Staff CMM - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The issue of whether or not marijuana in Colorado should become legal has now spilled into mainstream politics with a fervor and only seems to be picking up speed. Candidates from both sides are working hard to make their opinions known, even going so far as to stand on the steps of the state capitol to hand out flyers. Republicans seem to be pulling ahead as far as favoritism for the bill, while Conservatives and Democrats are showing a stronger preference toward opposing the bill. In Colorado Springs, which has a larger Republican population than any other city in the state, activists stood outside Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan’s rally handing out flyers to inform passing Republicans, stating legalization would be fiscally prudent as it would be able to be taxed, regulated and monitored by the state. Democrats in opposition feel legalization will pose a threat to future generations and feel the bill is not in the best interest of children.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, October 10, 2012
November is rapidly approaching and when it arrives, voters will be making a choice about amending the law in Colorado regarding marijuana and its legality. Amendment 64 has been a hot topic of discussion amongst both sides and now it will be up to Colorado citizens to decide its fate. Amendment 64 is a bill proposing to make possession of limited amounts of marijuana legal to adults in the state. Those for the bill feel by legalizing the drug, the state will benefit from taxes collected and will still be able to regulate it at the same time. Supporters feel this will open new avenues for the economy and reduce illegal black market activity. Those who are against the bill feel that the legalization of marijuana will lead to heavier teen drug abuse. Those opposing the bill also feel that illegal drug trafficking will not stop with legalization in the state and are concerned about the negative overtones legalizing the drug could have on the state’s reputation.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Finding some sort of common ground concerning medical marijuana in Colorado is becoming a harder task as new issues continue to come to light. The battle between what is considered legal by the state and what is considered legal under federal law is proving to be tougher than first anticipated. Recently, a dispute between marijuana grower Quincy Haeberle and Blue Sky Car Connection found its way to court where Arapahoe County District Judge Charles Pratt was forced to invalidate a $40,000 contract. Pratt stated that although Colorado has passed laws legalizing the drug, it is still considered illegal under federal law and as marijuana is considered illegal, federal law pre-empts state law, making the contract invalid.
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.
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.
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.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Oregon may soon join other states such as California and Colorado by legalizing marijuana for medical use. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act has shown nearly twice the required amount of signatures it requires in order to make its way onto the ballot in November of 2012. Known as Initiative 9, the Tax Act will regulate cannabis not only for adult use, but will also license it for commercial sale. Farmers will see a definite benefit as it will allow them to grow it for biofuel, medicine, sustainable fiber and food uses. Although the Tax Act required at least 87,213 signatures in order to make it to the ballot, the Tax Act was turned in to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office with approximately 167,845 signatures, showing the large support group the Tax Act has in Oregon. The state will have 30 days to determine if enough of the signatures are valid to qualify the Tax Act for the ballot in November.
Staff CMM - Friday, July 20, 2012
When it comes to medical marijuana, Denver people are usually familiar with the billboards, banners and sign twirlers around the city promoting half-priced joints, cheap ounces and various edible products at a number of dispensaries and most people are also aware that many of these ads are targeting the type of crowd that has become stereotypical of marijuana use – the ‘stoners,’ rather than targeting the medical patients. Ads using words such as ‘kush’ and ‘420’ and promoting rock bottom prices and freebies have become the norm. Ads targeted toward the medical side of marijuana in Colorado are virtually non-existent and this has raised many issues and questions in the community about whether medical marijuana ads should be banned altogether. Many feel the marijuana ads do not promote its medical uses, but rather targets the ‘stoner’ community. If medical marijuana ads are banned because of a poor choice of advertising tactics, the medical marijuana community will have to rethink its marketing strategies entirely and perhaps turn their focus toward the internet community instead.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, July 10, 2012
As Amendment 64 gains strength, more and more opposition is gaining strength as well. Members of groups from both sides of the subject are voicing louder concerns about whether to make marijuana in Colorado legal. A citizen group called Smart Colorado has begun the attempt to enlist the help of the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, to put a stop to Amendment 64. The Amendment, if passed, would allow adults in the state of Colorado to possess up to one ounce legally of the substance without fear of legal action by the state. Smart Colorado members are urging Holder to aggressively oppose the measure, stating that many citizens are unaware of the serious legal and policy implications of passing such a law. Members of groups who are in support of Amendment 64 are saying that involvement by Holder is unnecessary and just an attempt by a group of law officials to interfere with Colorado’s business industry.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, July 03, 2012
As the Presidential election draws nearer, candidates from various places are beginning to focus in on some of the more hot topics for debate, the most recent one being the medical marijuana industry and whether it should be regulated like alcohol. Libertarian Presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, visited a Denver dispensary recently to voice his support for Amendment 64 in Colorado. The proposed Amendment would allow people 21 years of age and over to possess limited amounts of marijuana and would also allow marijuana sales to be taxed as any other product. The biggest hitch that states such as Colorado are running into is that even though medical marijuana has been deemed legal under state laws, there are still federal laws to contend with. Under federal law, marijuana possession of any kind is illegal and though people may have limited protection by state law, they are not protected under federal law. Presidential nominee Johnson claims that if he is elected President, he would see to it that any medical marijuana businesses operating within local and state laws would not have to worry about being shut down by federal prosecutors.