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CU Officials Making Plans To Thwart 4/20 Rall

Staff CMM - Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The University of Colorado in Boulder has long been the site of one of the largest Colorado Marijuana rallies the state has known, but this year officials at the school are making plans to put a lid on the activities. The passing of Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana in Colorado has added fuel to a fire that officials have been battling for many years and the they fear the disruption to the school will be increasingly worse as time goes on. CU officials feel that the 4/20 smokeout sends a very bad message to young potential students that CU is not a place of research and learning, but a place to have unlimited access to drugs. Officials do not want the image of the school to be one that condones drug use. Instead, they would like for students researching colleges to consider CU as a place of good value, strong academics and a home to Nobel-prize winning scientists. Last year’s smokeout brought roughly 12,000 people, which created an enormous disruption to campus procedures. With this in mind, CU is planning to once again close the campus to visitors as well as shut down the Norlin quad, which is where the rally is normally staged.

Medical Marijuana In Boulder Gets ‘60 Minutes’ Spotlight

Staff CMM - Friday, July 13, 2012
In a segment that is scheduled to air this fall, 60 minutes interviewed Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett on the subject of medical marijuana in Colorado. Garnett commented during the piece that his emphasis is always on public safety. However, he doesn’t feel that involvement by the federal government is necessary. Garnett feels that the government should not be making medical marijuana a top priority due in part to the fact that dispensaries that operate within state and local laws are paying taxes just like any other business. Sixty Minutes is expected to interview several dispensary owners in Boulder, Colorado as well. Colorado was also recently in the headlines as a focal point for a National Geographic series entitled, ‘American Weed,’ which put the North Boulder Wellness Center in the spotlight.

U.S. Attorney’s Warning Results in Further Colorado Medical Marijuana Dispensary Closings

Staff CMM - Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The U.S. Attorney’s office and Drug Enforcement Administration, headed by U.S. Attorney John Walsh, has successfully closed another 25 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state of Colorado this month. Walsh sent letters of warning to the dispensaries stating that they were located within 1,000 feet of school property, which is a federal offense, and ordered them to close within 45 days or face potential civil and criminal prosecution. The first round of letters sent by the Attorney’s office to 23 dispensaries in Boulder, Colorado resulted in the closing of all 23 dispensaries. The second round of warning letters to 25 dispensaries resulted in all 25 dispensaries closing down. However, Walsh is not finished yet. A third round of letters is expected soon. Supporters of medical marijuana in Colorado fear that these actions by the U.S. Attorney’s office may have a seriously detrimental effect on the industry as a whole, not to mention the economy, as they believe medical marijuana is a viable business and source of revenue for the state.

Recent Raid On Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Colorado Causes Price Drop In Business Sale

Staff CMM - Tuesday, June 05, 2012
As the medical marijuana business in Colorado grows, it’s easy to assume that the price to buy an existing business will go up as well. However, it only takes one incident to cause the prices to plunge. Cannabis & Co., a Denver-based dispensary, was raided recently by local law officials and the owner was arrested as part of a sting operation. As a result, the dispensary was put up for sale at the low price of $129,000, which is less than half of the original listing price of $289,000. With such a low listing price, this dispensary has the potential to be a prime acquisition for an existing dispensary looking to expand. Many dispensary owners spent close to $100,000 just to comply with new state regulations. As the prices of dispensaries such as this one begin to drop, some fear this may signal a downturn in the overall medical marijuana market in Colorado, especially considering the recent action by the U.S. Attorney in shutting down many dispensaries in Boulder, Colorado. Supporters of medical marijuana in Colorado feel that these recent events may be enough to deter any would-be entrepreneurs from opening a medical marijuana business in Colorado in the near future.

Obama Visit Draws Attention From Colorado Medical Marijuana Industry

Staff CMM - Friday, June 01, 2012

During President Obama’s recent visit to Colorado, medical marijuana advocates turned out to voice their concerns regarding the federal government’s recent activities in shutting down many of Colorado’s medical marijuana businesses in Boulder, Colorado. The businesses were warned by U.S. Attorney John Walsh that they were within the 1,000 foot limit of schools and were ordered to move or be shut down. Many of the businesses shut down after the warning and supporters of medical marijuana in Colorado believe this effort by the government has had a detrimental effect on Colorado’s economy, potentially costing the state over1,000 jobs just as the state is struggling to recover from a recession. Advocates for medical marijuana in Colorado are asking the President to commit to protecting these jobs just as he would protect the jobs of any other industry, citing that medical marijuana is a legitimate business and should receive the same treatment as other businesses in the state.

Ever Changing Medical Marijuana Laws in Colorado Becoming Costly

Todd Davis - Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some medical marijuana dispensaries in Boulder are finding keeping in constant compliance with the ever-changing medical marijuana laws in the state as well as in the city itself to be rather exhausting. For many dispensary owners, they find themselves running ragged trying to keep paperwork updated and keep themselves up-to-date on any recent changes in law when they feel that energy could be better spent operating their business and servicing their customers. And it’s not only the paperwork. Many owners are finding themselves becoming further and further in debt due to fees owed to the state for various compliance regulations. Some dispensary owners who operate million dollar businesses are finding it less and less likely that they will actually pull in a paycheck of their own due to fees owed. The tough part is that paying those fees will not guarantee these dispensaries will still obtain a license for the next year. However, those dispensaries who have established themselves in the city are determined not to let themselves be driven out by the changing laws and will continue to do all they can to make their businesses continue.

Efforts to Link Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Crime Imprecise

Todd Davis - Friday, February 04, 2011

In a recent Denver police analysis completed late 2010 of the areas around marijuana dispensaries showed that the number of crimes in those neighborhoods dropped in the first nine months of 2010 compared with the same time period in 2009.  Similarly, a Denver Post analysis of crimes committed in the first 11 months of 2010 found that some Denver neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of dispensaries per capita saw bigger decreases in crime than areas with no dispensaries.

Even with this statistical data backing up claims that medical marijuana is not creating more crime, police are still not convinced.  “Across the state, we’re seeing an increase in crime related to dispensaries,” says Ernie Martinez, a Denver police detective who is president of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association.  Although the studies around medical marijuana dispensaries are not attempting to make claims that their presence is making neighborhoods safer, the decrease in crimes is difficult to attribute to any underlying factors.

In an attempt to rationalize with the police detective who may have access to more real life experiences than empirical data, there have been some documented crimes involving medical marijuana. Most notably, two robbers locked themselves in a dispensary while attempting to raid its contents.  Other similar robberies have taken place across the state, as have beatings, shootings, and suspected murders.  “[Marijuana dispensaries] are not taking away the underground empire of criminality,” Detective Martinez said of medical marijuana’s legitimization.

In another account solidifying the claim that there is not enough evidence to prove dispensaries can be associated with crime, a police representative explains the rational. Sgt. Steve Noblitt, a Colorado Springs police spokesman, said comparing pre- and post-dispensary crime is complicated.  Given the youth most of the dispensaries are accustomed, it is difficult to compare previous crime rates to current in an effort to find some sort of accurate correlation.  “We haven’t done an analysis because we don’t know what to compare it to.” This testimonial best sums up the claims on both sides of the argument that any suggestion as to whether or not these dispensaries are creating crime is evident.  Therefore this evidence or lack thereof suggests that further studies must be conducted and these dispensaries are to continue to be legal parts of communities until proven to be crime contributors.

Competition Grows Skepticism

Todd Davis - Monday, May 31, 2010

Currently, much of the debate surrounding medicinal marijuana in Colorado pertains to the questionable motive of the industry; is it really about medical purposes or is it about pure legalization? Recent occurrences such as the 420 rally in Boulder and The Denver Cannabis Cup have created a larger rift among an already polarized public. Many skeptics view such rallies as an excuse for “non medical users” to take advantage of the current legal atmosphere and use it as an excuse to get high and blow smoke in the face of the public. According to many marijuana message boards and blog sites, this perception is shared among opponents and advocates alike; a sure sign that blatant celebration may not work in favor of legal cannabis in Colorado. Soon, card holders are planning an invite only bong-a-thon smoking completion. As entertaining as this may sound, it is certainly raising eyebrows around the industry. A gluttony competition seems a little flamboyant and certainly raises questions about the motives of the industry as a whole. Truth be told, legalization might very well be the best scenario for cannabis as it could help the economy, create jobs, create tax revenue, et cetera. Organizing gluttony events and arrogantly showcasing marijuana to the public could be counterproductive as legalization will require an accepting voting population.    

Medical Marijuana in Colorado May Take Lead from California Legal Loopholes, Part One

Todd Davis - Monday, November 02, 2009

In Colorado, medical marijuana is just beginning to see a small amount of growth. In California, this growth has already gotten out of control. In 2003, only a handful of dispensaries existed, but thanks to a legal loophole known as a hardship exemption, that number jumped to 183 by 2007. This loophole has allowed dispensaries to open with hardly any paperwork or permits. According to officials, nearly 600 California dispensaries took advantage of the loophole. In order for Colorado to keep from following in California’s footsteps, action will have to be taken to ensure that such loopholes do not exist under Colorado state law. Some shop owners in California have learned how to manipulate the loophole to well that they have been able to make setting up medical marijuana dispensaries almost a turn-key business. For lawmakers, stricter regulations will be essential to ensure that stores cannot simply open anywhere, especially near schools. Strict regulations are imperative in keeping medical marijuana purely for medical use.

Boulder Celebrates International Cannabis Day

Todd Davis - Saturday, August 08, 2009

A crowd of approximately 10,000 people gathered recently at the University of Colorado to celebrate the use of both Boulder medical marijuana and the overall use of marijuana. As more states are beginning to legalize medical marijuana, Colorado and other states are beginning to see more and more rallies to support overall legalization of the drug.

The Boulder rally, knows as International Cannabis Day, was also celebrated in Civic Center Park in Denver with approximately 3,000 people gathering together to show support. Police were stationed at the events to ensure public safety, but no arrests were made. The holiday has gained attention over the last several years as issues of medical marijuana use have been put more and more in the spotlight.

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