Jacobson

It was well done. Most of the pieces done on medical marijuana give a lot of airtime to the stoner culture. It was great to see Dixie Elixirs get a lot of airtime. They have been at the forefront of the industry, advocating for sensible legislation and regulation of MMJ.

Jason Hornyak
Jason Hornyak

i think they are about 3 years too late, but it's great timing for the ammendment 64 folks. made the industry look very favorable, imo

Zack Lewis
Zack Lewis

i think homeboy that was investigating wanted a sample... lol

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

Not a fan of this story.

CBS made it seem as if everyone was making a lot of money.

No mention of all the dispensaries that have gone tits up. In my immediate neighborhood we had 5 go under in the last year.

No mention of the feds sending C&D letters to dispensaries.

Only a tiny mention of the money handling problems.

aron303
aron303

@DenverWestword - Im that 3-oh-3 bred , P-O-T- Head

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @Cannabis_College Thanks for the post, CC. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

 @Kevins_Mom Nope, Colorado residents are not ready for it to be legal for your kid to sell pot to other kids at or from school.

 

Though, clearly prison wont help Kevin either.

 

And does anyone think this is also donkey trying a new tactic? or did the Westword attract another prohibitionist claiming they support Marijuana legalization, just not steps towards it?

Monkey
Monkey

 @Stupid_Stoner The MMCED can't even get their transport manifest to work, they create regulations they can't even follow themselves. Remember the caregiver registry, I think the MMCED breaks more laws than drug cartels. Our existing regulations have failed, why would anyone think A64 regulations will work is beyond me.

choicemeds
choicemeds

 @Patient There are over 200 medical marijuana businesses in the state that currently have REAL LICENSES if anyone cares to do the research.  In fact, a handful of these centers already possess their second issued license from the MMED because a year has passed and and new one has been issued.  The list of licensed entities is not a secret- Westword published it in August of this year.  Every center listed is required to post their license in the center.  Any of you are welcome to visit any center on that list and I am sure they will gladly produce a REAL LICENSE for your careful inspection.  Come on up to our shop in Larimer County and we'll show you the first one issued in the state. 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @davebarnes It was a foregone conclusion that the report would be defective and emphasize money over medicine.  Anyone who uses cannabis (and thinks we are on the verge of defeating Prohibition) needs to watch stuff like this to confront themselves with the reality of the prevailing ignorance about and prejudice against cannabis -- me, not so much.

Smith
Smith

 @choicemeds Lying liars don't have the first license in the state! Prove it! Post it on your website. Oh, you posted anonymously and put no contact information because you didn't want people to know who you were, so we can't check up on you. Why make us "drive to Ft. Collins" when you could PROVE that you are not lying and post the supposed License #1 on the Internet?????  Wny not post it, liar????

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