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CannaBiz: MMJ advocate leaving



Cause without a rebel

The weather in Seminole, Fla., this Saturday should be in the high 80s with isolated thunderstorms. Mary McNeely can't wait.

"I've always wanted to live on the beach," she says, with a laugh.

A mainstay of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, McNeely, 31, and her husband are heading for Southern waters this weekend to help Florida pursue its own medical marijuana initiative, recently proposed by a state representative.

So with the Peak in the rearview, any lessons for the folks at home?

"I think the biggest weakness that the industry here faces is voting. I think that they don't understand how much of an impact the number of patients and support business here could have if everybody would actually get together and vote," McNeely says. "My husband was the treasurer on Tom Gallagher's [failed mayoral] campaign, and I know we didn't have the voter turnout we should've. But [the industry] could be a strong force if they could band together and do that."

The eyes have it

The most interesting thing that came out of Tuesday's meeting of the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners wasn't the alignment of county medical marijuana regulations with recently passed state laws, because that didn't happen: The action was pushed to May 31, for further review by the board. (The public is welcome to attend.)

No, it was Sheriff Terry Maketa's small look at what the video surveillance systems built into each center are capable of. Saying that the systems are fairly secure, and enjoy the support of a legitimacy-seeking industry, Maketa added: "One of the features I like, that currently exists: Once an alarm is tripped, we have access to those cameras in our dispatch center, so they have 'eyes on' as our cars are en route."

Keef crumbs

• On Monday, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis filed suit against the federal government in an attempt to compel the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to answer a nine-year-old petition requesting that cannabis be removed from the Schedule I (most dangerous illegal drugs) list.

• MMJ hasn't gone anywhere, and neither have the folks who wish it would. A group of Fort Collins citizens, led by Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, is attempting to collect the 4,214 signatures needed by July 19 to put a dispensary and grow-operations ban on November's ballot, reports the Coloradoan. Similar work is afoot in Longmont, Steamboat Springs and Garfield County. Even tiny Fruita had its City Council direct staff last week to draw up a ballot question.

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