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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.

Celebrities Jump On Marijuana Bandwagon

Todd Davis - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If celebrities in the U.S. get their way, Colorado medical marijuana growers could possibly see a boost in sales. Pushing for marijuana legalization is Mexican singer and guitar player Carlos Santana, who stated that legalization of the drug would offer more opportunities for the country to divert funds currently used to prevent marijuana use to more needy programs such as teachers and education. During a recent online town hall meeting, President Obama said he did not think the legalization of marijuana was good economic policy. Celebrities such as Santana continue to advocate for the drug’s legalization in the country.

Access to Medical Marijuana in Colorado Still Difficult

Todd Davis - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The use of medical marijuana in Colorado, while legal, still poses problems for people who have been recommended by doctors to use the drug to manage pain caused by accidents or long-term illnesses such as cancer or AIDS. Access to the drug remains difficult, since most users reside on the western slope and travel to dispensaries on the Front Range is hard for some who are too sick to travel or grow their own.

In 2000, Colorado voters passed an amendment to allow patients who were recommended by a doctor to possess less than two ounces or grow up to six plants to help with the management of pain. Although doctors are allowed to recommend patients to the State Health Department, they are not able to prescribe medical marijuana in Colorado. With over 5,000 registered medical marijuana users in the state, getting from the recommendation to the actual product has been a difficult process.

New Administration Brings Glimmer of Hope For Medical Marijuana Growers

Todd Davis - Saturday, August 08, 2009

Although Colorado medical marijuana laws may eventually fall under the same scrutiny as other states across the nation, for the time being medical marijuana dispensaries remain safe from the prospect of raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

As directed by Attorney General Eric Holder, federal agents will concentrate their efforts mainly on distributors who violate both state and federal laws. Medical marijuana growers adhering to state laws will not be a priority of the new administration. This is a step away from the policies of the old Presidential administration which tended to target all medical marijuana growers.

Medical Marijuana in Colorado Still a Subject of Controversy

Todd Davis - Saturday, August 08, 2009

Although a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution has deemed medical marijuana in Colorado legal, conflicts still arise. The City of Ft. Collins refused to pay a couple’s claim for over $200,000 after plants that were seized in a raid were left to rot and die.

The confiscated plants were returned to the couple over a year later when a judge ruled that the couple qualified as Colorado medical marijuana growers. The claim was later filed by the couple who stated the plants were dry, dead and moldy, but the Police claim they were not required to keep them alive because the couple did not have the proper permits. According to the couple’s attorney a civil suit will probably be filed in state court in an attempt to force the city to pay for the damages.

Medical Marijuana Use Bodes Ill for Prom Night

Todd Davis - Saturday, August 08, 2009

Medical marijuana in Colorado has found another roadblock. A young Brighton High School student and her boyfriend, who is not a Brighton High School student, were denied access into the Wings Over The Rockies Museum in Denver, where Brighton High’s prom was being held.

According to police officers on duty, there was a prominent marijuana smell present, although searching provided no results. Jason Schweinsberg, who was attending the prom with Brighton High student Sarah Heideman, states he is registered as a Colorado medical marijuana user to manage long-term pain caused by a car crash, but had not used the marijuana since early that morning. Although marijuana use in Colorado is illegal, medical marijuana use is legal for registered users.

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