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Colorado Wildfire Reveals Large Marijuana Garden

Staff CMM - Friday, September 14, 2012
Forest Service officials have been hard at work this year with the high number of forest fires in the state, but what they didn’t expect to find was a massive marijuana garden on public land. U.S. Attorney John Walsh made it very clear that public safety on forest land is a very high priority and marijuana gardens on that land endanger not only people, but the ecosystem as well. The Waldo Canyon fire caused a great deal of damage to forest land this year in Colorado Springs, destroying 18,247 acres and 346 homes. When this fire was put out, officials found 22 acres of land and approximately 7,500 marijuana plants. While some plants were destroyed in the fire, it was up to officials to remove the rest. Earlier in the year, Pueblo County officials swarmed one of the largest marijuana gardens ever found in Colorado, netting 13,000 plants. The Forest Service explained that marijuana gardens tend to leave behind trash, plastic tubing, siphon water from streams and pollute water sheds with fertilizers and pesticides and can cost the forest service up to $15,000 per acre to return woodland to its natural state.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Advertising Banned

Staff CMM - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
In a unanimous vote that lasted less than a minute, the Denver City Council has voted to ban all types of outdoor advertising for medical marijuana including billboards, posters, bus benches, windshield leaflets and sign twirlers. The Denver City Council also voted immediately afterwards to kill an alternate, more limited plan that would have blocked outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and daycare facilities. The position of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group is that this will show good faith by businesses to fit into their communities. Businesses will still be allowed to advertise online, in newspapers and magazines and also at any charity events they sponsor. While the Cannabis Business Alliance is not happy with the vote outcome, they feel that clear rules have now been established that will enable them to move forward.

Paul Ryan Indifferent on Colorado Medical Marijuana Legalization

Staff CMM - Monday, September 10, 2012
With the upcoming election in November, voters in Colorado will also decide on Amendment 64, which is the initiative to legalize marijuana for adults in the state. When Republican vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan was asked abou8t his stance on legalizing marijuana in Colorado recently by the Colorado station KRDO-TV, Ryan stated he felt it was up to the individual states to decide the fate of marijuana legalization. Ryan feels the subject is not a high priority for the campaign. Although Ryan made it clear to the station that he didn’t believe in the effort, he nevertheless felt the issue of marijuana legalization should be left to the individual states to decide. However, when Presidential nominee Mitt Romney was asked to comment on the subject, he became visibly frustrated, stating that he is against the drug. Romney feels marijuana is a starter drug which leads to heavier drug use and abuse. Romney also stated that if he is elected President, he will fight legalization of the drug tooth and nail.

Amendment 64 Gets Backing on Colorado Marijuana Possession Limits

Staff CMM - Friday, September 07, 2012
As Colorado medical marijuana issues pick up speed, it is no surprise to witness a growing interest in making the drug itself legal. Amendment 64 is an initiative seeking to legalize limited amounts of the drug for adults. The Amendment has recently been endorsed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who are expressing a concern over what they consider to be a lopsided number of arrests of African-Americans for marijuana possession in the state. The NAACP feels that by ending the prohibition of marijuana in the state for adult use, the mass incarceration against colored people may change. However, FBI records indicate that in 2010, African-Americans accounted for only 9% of all arrests for marijuana possession and only 22% of arrests for marijuana sales or cultivation. Adams County District Attorney Don Quick opposes the initiative, stating that legalizing the substance is not the answer. Quick feels making the drug more available to the community will result in a trickle-down effect to kids and result in lower graduation rates and more discipline problems.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Becoming Popular Illegal Commodity In Other States

Staff CMM - Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The Colorado medical marijuana industry has experienced such a boom during the last few years that many dispensaries, patients and caregivers are finding themselves with a surplus of marijuana. This surplus has admittedly been a problem according to Colorado Drug Enforcement officials. Maintaining a handle on this surplus can prove to be a daunting task. Much of this surplus – in fact, most of it, is never reported and a great deal of it is now finding its way out of Colorado and into other states as the sources of this surplus seek to gain a profit from it. Law officials are finding themselves overwhelmed with arrests that result in illegal marijuana and sometimes other illegal drugs and weapons as well. While law officials are hard pressed to keep a handhold on an industry they believe is running rampant, industry supporters still maintain the validity, claiming medical marijuana to be one of the most highly regulated industries in the state.

Octogenarian Takes Colorado Medical Marijuana Possession To The Extreme

Staff CMM - Friday, August 31, 2012
With medical marijuana in Colorado being made legal, many have been able to find relief from various maladies such as cancer, HIV, MS and so on. There is, however, another more ‘seedy’ side to the business that has recently begun to show itself more prominently. As with anything, moderation generally tends to be the key, but there will always be those few who take things to the extreme. A recently example is an 87-year-old man from Denver who was arrested for growing more than 400 marijuana plants in his backyard. The state allows medical marijuana patients or their caregivers to have six plans for medical use. The Denver man was charged for a number of felonies, including possession with intent to distribute. Charges against the man also allege the Denver man possessed tools and materials indicative of distribution. With the legality of medical marijuana constantly changing and growing, the state can only expect to see more cases like this come out of the woodwork.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Face More Closures

Staff CMM - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When the State of Colorado first passed a bill allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate, it is doubtful any would have been able to foresee the explosion the medical marijuana industry would experience as a result. Medical marijuana dispensaries began to pop up everywhere in a rush to join this new and growing industry. Several factors, however, have impeded progress, the largest and certainly the most imposing being the federal government. Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance in the eyes of the government and Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries have found themselves in a constant battle as to their rights. Earlier this year, the U.S. Attorney’s office sent two rounds of letters to dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of schools ordering them to shut down or face prosecution. This created quite an uproar in the marijuana community, but the government is holding fast to their law, sending ten more letters recently to dispensaries. The letters give the dispensaries until September 17th to close or face prosecution. With the large gap that exists between state and federal laws and rights, dispensaries are going to find it difficult to proceed and flourish, at least for the foreseeable future.

Changes in Colorado Medical Marijuana Industry Both A Positive And A Negative

Staff CMM - Friday, August 24, 2012
On July 1st of this year, Colorado lifted its two-year moratorium on new dispensaries, allowing for new dispensaries to come into the Colorado market. This move is going to be highly beneficial to the financial end as it will offer new opportunities for businesses in the medical marijuana industry. For smaller business, this may prove to be a fatal blow as the competition may force them out of the market. Many still believe this move will ultimately benefit the industry as a whole, however. Still, another issue threatens to damage the medical marijuana business. American Express has already removed itself from the medical marijuana business and now shop owners are dealing with the fact that both Visa and MasterCard have removed themselves as well. With all of these major credit card companies out of the picture, dispensaries are forced to handle transactions in cash, which they believe is opening them up to more potential break-ins and robberies. Even with the moratorium lifted, many believe this move will limit the industry’s growth.

Rise In Registered Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers Continues

Staff CMM - Tuesday, August 21, 2012
As Colorado joined other states in 2011 by making medical marijuana legal, it experienced an influx of registered patients in the first year of enthusiastic cardholder hopefuls. This influx of patients brought the registry total to a record high the first year in June 2011 of 128,698, but this influx was not to last. After June, totals began to decline as new regulations were introduced, causing many registered patients not to renew their cards and causing others not to apply. By November of last year, the total had dropped to 80,000, as many patients decided to hold off renewing their cards until January 2012 when the price for registering was to drop. Although the state did experience that drop last year, levels are slowing beginning to climb again. The number of registered patients had reached 98,910 by May of 2012 and though rising at a slow, continuous rate, it is expected to level off soon. State officials are not too concerned about the fluctuation, saying that this is expected in any new industry.

Ft. Collins To Re-Address Colorado Medical Marijuana Dispensary Issue

Staff CMM - Tuesday, August 14, 2012
As November nears, voters in Ft. Collins will most likely be asked to once again address the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. A pro-medical marijuana group in Ft. Collins has gathered nearly 9,000 signatures – approximately 4,786 more signatures than required, to place a measure on the November ballot asking that the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries be lifted. Last year, voters passed the ban by a 53 to 47% margin. One former dispensary owner feels this was not a true reflection of how the general population feels and believes that by placing the measure on the November ballot, the measure will stand a greater chance of success, since this is a Presidential voting year. Those opposed to medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado believe that dispensaries contribute to the growing number of drug users among the city’s youth. Spokespeople for citizens against the dispensaries go on to say that it isn’t the dispensary itself they oppose as much as what it represents.

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