Wheelin' and dealin'
Legalization — or decriminalization, or regulation, or whatever the hell you want to call it — efforts are all the rage these days, and two efforts have emerged on the state level: the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, backed by SAFER, NORML, Sensible Colorado and others, and the Relief for the Possession of Cannabis Act, proposed by Cannabis University's Michelle LaMay.
The first proposes a legalized, limited amount of marijuana possession, while the second limits the courts "from imposing any fine or sentence for the possession, and cultivation and sale of cannabis."
Both have drawn their share of heat, but either is all good, says Tyla Reimers, owner of Canna Center and Canna Caregivers.
"I like what they're putting in place — at least I did last time I sat down and talked to them," she says, referring to SAFER's measure. "As far as [LaMay's act], I'm all for that, because I think it's a silly thing to punish people for having marijuana."
In an e-mail, Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente says he thinks his measure "has the best chance of passing of any legalization measure in history." Either way, Reimers says she's not worried about her centers.
"I think there is still going to be medical marijuana," she says. "And I think if there is some kind of regulated recreational use, then maybe that will open the window for getting rid of the tax on medical marijuana, which would be all to the patients' benefit."
Don't worry about it
In an Aug. 1 brief responding to a lawsuit from the state of Arizona, U.S. Attorney Scott Risner makes it clear that state employees who administer a medical marijuana program face no "genuine threat" of legal action.
"Here, Plaintiffs point to a letter from United States Attorney Burke," Risner writes in one passage, referring to a portion of the state's lawsuit that attempts to have a federal court rule on Arizona's new MMJ program. "But nothing in the letter refers to state employees."
The possibility of federal prosecution of state employees is one of the reasons several states, including Washington, have been reluctant to implement approved programs.
At its June 28 meeting, Colorado Springs City Council directed staff to look at the cost of processing medical marijuana center applications and determine if they're in line with the proposed fee schedule.
While it's fair to say the City Clerk's office has done this, there's a sample-size problem, says deputy city clerk Cindy Conway. "Only one application has been submitted to date with an application fee of $2,200," she writes via e-mail, adding: "Applicants/businesses have until September 30, 2011 to submit an application."
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