MMJ Debate Takes Shape for Colorado Legislators

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  MMJ Debate Takes Shape for Colorado Legislators

Posted by CN Staff on January 03, 2010 at 05:04:13 PT
By Erica Meltzer, Camera Staff Writer 
Source: Daily Camera 

Colorado -- The debate facing Colorado legislators on medical marijuana regulation is taking shape with the release of two draft bills, one from state Sen. Chris Romer, a Denver Democrat who has taken a lead role on the issue, and the other, much tougher bill from the County Sheriffs of Colorado. Romer's legislation would create a medical marijuana licensing board, similar to the state liquor board, to issue licenses to "medical marijuana clinics" (not dispensaries) and commercial growers who supply medical marijuana patients. Each license would be the subject of a public hearing, and licensees would have to pass background checks and show they and their business partners are "of good moral character."
The bill also allows local communities to regulate the number of dispensaries within their borders and charge higher sales taxes on medical marijuana than on general retail. Clinics would have to file patient care plans with the state to demonstrate they do more for patients than just sell them pot. The law enforcement bill, in contrast, makes no provision for retail-style dispensaries, even those with patient care plans. It would limit caregivers to no more than five patients. It was the decision by the state Board of Health last summer to lift the limit on the number of patients any one caregiver could have that allowed the proliferation of dispensaries in the latter half of 2009. And it was that proliferation, in turn, that led to the calls for increased regulation, not least from Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, who said the law had too many gray areas and needed clarification. For example, dispensary owners derive their right to operate from their status as "caregivers," an odd term for someone who runs a retail establishment, while growers who supply medical marijuana businesses exist in a legal limbo. Garnett said a lot of people have asked his opinion, probably because he's been speaking publicly for months about medical marijuana, both about the benefits to law enforcement of focusing on more serious crime and the need for more regulation, and he plans to get involved in the legislative debate. He's meeting this week with Romer, representatives of the county sheriffs' association and Gov. Bill Ritter before formally announcing his support for one of the bills. But based on the draft language, he said he's much more likely to support the Romer bill. "The problem I have with the law enforcement bill is that it tries to turn back the clock," he said. The law enforcement bill also would require that caregivers do more than just provide marijuana and would bar caregivers from employing people to help them grow or distribute marijuana. Dispensary owners and medical marijuana advocates said they have concerns about both bills, though they strongly support some elements in the Romer bill, like the creation of a license for growers. Larry Hill -- a Longmont dispensary owner and president of the American Medical Marijuana Standards Association, a Colorado trade association of dispensary owners and patient advocates -- said his colleagues just want equal treatment. They're willing to accept the same sorts of regulations that govern other businesses, he said, but they don't think their industry should be singled out for special treatment as more dangerous or detrimental to the community. "Everybody who has something to say about this is trying to put in back in the black market," he said, referring to regulations that would make it difficult for existing dispensaries to stay in business. Romer's bill puts a lot of new requirements on dispensaries. In addition to filing patient care plans, dispensaries would have to keep publicly available records that details how much marijuana they're selling to how many patients, and they would have to report patients who buy more than two ounces a week. What's needed, Hill said, is clarity about the legality of dispensaries and growing operations, not onerous requirements. "Nobody knows what guidelines they're supposed to follow," he said. Both bills would require that doctors who recommend marijuana have seen the patient before the recommendation and provide follow-up care. They also would allow the Department of Public Health and Environment to conduct reviews of doctors who write a disproportionate number of recommendations. Statewide, just five doctors have written almost half of all recommendations, according to the state health department, which requested legislation to more closely regulate the doctor-patient relationship. Just because a doctor writes a disproportionate number of recommendations doesn't mean the recommendations aren't appropriate, Hill said. "So many doctors in Colorado are afraid to sign one of these recommendations because of the repercussions," he said. Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)Author: Erica Meltzer, Camera Staff WriterPublished: January 2, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Daily CameraWebsite: openforum dailycamera.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #39 posted by augustwest on January 04, 2010 at 11:17:08 PT:
sheriff's bill
I don't know about co but most sheriffs are elected to office. Thats why that nut in maricopa co gets away with so much. I guess that makes them representatives of the people. Sheriffs have a lot of power and are often corrupt so we should be careful who we vote for.
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on January 04, 2010 at 05:13:07 PT
Paint with light
Thank you for the video. I saw it before on the forum I go to about rotties. It was a wonderful story. 
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Comment #37 posted by Paint with light on January 03, 2010 at 22:53:38 PT
Here is a story I thought you might like. all have to remember.......Never give up.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #36 posted by FoM on January 03, 2010 at 19:09:57 PT

I told Stick what you said in comment 30. We both laughed.
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 18:55:42 PT

Comment 30 Runruff
That's a good one, Runruff.
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Comment #34 posted by runruff on January 03, 2010 at 18:34:40 PT

or could read;
Take down the underwear and shew bombers!
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Comment #33 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 18:33:09 PT

Here they are
from a link from the link you posted, Sam.
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Comment #32 posted by Sam Adams on January 03, 2010 at 18:11:08 PT

maybe for another $50 billion they could train monkeys to take down the underwear and shoe bombers?
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Comment #31 posted by Sam Adams on January 03, 2010 at 18:10:17 PT

Snopes doesn't like the credibility of the Guardian witness:, they do confirm that the military is using trained dolphins for war. What sick, depraved people. I wonder what other awful "black box" stuff the military does with our money? 
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Comment #30 posted by runruff on January 03, 2010 at 16:50:17 PT

The Power of a Badge . . . . .
DEA officer stops at a ranch in Texas , and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs." The rancher says, "Okay, but don't go in that field over there," as he points out the location. 
The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, " Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me." Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the rancher. "See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish . . . . On any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?" 
 The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores. 
 A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased by the rancher's big Santa Gertrudis bull . . . . . .   
 With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified. The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs . . . . . "Your badge. Show him your BADGE!" 

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Comment #29 posted by HempWorld on January 03, 2010 at 16:46:38 PT

runruff II
Possibility of big quake in Cali coming.See Data Below, new quake just registered next to Mexicali!
10 Minute Delay CA Quake Map
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:39:11 PT

Tintala Comment 19
I agree.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:34:41 PT

I think I remember!
I think they were used for clearing underwater minefields somehow.
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:32:56 PT

Those armed dolphins...
I would think the weapons strapped to them had been set up to be fired remotely... if it's true, at all.
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:30:09 PT

They, the government use dogs, too.
Of course. Some police call them "Officers".
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:28:15 PT

maybe it's a joke
I laughed when I read this, "'My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises."
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:24:09 PT

Documentary? It seems like. Or news clips.
Maybe it was a movie... but like you, I don't think so. It was the Navy or something. I don't remember how they controlled it, if they said. There was some training mentioned, I think. I remember it had something strapped on it. It was placed in a dangerous volatile situation as I recall it. Here's something.Armed and dangerous - Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:16:53 PT

Some people eat dolphins.
On purpose.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on January 03, 2010 at 16:16:04 PT

They were trained to plant mines under boats if I remember correctly. Maybe it was only a movie but I think it wasn't.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 16:04:02 PT

Did you know
that some dolphins work for the government?
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Comment #19 posted by tintala on January 03, 2010 at 15:06:35 PT:

Its nice to live in Co, however, with the legislation (co board of health) as well as strict christian republicans are indeed trying to put it back into the black market..When you get a script , no one makes sure that your taking it correctly or not abusing it, not to mention the laxed laws on alcohol , a more volatile substance than Cannabis, doesn't have government regulations limiting the amount of vodka you drink or buy, and those are clearly hard drinks, that can be bought in any amount, everyday, all day.. without even a snare.AS an organic supplier , I would be into liscening for my product, however, it's not done with HOME BREWERS, or vineyards.
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Comment #18 posted by Had Enough on January 03, 2010 at 14:20:17 PT

Another thing I’ve noticed about the dolphins...When they are around you don’t see many sharks...if any at all...Maybe we should surround ourselves with dolphins to keep the ‘sharks’ (lawyers, cops, politicians, and all the other scam artists) at bay...

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Comment #17 posted by Had Enough on January 03, 2010 at 14:04:14 PT

Thanks Hope
It’s always good to be here. It’s like a little piece of sanity amongst a stormy sea of madness that seems to have conquered the world.The dolphin story...I’ve observed amazing things out in that Gulf...and up the rivers too...experiences I will never forget...I’m fortunate have taken to time to absorb a portion of it. Most people go through life missing everything around them...until they are on their deathbeds...then you hear a lot of regrets...Most people are too absorbed in their little materialism box, and think that’s the only thing there is until reality/actuality slaps then upside the head.You can bet that I will be keeping an eye on the West Coast after reading about the observations from Chief Sun Bear. Thanks again runruff.

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Comment #16 posted by Had Enough on January 03, 2010 at 13:36:46 PT

Law Enforcement Bill
Law Enforcement Bill???Maybe they need to read their ‘moral compass’ good book and take a long look into the mirror!!!Law Enforcement Bill???Our founding fathers must be rolling in their graves...But just maybe...this absurd act might wake people up to just what is happening to our society, the constitution...and our freedoms.

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Comment #15 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 13:30:04 PT

By the way...
Good to see you Had Enough. I have to tell you I loved reading your boating/dolphin story.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 13:27:38 PT

Comment 9 Kaptinemo
Exactly!I'm pretty darn flabbergasted.This seems against everything we were taught about government, it's Branches, and Checks and Balances as we were growing up.I can't think where to even start looking to research such a thing.I see FoM agrees with our amazement and dubiousness about such a thing. 
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Comment #13 posted by Had Enough on January 03, 2010 at 13:25:45 PT

Jesus healed using cannabis, study shows
Jesus healed using cannabis, study showsUpdated 01.02.10(Source: was almost certainly a cannabis user and an early proponent of the medicinal properties of the drug, according to a study of scriptural texts published [in 2003].The study suggests that Jesus and his disciples used the drug to carry out miraculous healings. The anointing oil used by Jesus and his disciples contained an ingredient called kaneh-bosem which has since been identified as cannabis extract, according to an article by Chris Bennett in High Times magazine [Reprinted here].The incense used by Jesus in ceremonies also contained a cannabis extract, suggests Mr Bennett, who quotes scholars to back his claims. “There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion,” Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University said.  Referring to the existence of cannabis in anointing oils used in ceremonies, he added: “Obviously the easy availability and long-established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism would inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures.”Mr Bennett suggests those anointed with the oils used by Jesus were “literally drenched in this potent mixture …. Although most modern people choose to smoke or eat pot, when its active ingredients are transferred into an oil-based carrier, it can also be absorbed through the skin”.Quoting the New Testament, Mr Bennett argues that Jesus anointed his disciples with the oil and encouraged them to do the same with other followers. This could have been responsible for healing eye and skin diseases referred to in the Gospels. “If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ,” Mr Bennett concludes.But Chris Bennet isn’t alone in his assertions…Cannabis vs. calamus: debate over the translation of kaneh-bosem“According to some scholars, cannabis was an ingredient of holy anointing oil mentioned in various sacred Hebrew texts. The herb of interest is most commonly known as kaneh-bosm (÷ÀðÅä-áÉùÆÒí) (the singular form of which would be kaneh-bos) which is mentioned several times in the Old Testament as a bartering material, incense, and an ingredient in holy anointing oil used by the high priest of the temple.The Septuagint translates kaneh-bosm as calamus, and this translation has been propagated unchanged to most later translations of the old testament. However, Polish anthropologist Sula Benet published etymological arguments that the Aramaic word for hemp can be read as kannabos and appears to be a cognate to the modern word ‘cannabis’, with the root kan meaning “reed” or hemp and bosm meaning “fragrant”.Both cannabis and calamus are fragrant, reedlike plants containing psychotropic compounds. Rabbinical scholars appear to be divided on the subject; some reject the cannabis hypothesis and others affirm it.” (Source: Wikipedia – Religious and spiritual use of cannabis)***“If you actually buy the Calamus translation for the Holy Oil, then you assume that God specified in Exodus 30:23 a drug commonly known as herbal Ecstasy.Calamus contains an ingredient called asarone. This is a hallucinogen which is metabolized in the liver as trimethoxyamphetamine which is known as herbal ecstasy. The Middle Eastern version of this plant is far more toxic than its North American Cousin. This is deadly to flies and other insects.The Exodus 30:23 reference refers to sweet Calamus. If you look at this in the Strong’s concordance where they spell this as qaneh rather than kaneh, they pronounce this as Kaw-Naw, a reed, calamus, and cane are listed as possible translations. The term sweet used in Exodus 30:23 in Hebrew is Bosem. According to the Webster’s New World Hebrew Dictionary, Bosem is perfume; scent. The Concordance: the Hebrew is Bosem #1314, fragrance, by impl. spicery; also the balsam plant:—-smell, spice, sweet (odour).In some Bibles sweet calamus is translated as aromatic or fragrant Cane. It is where the bosem is fused to the word kaneh or qaneh that the cannabis translation becomes apparent. So then to pronounce this we have kaw-naw-bosem, and is spelled in English qaneh-bosem or kaneh-bosem.In 1936, Sara Benetowa, later Known as Sula Benet, an etymologist from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences, in Warsaw wrote a treatise, “Tracing One Word Through Different Languages”. This was a study on the word Cannabis, based on a study of the oldest Hebrew texts. Although the word cannabis was thought to be of Scythian origin, Benet’s research showed it had an earlier root in the Semitic Languages such as Hebrew. Benet demonstrated that the ancient Hebrew word for Cannabis is Kaneh -Bosem.She also did another study called Early Diffusion and Folk Uses of Hemp. On page 44, she states, “The sacred character of hemp in biblical times is evident from Exodus 30:23, where Moses was instructed by God to anoint the meeting tent and all of its furnishings with specially prepared oil, containing hemp.”On page 41 Sula Benet writes, “In the course of time, the two words kaneh and bosem were fused into one , kanabos or kannabus know to us from the Mishna”.  According to the Webster’s New World Hebrew Dictionary, page 607 the Hebrew for hemp is kanabos.more...a whole lot more at that...

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 03, 2010 at 11:41:54 PT

Ill. Candidates for Governor on Medical Marijuana
January 3, 2010URL:,0,1113160.story
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Comment #11 posted by mydnytmover on January 03, 2010 at 10:21:18 PT

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 554 is on Facebook is growing like a weed ;)
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on January 03, 2010 at 09:52:22 PT

We Don't Make The Laws We Just Enforce Them!
When and why did that change?PS: I am not into police getting involved in the politics of law no matter what the reason.
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on January 03, 2010 at 09:11:58 PT:

Since when are sheriffs legislators?
A 'law enforcement bill'? Seems somebody is overstepping their Constitutional boundaries here; only elected legislators may propose bills.Law enforcement does not need to be 'consulted' on legislation; they need to be told what the law is. Period.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 08:47:44 PT

It's certainly a step away from criminal charges, but it's getting to where we'll likely have to buy a license to breathe someday at the rate we're going with all this "Licensing" stuff.As a society, we need to deal with watching for excessive criminalization and licensing tactics from our governments and see that it's curbed when it needs to be. It seriously needs to be curbed. Some would rid society of the nuisance of licensing, but I don't think that's possible, myself, for several reasons. But a small group of people that grows and has a voice can be heard if enough consciousness is raised. Well... many, many people are already quite conscious of it. We just need to encourage them to speak up and be part of the power of the voice of many people.
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Comment #7 posted by josephlacerenza on January 03, 2010 at 08:09:22 PT

Montana Law
I have been trying to come up with a concise way to put the Montana law. Because, as with life, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!So, here I go again. It is kind of like getting an out of state license for fishing or hunting. Just because you can not hunt Mountain Lion in California, does not mean you could not get an out of state license to hunt one here in Montana. Or, if you can hunt Elk at home, you can also get a license to hunt one here in Montana, if you just so wish.In these ways getting an out of state hunting license kind of illustrates the situation with acquiring a medical marijuana card here in Montana. The process is truely painless!I had two people ask, one in Ohio, and one in Idaho about registering in Montana. It costs $25.00 to register with the state for your initial year, and $10.00 each year after.

Department of Health and Human Services, Montana
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on January 03, 2010 at 08:07:54 PT

getting tough
As I've said before, I wish we could only approve sheriffs with good "moral character"!!! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black....prediction - the sheriffs' plan will be a tough sell in the state legislature- the cowardly pols won't want to expose themselves out in front of all the voters, on a issue they know is strongly supported by voters.
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Comment #5 posted by josephlacerenza on January 03, 2010 at 07:39:30 PT

As the debate heats up in Colarado....
We are just beginning to hit our stride here in Montana!! We got medical marijuana in fall 2004. By the end of 2005 we had less then 200 patients!By the end of 2009, we saw us add over 4000 patients to the list!!!! I know it sounds like small change, but remember Montana has a population less then 1 million residents. We are not projected to reach that 1 million mark until ~2020!!Most of the people who stay in the state are of retirement age, and the kids leave for THE BIG CITY when their old enough to crawl!!!Here is also a little more clarification on Montana Medical marijuana law.
Montana Medical Marijuana Law
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on January 03, 2010 at 06:54:26 PT

We done got our dander up!
Our government agencies are parsonages for despots!I see society evolving. It is a slow process but like a rope you can't push it, it must be led.Some ideas and realizations will naturally reach critical mass with the spread of information. You can't put the butterfly back into the cocoon!After all, we have come to where we are by the spread of something...?
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on January 03, 2010 at 06:42:19 PT

US CO: License to buy pot easy to get in Colorado(coming soon to MAP)Webpage: 3 Jan 2009Legislators eye new laws to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries as patients number more than 30,000 in state
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on January 03, 2010 at 06:30:40 PT

Good grief!
"....much tougher bill from the County Sheriffs of Colorado".I had no idea such a thing was even possible.So much for "We don't make the law... we just enforce it."This "Bill" seems outrageous to me. I didn't know regular people or agencies, even of the government, could submit bills to congresses at any level.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 03, 2010 at 06:14:25 PT

Sheriffs’ Marijuana Bill Tougher Than Sen. Romer’s
County Sheriffs’ Marijuana Bill Much Tougher Than Sen. Romer’sJanuary 3, 2010URL:
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