'I approved this message'

From the voter's perspective, politics means pessimism.

As Kevin Zeese, former executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, reportedly once said: "The Democrats think Republicans are stealing elections. The Republicans think Democrats are stealing elections. And those of us independent of the two old parties know they are both right."

What we can do, however, is attempt to clarify views, and ask questions. So we asked each of the four candidates for U.S. Senate — Michael Bennet, Ken Buck, Jane Norton and Andrew Romanoff — "What's your stand on medical marijuana?"

Unfortunately, both Republican campaigns failed to return multiple e-mails and calls. Thank Jeebus we're already clear on who rocks heels, and who's a boots-with-bullshit type.

Democrats were more responsive, however. Trevor Kincaid, spokesman for Bennet, says the incumbent senator considers medical marijuana a state issue.

"Coloradans voted in 2000 to allow for the use of medical marijuana in the state, and making that determination is a state issue, and should remain that way," writes Kincaid. "To the extent that it is being consumed and dispensed legally, Michael defers to the majority of Coloradans. However, he does think that we need to make sure that the laws on our books are clear, and that bad actors shouldn't be allowed to game the system."

Katie Fleming, for Romanoff, writes, "Andrew supports the American Medical Association's position on medical marijuana."

The AMA "calls for further adequate and well-controlled studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients who have serious conditions," and "urges that marijuana's status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed."

In February, Romanoff told the Summit Daily News, "The war on drugs isn't working. [The feds] need to get straight their own drug laws, so we don't put states out of compliance with federal law."

As for the tea partiers — well, they're not sure what they think, explains Amy Mitchell, chairwoman for the El Paso County TEA Party.

"We have not even taken up that legislation, or taken a look at it, nor voted or gotten any feedback from our members," she says. "Right now, we haven't talked about it one way or the other. My guess is, who knows — take a dartboard."

"TCT has no official position," writes Lana Fore-Warkocz, publisher of movement mouthpiece The Constitutionalist Today. "However, our contributors and readers hold opinions ranging from libertarian, to conservative and everything in-between."

Bud shake: west side edition

Medication abounds at four new Colorado Avenue centers:

• Brand-new center The Healthy Connections (1602 W. Colorado Ave., 203-6004) offers 10 strains, including Strawberry Cough, Big Bang and Swiss Cheese, as well as edibles like lemon bars and snickerdoodles. Through Saturday, July 31, purchase an eighth for $45 plus tax, and receive a free gram.

• From a free gram with the purchase of a fourth on Freebie Fridays, to $5 off an eighth on Wednesdays, The Green House (1024 W. Colorado Ave., thegreenhousecs.com) offers a variety of specials. Owner Isaac Mavashev says the center has some of the cheapest vaporizers and pipes in town. It also offers a wide range of edibles including popsicles, olive oil, candies and hemp pills, as well as tinctures.

• At Mountain Tops Wellness Center (1220 W. Colorado Ave., 634-1132), customers are treated to a free joint with every purchase. Members also get discounts and special deals. Customers can pick from a variety of traditional edibles including brownies, trail mix, granola and candies, along with sodas and teas.

Colorado Alternative Care Services (coloradoalternativecareservices.com) serves patients at 1402 W. Colorado Ave., as well as at 296-A S. Academy Blvd. and 324 Cedar St. in Penrose. Members receive special pricing, with 50 percent off purchases for an entire year, according to owner Rudi Deckkers. He says the center focuses on offering high-quality strains loaded with THC, but also stocks general edibles including brownies and cookies.

Bud shake: other areas

• If you happen to be searching for a new caregiver, you might consider The Herban Center (6530 S. Academy Blvd., 540-6000): If you transfer to its service, you'll receive an eighth of top-shelf product for $10. Hours sometimes vary, so call first before going later in the day.

• Owner Robert Matthews says that Club 375 South (3041 Jet Wing Drive, 391-8737) is "the best man-cave you've never been to." The center offers a full range of edibles and tea products, along with mugs, water bottles, T-shirts and other novelty items. There's also free Wi-Fi, pool tables, a sports ticker, shuffleboard, plenty of TVs and more. Carrying 15 of its own in-house strains, Club 375 South is set up more like a coffee shop than a store, to create an open atmosphere.

• Scheduled to open near the end of July, Simple Care Wellness Center (8270 Razorback Road, 268-0612) "focuses on the medication," says owner Keith Northwood. While it does carry pipes and the traditional edibles, the center is dedicated to patients and their specific medicinal needs, stocking "a variety of strains for anyone and everyone who needs them."

Send MMJ news to bryce@csindy.com.


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