Medical Pot Rules Back Before Colo. Lawmakers
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Medical Pot Rules Back Before Colo. Lawmakers
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2011 at 14:12:27 PT
By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Denver -- Medical marijuana laws in Colorado are more extensive than in any other state—and state lawmakers aren't done yet. The Colorado Legislature will again consider medical marijuana rules, a year after scripting the most exhaustive directions for medical marijuana sales in any of the 15 states that allow medical marijuana. One Colorado bill would change the rules adopted last year. House Bill 1043 would extend a moratorium on state licenses for pot shops by a year, until 2012, and clarify which doctors can recommend medical pot.
Other changes in that bill include new rules for people who work at pot shops. Colorado lawmakers wanted to prevent out-of-state marijuana entrepreneurs, so they required marijuana-shop employees to have lived in Colorado two years; the revision would limit the residency requirement to owners, not all employees. The bill also softens the lifetime ban on medical marijuana shop owners with a felony drug conviction. Instead, people with drug felonies would be banned from getting a state license for five years. Dispensary owner Norton Arbelaez, the head of Colorado's Medical Marijuana Industry Group, said the bill is intended to clean up confusing parts of the laws passed last year. "We're closing the gaps that the Legislature left open," said Arbelaez, who owns River Rock Wellness in Denver and served on a state workgroup that met over several months last year to refine the pot rules. Those rules, which would govern how medical marijuana is raised and sold, could be approved by the Department of Revenue in coming months. Rep. Tom Massey, a Poncha Springs Republican who sponsored the marijuana bills last year, proposed this one, too. He says he hopes lawmakers approve it quickly, without the drawn-out debates over pot that embroiled lawmakers a year ago. "We want to try to get it taken care of as soon as possible," Massey said. A Democrat sponsoring the Senate version, Denver Sen. Pat Steadman, was also optimistic this year's pot questions won't turn divisive. "It really just does some fine-tuning" of the marijuana rules, Steadman said. Pot activists say legislators may not get off so easily, though. New ideas are likely to come before lawmakers, including one of the nation's first standards for driving safely as a medical marijuana patient. Law enforcement and patients both say Colorado needs impairment standards to decide when medical marijuana users can drive. "We need to have a level that everybody is aware of, so people will know whether they're driving legally or illegally. If it is legal to use marijuana, when can you drive and when can you not drive?" said Rep. Claire Levy, a Boulder Democrat. Currently no state has an impairment standard for marijuana, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. St. Pierre said New Mexico lawmakers are also considering new marijuana impairment standards. St. Pierre said that where medical marijuana is legal, patients and cops need to know how one can legally use it and still drive. "There should be some sort of standard that comports with what we have with alcohol," he said. Arbelaez says he'd also like to see lawmakers encourage scientific research on marijuana's medicinal value. No such bill has been introduced so far. Online: Read House Bill 1043: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Kristen Wyatt, Associated PressPublished: January 15, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on January 17, 2011 at 02:33:23 PT
But does the nose know? Even dogs are wrong.
Tribune analysis: Drug-sniffing dogs in traffic stops often wrong,0,7119364.story"The dogs are trained to dig or sit when they smell drugs, which triggers automobile searches. But a Tribune analysis of three years of data for suburban departments found that only 44 percent of those alerts by the dogs led to the discovery of drugs or paraphernalia."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 16, 2011 at 19:43:42 PT
Justices Look Again at How Police May Search Homes
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