Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Where we help The Denver Post with medical marijuana

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 1:06 PM

It's a crazy time in Denver these days: Tim "Jesus" Tebow is the talk of the town — a walking, talking, new-pro-style throwing feuilleton; the Arizona Diamondbacks are at Coors Field looking to derail the real savior in Denver — Ubaldo Jimenez — starting at 6:40 p.m.; and the Nuggets are just hoping that, selfish or otherwise, the team pulls it together at home.

With all that going on, it's understandable that The Denver Post might get a few things confused when it comes to the issues surrounding House Bill 1284, and as a friend and neighbor, we're here to help.

The medical marijuana constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2000 was never intended to create the widespread marijuana dispensary system we have today.

Indy: The medical marijuana constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2000 was never intended to create the widespread marijuana dispensary system we have today. Note the text of Amendment 20: "Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person, including a patient or primary care-giver, shall be entitled to the protection of this section for his or her acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana for any use other than medical use." I would argue that it's hard to specify protection for dispensing under medical use only, if nothing was ever to be dispensed. Additionally, though it lacks specific wording to the effect of "Thou shalt overpower Starbucks with medicinal suppliers," the meaning is no less for it.

The ill-conceived bill got a little better, however, when lawmakers recently restored provisions that allow cities and counties to outlaw dispensaries in their communities.

Indy: The ill-conceived bill got a lot more suppressive when this section was added back; it allows for city councils, county commissions, etc. to ban dispensaries without any kind of municipal vote.

House Bill 1284 creates a medical marijuana licensing authority that will grant licenses for the cultivation, distribution and sale of medical marijuana, which still is illegal under federal law.

Indy: A true — and useless — point, especially considering the repeated federal emphasis on not prosecuting medical marijuana users medicating within their state's laws.

That prohibition could be enacted by voters, or by a city council or county commission. This is an important escape hatch for those who don't want the current medical marijuana farce in their communities.

Indy: A 30-foot-wide door labeled "Abuse of Power" just begging for somebody to walk through. What could be more American?

It's good that lawmakers found a way to push back against well-financed medical marijuana lobbyists to restore some protections for those who have suddenly found themselves surrounded by dispensaries.

Indy: We're surrounded and I'm on fire! Help me Jesus! Help me Jewish God! Help me Allah! Help me Tom Cruise! It's citizens dispensing legal medication — resulting in mellow feelings of peace, and pain relief — to equally legal qualified citizens as far as the eye can see! Just imagine if there was another legal substance that resulted in worse statistics all around than the current green-eyed boogie monster who's name we dare not speak aloud!

Lawmakers should resist. We're disappointed that state legislators seem poised to legitimize dispensaries, but if they're going to do so, they need to keep a tight rein on the situation.

Indy: It's disappointing that the Post would reinterpret history to its editorial liking, while advocating for the dismissal of popular vote.

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