Colo. Pot Dispensaries Welcome State Regulation
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Colo. Pot Dispensaries Welcome State Regulation
Posted by CN Staff on January 27, 2010 at 12:40:32 PT
By Colleen Slevin,  Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- Colorado lawmakers have an unlikely ally in their first attempt to curb the state's booming medical marijuana industry: owners of the some of the shops that sell pot. Many dispensary owners say they're on board with regulations if they give them uniform guidelines and avert a more severe crackdown like one approved this week in Los Angeles. Hundreds of Los Angeles pot shops face closure after the City Council voted Tuesday to cap the number of dispensaries in the city at 70.
The Colorado proposal—before a legislative committee Wednesday—would make it more difficult for recreational pot users to become legal medical marijuana patients. It would bar doctors from working out of dispensaries, make it illegal for them to offer discounts to patients who agree to use a designated dispensary, and require follow-up doctor visits. Some patients worry it will cost them hundreds of dollars on top of the $90 annual fee they pay to register as a medical marijuana user. William Chengelis said he can't get his regular Veterans Administration doctors to sign off on medical marijuana and said buying pot illegally and paying the $100 fine would be cheaper than paying a private doctor for follow-up visits. "I cannot afford this bill," Chengelis told lawmakers. While some advocates see any regulations as a violation of the medical marijuana law passed by voters in 2000, many dispensaries say they welcome the certainty that more regulation would provide. "We're saying we really can't operate without any rules," said Matt Brown, a medical marijuana patient and leader of a coalition of about 150 dispensaries and over 1,000 patients. Erik Santos, who operates a dispensary out of an office building in a trendy part of Denver's downtown section, thinks it makes sense to limit large marijuana growers to industrial areas and keep dispensaries out of residential areas. He wants lawmakers to pass laws now before even more dispensaries open up and prevent those with possible criminal ties from giving the industry a bad name. Another bill still in the works could set up more regulations on dispensaries and suppliers. Colorado cities are also looking to lawmakers to pass regulations. Hundreds of dispensaries have popped up across the state—in empty storefronts, office buildings and even a historic movie theater. Some cities have passed moratoriums on pot shops as they figure out how to regulate them and wait for more guidance from the state. The Denver suburb of Centennial voted to ban dispensaries and close a shop that had already opened, but a court blocked that move. "Everyone is waiting to see what happens this (legislative) session," said Mark Radtke, a lobbyist for the Colorado Municipal League. Colorado already has some rules in place for medical marijuana dispensaries, including prohibiting dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, day cares and other dispensaries. Felons convicted within the last five years would be barred from running shops. Dispensary owners would have to be licensed, pass a criminal background check and pay a $2,000 application fee along with $3,000 a year to renew licenses. The rules are set to take effect March 1, although they could change depending on what state lawmakers to decide to do. Fear that dispensaries would attract crime has been raised by those concerned about the growth of dispensaries. But police in Denver are discounting that. Police say medical marijuana dispensaries were robbed or burglarized at a lower rate than liquor stores or even banks last year. A memo reported by The Denver Post on Wednesday says they were hit at about the same rate as pharmacies.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Colleen Slevin,  Associated Press WriterPublished: January 27, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 29, 2010 at 06:09:23 PT
It is always good to see you. It's freezing back in our area so enjoy the weather out your way. 
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on January 28, 2010 at 20:44:29 PT
Sounds like you're doing ok, in spite of some serious problems. It's good to hear you're still fighting the good fight and I'm very glad you checked in to let us know you are getting by. It's good to hear from you.
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Comment #14 posted by Mahakal on January 28, 2010 at 19:51:31 PT
I'll try to stop by more. Mostly I do music and general politics blogging these days and there's not much call for it here. Core of it is still and always ending cannabis prohibition here and now, everywhere and forevermore. :)
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Comment #13 posted by Mahakal on January 28, 2010 at 19:44:51 PT
All is well. Divorced and broke, but I have a great apartment in Oakland. Everything will work out fine. Someone once told me it's a lot easier to get thru times of no money when you have a little pot. :)The formerly Mrs. Whig didn't much care for the pot, though.
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Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on January 28, 2010 at 16:08:59 PT:
The Colorado raid will backfire
The Feds have just thrown petrol on the wildfire. How dumb can they be? They've just validated every anti-Federal sentiment voiced in that State and other western ones...and acted in clear violation of the expressed public will as exemplified by the MMJ laws.It is interesting, is it not, that this has happened shortly after Acting DEA Director Michele Leonhart is confirmed in her position as head of the President Obama? Seems to me the tail is trying to wag the dog, hmmmmm?If the Prez doesn't want to seem like he's weak and impotent and cannot control his own branch of government, he better do something about this and quick. For a lot of the progressive base of the Democratic Party are becoming increasingly angry over what's been going on (the continuing wars, the health care debacle, giving money to the banksters and getting nothing from sass from them, and now this) and are wondering if they made the wrong choice. Enough of that, and the next thing you know, a progressive version of teabaggers will come into existence. And that will split the Dem Party apart in the same way the Republicans have. A split that could have politically fatal consequences.
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Comment #11 posted by josephlacerenza on January 28, 2010 at 12:09:31 PT
Full Spectrum Labs
Well it happened!! The DEA went into the potency testing lab and took cannabis samples along with standards. It just goes to show that the DEA does not want any TRUTH out there with respect to cannabis. I hope them at Full Spectrum all the best! 
Colorado Medical Marijuana Lab Raided While Attending Hearing on MMJ
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on January 28, 2010 at 06:11:30 PT
It's nice to see you. I hope all is well.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on January 28, 2010 at 02:35:08 PT
It's so good to hear from you.Pass through a little more often.
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Comment #8 posted by Paint with light on January 28, 2010 at 00:10:27 PT
comment #5
Well Said.The pipeline that is keeping things as they are is being replaced with a new green pipeline.A Green pipeline(The Ventures echo in the background).Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #7 posted by Mahakal on January 27, 2010 at 21:43:44 PT
Breaking point zero
Oaksterdam is beyond the breaking point now. It is fast becoming the backbone of the local economy.Hi all, just passing thru. :)
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 27, 2010 at 18:48:24 PT
You are so correct!
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on January 27, 2010 at 17:42:41 PT:
And one more thing
As predicted here long ago, the MMJ laws have proven to be the spearhead that breached the prohib-erected public 'wall of silence' regarding talking about cannabis prohibition at all. By doing so, the MMJ laws acted as a catalyst; there's more discussion on cannabis in general than ever before, which is exactly what the prohibs have been terrified of from the beginning. They sought to head off any discussion with ridicule, lies, misinformation and using the impressive cachet of publicly-funded government offices to divert discussion.But no more. The debates they've feared so much are upon them, now. And the MMJ laws, with all the heavy restrictions being imposed (for places that cause vastly less social and physical damage than liquor stores) are showing just how silly and ridiculous cannabis prohibition itself is. Like I said, the prohib system is broken. It's only because of the money that's already in the pipeline keeping things going that the system is in slow-motion descent, but when things get tighter, that process will speed up. And then the broken pieces already in free-fall will shatter further. It's just a matter of time...
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Comment #4 posted by knightshade on January 27, 2010 at 17:29:37 PT:
OT: Israeli man nails chief justice with shoe... a MMJ hearing in Israel. The article says the man's contempt was unrelated to the case in question, but it's still interesting, especially since we don't hear much of public outcry in Israel. And he got her right between the eyes from 65ft away! What a shot!JERUSALEM - An Israeli man hurled his sneakers at Israel's Supreme Court chief justice on Wednesday during a hearing on medical marijuana, hitting her between the eyes, breaking her glasses and knocking her off her chair. Dorit Beinisch, who is in her late 60s, was not seriously hurt, and the incident appeared to be an isolated one, though there have been rising numbers of threats against the judiciary. The judge was hit by the first shoe and knocked to the ground as the second one flew overhead, witness Michael Eden said. Eden said the assailant, a man with thinning gray hair, tossed the shoes from the fourth row of the packed courtroom, about 65 feet (20 meters) from the bench, while yelling "you're corrupt, a traitor, because of you I lost everything." Beinisch, who has served as chief justice since 2006, received first aid in her chambers and was treated with ice before returning to the courtroom a few hours later to conclude the hearing. She was greeted with a round of applause from lawyers, journalists and guests. Court spokeswoman Ayelet Filo identified the assailant as Pinchas Cohen, 52. She said his motive was unclear, but the attack did not appear linked to the hearing, where residents of a northern town were asking the court to shut down an authorized producer of medical marijuana. A top court security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to talk to the media, said the court has been aware of Cohen since he threatened a judge in 2006. The official said Cohen's beef with the judiciary stemmed from a dispute in family court. Shai Meir, a spokesman for the marijuana growers, said two of Beinisch's fellow judges dropped to the ground to assist her after she was hit while guards lunged at the shoe-thrower and tackled him. The attack brought to mind a similar show-throwing attack against former President George W. Bush in Iraq in late 2008, which he dodged. There have been accusations in Israel that not enough is being done to stem the verbal assaults by politicians and right-wing activists against the judiciary. Beinisch's rulings have included decisions against the use of Palestinians as human shields and support for reopening sections of a West Bank road to Palestinian traffic. Both have drawn the ire of right-wing leaders who accuse her of capitulating to terror. She has also stood up to lawmakers' attempt to rein in the court's authority and her court has convicted a number of former ministers accused of corruption. Moshe Negbi, an Israeli legal analyst, said the attacker could serve as much as three years in prison for the assault if convicted.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on January 27, 2010 at 17:22:12 PT:
The breaking point is coming
Not turning point; that's already past. Not the tipping point either; it's already here, with the discussion of cannabis legalization being taken seriously by the MSM.No, I'm talking about the breaking point. The point at which the majority of people in this country realize that drug prohibition itself is an enormously costly exercise in futility.Namely, the understanding that drug prohibition itself is intellectually and morally...broken. The system which creates more misery than that which it was supposed to prevent is...broken. Due to the corruption endemic in the illegal drug trade, the 'justice' system has become, not only grossly distorted, but...broken. And that because of the no-small-part (like 1 trillion pre-Meltdown dollars) drug prohibition has played in draining the nation's coffers at a time of universal fiscal implosion, the treasury is...broken.The realization of just how broken things have become has not yet sunk into the conscious awareness of the average person, but anyone who's studied the issue long enough knows that the bill has finally come due. President Obama's declaration of a 'spending freeze' is proof of just how close to the edge of fiscal Armageddon we are. And from there, there's only one way that this can go, and that means not just freezes, but cuts in various Fed agencies. And which agencies have gotten nothing but black eyes and thumbs-down from the GAO on just about every single appraisal of their operations - and thus are perfect targets for the budgetary ax?The ONDCP and the DEA, that's who. And that ghostly rasping sound they're hearing is the sharpening of that ax in Congress, a sound that will get louder as things get tighter. Because, when something is as broken as drug prohibition is, and it can't be salvaged after hundreds of billions have been spent on it, there's nothing left to do but scrap it. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 27, 2010 at 15:44:46 PT
Related Article From The Denver Business Journal
Medical Marijuana Bill Spelling Out Doctor-Patient Relationship Advances***By Bob MookWednesday, January 27, 2010A proposal to spell out the doctor-patient relationship in prescribing medical marijuana cleared its first hurdle in the Colorado Legislature on Wednesday.Senate Bill 109, sponsored by Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by a vote of 6-1.Romer’s bill is designed to make it more difficult for recreational pot smokers to obtain the drug through the medical marijuana system.The bill aims to clarify the relationship between medical marijuana users and physicians who prescribe the drug, and to require any non-veteran under the age of 21 seeking a prescription to go before a new board.The proposal also would prohibit doctors from working for dispensaries and bar physicians from giving discounts for patients who use preferred dispensaries. Additionally, it would require followup visits so the doctor can determine if continued treatment is necessary.The legislation is the first of what is expected to be a number of bills to be introduced this year in response to a booming number of medical marijuana dispensaries cropping up across Colorado.Many dispensary owners testified in favor of Romer’s bill Wednesday, saying it established legal perimeters for a growing industry with an uncertain future. Some fear that letting the medical marijuana market continue to operate with few guidelines will create the kind of chaos that prompted the Los Angeles city council to pass an ordinance to shut down most dispensaries within city limits.But many medical marijuana users testified in opposition to the bill, saying it would cost them more money on top of the $90 annual fee they already pay to join the state’s medical marijuana registry. To appease those concerns, Romer offered an amendment that would let users waive the annual fee if they can’t afford it. The committee approved the change.SB 109 goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee before heading to the Senate floor.Along with SB 109, Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, has said he will sponsor legislation that will limit the number of patients each medical marijuana provider can have.Some cities in Colorado already have created ordinances medical marijuana dispensaries, including rules that create buffer zones between schools, day care centers and other dispensaries.Denver’s city council recently passed an ordinance requiring dispensary owners to pass a criminal background check and pay a $2,000 application fee and $3,000 a year to renew the license. The new rules are scheduled to take effect on March 1.Copyright: 2010 American City Business Journals, Inc.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by Paul Armentano on January 27, 2010 at 14:47:03 PT
Why Isn’t There More Medical Marijuana Research?
 Why Isn’t There More Medical Marijuana Research? Because The Feds Won’t Allow It, That’s Why!Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:39:15 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy DirectorIt’s the ‘Catch-22’ that has plagued medical marijuana advocates and patients for decades. Lawmakers and health regulators demand clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis, but the federal agency in charge of such research bars these investigations from ever taking place.But it took until now for the federal government to finally admit it.A spokesperson for the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) told The New York Times last week that the agency does “not fund research focused on the potential medical benefits of marijuana.”Why is this admission so significant? Here’s why.Under federal law, NIDA (along with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) must approve all clinical and preclinical research involving marijuana. NIDA strictly controls which investigators are allowed access to the federal government’s lone research supply of pot – which is authorized via a NIDA contract and cultivated and stored at the University of Mississippi.In short, no NIDA approval = no marijuana = no scientific studies. And that is, and always has been, the problem.But to the folks over at NIDA, there’s no problem at all.Speaking to The New York Times in a January 19, 2010 article entitled, “Researchers Find Medical Study of Marijuana Discouraged,” NIDA spokeswoman Shirley Simson said: “As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use. We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”Since NIDA presently oversees an estimated 85 percent of the world’s research on controlled substances, the agency’s ban on medical marijuana research isn’t just limited to the United States’ borders; it extends throughout the planet.Previous legal attempts to break NIDA’s bureaucratic logjam have failed to weaken the agency’s iron grip.In 2007, U.S. DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled that NIDA’s monopolization of marijuana research is not “in the public interest,” and ordered the federal government to allow private manufacturers to produce the drug for research purposes. But in January of last year, DEA Deputy Administrator Michele Leonhart set aside Judge Bittner’s ruling – stating that NIDA possesses “adequate” quantities of cannabis to meet the needs of clinical investigators, and that the agency monopoly on the distribution of marijuana for research is compliant with America’s international treaty obligations. (Notably, on January 26, 2010 President Barack Obama selected Leonhart to be the DEA’s full time Director.)Most recently, in November 2009 the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health declared, “Results of short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.”However, the Council lamented that despite these encouraging preliminary results, “[T]here is a contrast between the relatively small number of patients who have been studied over the past 30 years in controlled clinical trials involving smoked cannabis and survey data from patients with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that indicates a significant use of cannabis for self management.”And just what is the precise reason for this “contrast?” The AMA failed to specify, but to anyone who has followed this issue, the answer is painfully obvious.Nevertheless, the AMA still resolved, “[The] AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines.”But since any future clinical trials would still require NIDA approval — approval that the agency admits won’t be coming any time soon — it remains unclear what effect, if any, the AMA’s declaration will have on facilitating medical marijuana research. If history is any guide, it’s unlikely that the AMA request — much like the cries of tens of thousands of patients before it — will have any effect on NIDA at all.[FYI... You can also comment on this essay on's newly launched SpeakEasy blog at:’t-there-more-medical-marijuana-research-because-the-feds-won’t-allow-it-that’s-why/.]
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