Sunday, January 24, 2010
Yesterday, Sensible Breckenridge's Sean McAllister, speaking about the passage of ballot initiative 2F, a marijuana decriminalization measure in his hometown, bristled at a media claim that the action was mostly "symbolic," adding, "The police chief in Breckenridge has said he'll take it as direction about how the voters want to go." Later, he maintained that "all arrests and convictions in the town of Breckenridge will stop. No one can be charged, prosecuted and have a criminal conviction paid for through the taxpayer dollars in Breckenridge. If someone is arrested there, they could be sent over to the county, which is funded by state tax dollars, but we don't expect that to happen."
When asked about these statements, Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman echoes some of them but contradicts a number of others -- including the notion that City of Breckenridge prosecutions for weed are officially a thing of the past. "I actually think the violations will increase," he says, "because people will think they can walk up and down Main Street smoking marijuana. And that's not what 2F did."
When discussing the potential repercussions of a 2F passage with McAllister prior to the election, "I said we would exercise discretion," Holman goes on. "And what I meant by that is that we would pay attention to the intent of 2F, which was about the private use and possession of marijuana. The idea is that these are people in their homes, and it's their choice if they want to do that. And we've already exercised huge discretion, like a lot of law-enforcement officers do when they're in a home and the occupant remembers their pipe and bong are on the coffee table, because they think of it as part of the furniture and they forget about it. We usually look the other way in cases like that."
Now, he thinks additional problems could crop up "because of the confusion over people thinking marijuana is legal in Breckenridge. The vote decriminalized it, but there's no public use. Now, Sean McAllister was quoted in the Summit Daily News saying people who aren't hurting anyone should be left alone, and I agree with Sean 100 percent on that. But if people are trying to stretch the intent of 2F and do things they shouldn't be doing, there are still tools that are available to us, and depending on what's going on, we could take action."
Holman wants to honor the will of Breckenridge voters as much as he can, which is why he looks upon 2F as something of a "litmus test" that officers should consider before deciding who to bust and for what. But it doesn't change Colorado or U.S. laws -- and he says McAllister understands that as well as he does. "In my personal conversations with Sean, he told me, 'Rick, we realize this is somewhat symbolic in nature and it doesn't really change the fact that it's still a state and federal violation' -- although changing that is obviously one of the goals for Sensible Colorado and Sensible Breckenridge. They weren't successful at changing things at a state level, so they're going to chip away at the local level."
In the meantime, Holman expects to spend plenty of time explaining the limits of 2F. "You can't believe some of the phone calls I've been getting," he says. "One guy wanted to know if was okay to open a pot-and-coffee shop."
Not yet, my friend. But maybe someday.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This mixture is as a rule smoked as a cigarette (joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It in addition is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and topped up with marijuana, habitually in blend with another drug. It may as well be combined in food or brewed as a tea. As a more intense, resinous form it is named hashish and, as clammy black liquor, hash oil. Denver Marijuana smoke has a spicy and characteristic, typically sweet-and-sour smell.
The chief active element in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The membranes of certain nerve cells in the brain include protein receptors that connect to THC. Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular responses that finally lead to the high that addicts experience when they smoke marijuana.
Even occasional abuse can be a reason of burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, frequently gone with by an intense cough. A person who smokes marijuana habitually may have numerous of identical respiratory troubles that tobacco smokers do, for example daily cough and phlegm making, more repeated sharp chest illness, an increased danger of lung infections, and a larger propensity to obstructed airways. Smoking marijuana possibly enlarges the chance of developing cancer of the head or neck. A research contrasting 173 cancer patients and 176 healthy human beings generated confirmation that marijuana smoking doubled or tripled the danger of these cancers.
Its really the fact that marijuana abuse in addition has the potential to support cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract for the reason that it holds irritants and carcinogens. Actually, marijuana smoke includes 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke. It as well makes high levels of an enzyme that changes definite hydrocarbons into their carcinogenic form—levels that may speed up the transforms that eventually create malignant cells. Marijuana addicts more often than not breathe in more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which enlarges the lungs' contact to carcinogenic smoke. These details recommend that, puff for puff, smoking marijuana may be more damaging to the lungs than smoking tobacco.
For more Colorado Marijuana Information
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Standing before a meeting of cannabis dispensary owners here last week, Hill said the time has come to form a trade association.
"People, let's help ourselves," said Hill, who operates The Apothecary dispensary in Longmont. "It's time we become the shining light in the community, so that people aren't afraid of us anymore."
Across the state — as the number of medical marijuana dispensaries surges and local officials rush to enact laws governing them — cannabis business people have banded together so as to have a louder voice in the debate.
More than 100 people attended the meeting in Longmont last week at the VFW hall, which Hill hosted. A day before, medical marijuana attorney Rob Corry hosted a similar meeting in Denver. Corry said he is talking with around 50 dispensary owners about forming a statewide association.
The idea, the medical marijuana supporters say, is to find a way for the burgeoning industry to fill the current regulatory vacuum and perhaps stave off further governmental rules by regulating itself.
"If you wait for something to happen to you, it's going to happen to you," medical marijuana attorney Jeff Gard told the crowd in Longmont. "If you take control over something yourself, you have some ability to direct it."
But getting consensus on a public, self-governing structure among dispensary owners — some of whom are accustomed to operating quietly and have a well-honed wariness of authority — is no sure thing.
During the meeting in Longmont, Gard read a list of rules recently negotiated in Frisco that he said could serve as a start for the cannabis community's proposals for self-regulation. Those laws include things such as standard operating hours, uniform security measures and prescribed buffer zones between dispensaries and schools or day-care facilities.
A number of the regulations elicited grumbles in the crowd.
"When you start talking about regulations," said Kathleen Chippi, who operates Cannabis Healing Arts in Nederland, "you're continuing to buy into reefer madness lies. We don't need to be afraid of a dispensary."
Other advocates, while conceding the need for some self-government, took issue with particular proposals.
George Thomas, who operates a small caregiver business for about a dozen patients out of his Longmont home, said the buffer-zone regulations could force providers to constantly move.
"I don't want some day-care center operated by some mom down the street to kick me out of my house," he said.
No one knows exactly how many marijuana dispensaries operate in Colorado because they are neither licensed nor tracked by the state. Estimates put the number of dispensaries at as many as 100.
Hill said he thinks the threat of regulation facing dispensary owners will encourage them to get on the same page — but he also concedes it will be difficult to keep them there.
It's unclear how interested state lawmakers are in taking up the issue. Democratic and Republican aides at the Capitol said they haven't heard of any proposed bills to clarify medical marijuana regulations.
"In the giant scheme of things, with all the budget-cutting that's been taking place, it's really moved to a back-seat position," said state Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood.
Gov. Bill Ritter, meanwhile, has put state lawyers and health department officials to work examining how to handle the proliferation of dispensaries, Ritter's spokesman wrote in an e-mail.
While Ritter intends to uphold the state's constitutional protection of medical marijuana, he also "has an obligation to ensure the program is not being abused, not operating outside the law and not going unregulated," Evan Dreyer wrote.
All of that's fine by Hill, as long as those who run the dispensaries get a say.
"We want to remove the gray area from the medical marijuana industry," Hill told the dispensary owners last week. "It's up to us."
More: Denver Marijuana Information | Breckenridge Marijuana Dispensary | Boulder Marijuana Dispensary
Monday, January 11, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Existing Denver marijuana dispensaries and those that obtain sales-tax licenses from the city on or before Jan. 1 would not be subject to the new rules as tentatively approved by council members during a safety-committee meeting.
Council members Doug Linkhart and Chris Nevitt pushed for fewer regulations on the dispensaries. They said the industry was creating jobs, boosting sales-tax revenue and fulfilling a crucial need for ill patients.
Others, such as council members Charlie Brown, Paul Lopez, Jeanne Faatz, Carol Boigon, Rick Garcia and Judy Montero, said tighter guidelines were needed to keep the dispensaries from running amok.
Brown, who has worked on the regulations for the past three months, said he felt the work had been like "watching a pie move through a python."
In addition to limiting proximity of dispensaries to one another and to schools, the regulatory framework proposed by Brown and approved by the council's safety committee would:
• Limit dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of child-care centers.
• Bar felons or those who have completed any portion of a felony sentence within the past five years from operating a dispensary.
• Bar onsite consumption of medical marijuana at dispensaries.
The proposed regulations now go to the full council for initial consideration Jan. 4 and a public hearing and final vote on Jan. 11.
Voters in 2000 approved a constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana. The issue has gained steam this year as local and state officials grapple with rapid growth in the number of Denver dispensaries and registered users.
State health officials estimate that they will receive 23,000 applications for medical-marijuana cards this year, up from 4,720 in 2008.
194 tax licenses issued
The council committee acted as officials reported that as of Dec. 1, the city had issued 138 sales-tax licenses to operators of medical-marijuana dispensaries. By Tuesday, the number had grown to 194.
Council members clashed on whether the city should bar dispensaries from setting up near schools and child-care centers, and from clustering close to other dispensaries.
"I am sick and tired of seeing in my district liquor store after liquor store and check-cashing place after check-cashing place, and now it will be dispensaries," Lopez said.
Councilman Nevitt questioned whether his colleagues were overreacting.
"Is it like this is dark matter, and we're afraid something is going to explode?" Nevitt asked, saying he was particularly perplexed over the push to keep dispensaries from locating near one another.
Council members decided against supporting Boigon's effort to bar dispensaries from locating close to city parks, churches and public buildings.
The issue then became just when the distance requirements should take effect. Brown originally proposed that the distance requirements would apply only to dispensaries that had an active sales-tax license after Dec. 1, which would allow those receiving a sales-tax license before then to continue operating, regardless of where they were located.
On Wednesday, Brown said he feared that time frame would unfairly penalize those who had invested in opening up a new dispensary but hadn't met that deadline. Brown urged his colleagues to apply the distance requirements only to those dispensaries that receive their sales-tax license on or after Jan. 1.
The council split on the issue before, eventually settling on the Jan. 1 deadline.
Council members voting for the January deadline were Brown, council president Jeanne Robb, Linkhart, Nevitt, Carla Madison and Marcia Johnson.
Those voting for the Dec. 1 deadline were Montero, Boigon, Lopez, Hancock, Faatz and Garcia.
Because the council was locked 6-6, it deferred to the official safety-committee members, with Robb, Linkhart and Madison finally defeating Lopez and Faatz on the issue.
Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann, the 13th council member and the only one not to vote publicly on the deadline, effectively becomes the swing vote.
Brown said later in the day that he was trying to broker a deal that would win unanimous support for the proposed regulations by compromising on a Dec. 15 sales-tax deadline to avoid the restriction on locations.
Hancock said he also might separately try to get a moratorium placed on the issuance of any new sales-tax licenses for dispensaries until Jan. 1.
For more information on this City Council meeting check out: Medical Marijuana Ordinance
Article source: Denver Post
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
"Basically, two guys busted our window and came in," he says. "We lost $10,000 or more, not counting our stock. It was nothing really good..."
Police officials have been warning about criminals targeting dispensaries. Lt. Jerry Schiager, commander of the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force, talks about "at least five armed robberies, seven burglaries and one kidnapping" related to marijuana in the Fort Collins area over the past year and a half or so -- "and those are only the ones we know about."
Branan and his brother Chris, who opened the Denver marijuana dispensary - Green Tree, at 3222 South Vance Street, five months ago today, weren't cavalier about security. They installed a video system in their marijuana dispensary, and it worked well, capturing the two mask-wearing men taking action. "We had the money in a safe," Branan says. "You can literally see them pick it up."
As for product, Branan says, "We lost at least $6,000 worth. They even took all the edibles, all the pipes and tinctures from our Denver marijuana dispensary. We literally have nothing."
The Branans are so devoid of supplies that they don't know when they'll be able to reopen for business again. Regarding restocking, Branan says, "I have friends in other Denver dispensaries, and the fact that we were on the news, hopefully somebody can help us out."
He and his brother are hoping to figure out the next step in the Green Tree story today. Until then, he says, with a considerable amount of understatement, "It's been a hard weekend for us."