UPDATE, 3:59 p.m.: In a release, Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente says, "Today Colorado passed a landmark piece of legislation which serves to further legitimize the use of marijuana as medicine."
"We have already heard from patients in cities and towns where the local government is planning to ban dispensaries. Such bans will keep patients from benefiting from the new law and will jeopardize safe access to medicine," Vicente says. "Sensible Colorado, its 5,000 members and Colorado’s over 100,000 medical marijuana patients stand ready to challenge any unreasonable restrictions on patients’ access to medicine. Certainly any city council vote for an outright ban on medical marijuana centers will be met by swift action to prevent elected officials from denying patients access to medicine without a vote of the people.”
Gov. Bill Ritter has finally signed the two bills aimed at regulating the Colorado medical marijuana industry, and refining physician practices — House Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 109 —reports Denver's Westword:
How did this former district attorney explain his reasons for backing legislation that many law-enforcement officials around the state absolutely loathe? By arguing that they "strike a delicate balance between protecting public safety and respecting the will of the voters."
Here is Ritter's statement from the posted news release:
"House Bill 1284 provides a regulatory framework for dispensaries, including giving local communities the ability to ban or place sensible and much-needed controls on the operation, location and ownership of these establishments," the Governor said. "Senate Bill 109 will help prevent fraud and abuse, ensuring that physicians who authorize medical marijuana for their patients actually perform a physical exam, do not have a DEA flag on their medical license and do not have a financial relationship with a dispensary."