Staff CMM - Tuesday, December 18, 2012
When Colorado passed its first medical marijuana laws in November 2000, law enforcement officials saw a rise in the number of impaired drivers. Now with the passing of Amendment 64, officials are expecting the number of impaired drivers to increase even more. Driving under the influence of marijuana can cause dizziness, slowed reaction time and drivers are more inclined to drift and swerve, making it dangerous to be on the road. As of yet, there has been no consensus about the standard rate of THC impairment, which means that the development of a roadside test much like they do for alcohol has not yet been successfully integrated. Different states have different laws when it comes to acceptable limits of THC. Although five nanograms seems to be the standard, lawmakers in Colorado have tried and failed three times to set a THC driving limit owing mainly to the fact that the Colorado legalization measure didn’t set a standard when written. Lawmakers in Colorado are prepared to reconvene on the issue in the coming year as the availability of the drug increases in the state.
Staff CMM - Friday, October 26, 2012
The function of using middle men to perform transactions between two individuals or operations is common practice. However, when it comes to medical marijuana sales in Colorado, their function has been anything but clear up to this point. Recently, attorney Sean McAllister sought to get more clarification of the rules on behalf of his clients by petitioning MMED Direction Laura Harris. Harris’ response to McAllister’s request finally shed some light on what has been a very grey area by informing McAllister that Colorado state law dictates only persons who have a direct interest, i.e., owners of medical marijuana dispensaries with a license to buy or sell medical marijuana in Colorado are allowed to make transactions involving the drug. Those who do not fit this criteria are not allowed to perform transactions of any kind nor receive commissions for doing so.
Staff CMM - Friday, October 12, 2012
It seems as though Colorado medical marijuana laws have made illegal activity surrounding the drug a much easier thing as of late. Along with the record busts in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, Colorado law enforcement is finding it harder and harder to keep up with the increased amount of illegal marijuana activity in the state. Instead of a bust here and there of a couple pounds, it has now become almost a common occurrence to make a bust of several hundred pounds along with firearms and other illegal drugs. Law enforcement officials in Ft. Collins recently arrested two individuals for using a greenhouse to grow 375 pounds of marijuana. The individuals were also found with 22 ounces of hash, prescription drugs, six rifles and a hand gun. The suspects were charged with marijuana possession, possession with the intent to distribute and cultivation of marijuana. It seems as though these increasing incidents are only serving to strengthen the opposition to the drug’s presence in the state.
Staff CMM - Monday, October 01, 2012
Many medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado work hard to provide a legitimate service to patients in Colorado, but as with anything, a few bad seeds tend to spoil what others are working so hard to achieve. Eleven people connected with The Silver Lizard dispensary in Denver were accused recently of illegally funneling the drug to other states for distribution. The eleven people face a 59-count indictment for charges of racketeering and marijuana distribution and if found guilty, the defendants face sentences ranging eight to 24 years. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers stated the defendants are accused of illegally distributing marijuana to 13 other states and Washington, D.C. In a recent statement, Suthers opposed Colorado’s medical marijuana laws. Suthers claimed that due to these laws, Colorado is becoming a major exporter of marijuana to the rest of the country.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Problems continue to arise when it comes to the issue of medical marijuana legality in Colorado. With conflicting state and federal laws, officials are finding it difficult to sort out the proper legal stance when it comes to prosecution. The government position has been that marijuana is an illegal drug punishable under federal law. However, it has also been further clarified by David Ogden, a previous Deputy Attorney General of the United States in a memorandum sent to select U.S. Attorneys that they should not focus federal resources in their state on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medicinal use of marijuana. The issue that many have been running into is that the memo does not legalize marijuana nor does it protect users of the drug from federal prosecution. Exactly where the right or wrong areas are in this matter is still in question.
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 17, 2012
As the subject of medical marijuana in Colorado gains momentum, political figures are finding it more difficult to walk both sides of the fence and are being forced to choose a platform of either being pro medical marijuana or being against it and risk losing votes either way. President Obama is finding his stance on the subject particularly precarious as he is forced to comply with federal laws and back them without compromise. Although the state of Colorado has passed a law making medical marijuana possession legal, marijuana is still considered an illegal substance, punishable under federal laws. President Obama had made an earlier statement on the subject, saying they were not going to prioritize prosecutions of people using the drug. However, this statement preceded action by the U.S. District Attorney’s office to shut down 47 dispensaries in the state of Colorado. Some believe this goes against what President Obama promised in the beginning and these actions may hurt his chances for obtaining votes in the state.
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.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Although Colorado state law dictates that patients in nursing homes are allowed to use medical marijuana for eight specific conditions, many nursing homes are hesitant to take the risk of allowing and/or administering it to their patients since the substance is still considered illegal under federal law. Many long-term care facilities in the state would prefer to play it safe and follow federal law rather than taking any chances. Some facilities such as North Star Rehabilitation & Care Community are taking a zero tolerance stance when it comes to medical marijuana and state their policy clearly during the admission process. As the facility views it, the nurses would be responsible for administering the marijuana and that would place them in a liability situation that the facilities would rather avoid. There are other facilities, however, who take a more lenient stance on the subject. Sunrise at Cherry Creek views medical marijuana much as any other medication, but states clearly that the medical marijuana must be ingested either in pill form or baked into food. Walking the fine line between state and federal laws has put some nursing homes in a tough spot and many are simply choosing to err on the side of caution and ban the substance from their facility altogether.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Conflicts between state and federal offices have been spurred on by the recent distribution of letters from the U.S. Attorney’s office to medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado demanding that all dispensaries closer than 1,000 feet of school properties must be closed within 45 days or face prosecution. Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett has sent the U.S. District Attorney John Walsh a letter this month urging him to back away from enforcement issues against Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries, although the specific reasoning for the letter was not disclosed. Walsh responded by stating that enforcing federal laws to protect children from drug abuse is a core responsibility for his office and will remain so, as enforcing federal laws against selling marijuana near schools is a legitimate use of his office’s resources. Although Colorado law allows limited usage of marijuana for various medical reasons, marijuana is still considered an illegal drug under federal laws.