Pueblo County passes pot
The county and city of Pueblo split ways last week when the county licensed its second medical marijuana center. Unlike the city, which last year passed zoning regulations that essentially make it impossible for a center to open within city limits, the county expects to license six centers total, says Commissioner John Cordova.
"There used to be 17, but what happened to the other 11 I have no idea," he says. "But we sort of expected that; you know, it was a flurry when we first started thinking about it."
Cordova and Commissioner Anthony Nuñez have been leading the local charge for MMJ (with third commissioner Jeff Chostner recusing himself due to his current campaign for Pueblo district attorney), and it's for the reason you would hope.
"Somebody brought me a picture the other day about this individual that had huge tumors on his head, on his scalp, and they've been treating it with a tar made from medical marijuana; and [the tumors are] reducing to the fact they almost look like they're gone," Cordova says. He adds, "There's always gonna be abuse of some kind, and I don't think we can punish the people that actually need it — and there is a medical benefit for — just because somebody chooses to abuse it."
The commissioner says Pueblo County has only recently taken action because it was waiting to see what developed at the state level. So far, it has collected roughly $70,000 in related fees.
Moving MMJ money
As we report in a news story here, Colorado Reps. Beth McCann and Tom Massey are throwing a lifeline to the foundering Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division in the form of a bill introduced last week that transfers almost $8 million into the MMED's nearly empty coffers. What's not mentioned in that story is what else is included.
"Part of the bill is to put $2 million into a fund that's in the Department of Public Health that deals with youth and prevention programs," said McCann in a recent phone conversation with the Indy. "So, trying to use some of that money to help kids, as they grow up, learn good behavior patterns."
The representative from Denver has since told Westword that she isn't insinuating MMJ patients are substance abusers, "but there have been concerns that the dispensaries make marijuana more accessible for the young people."
Westword also reports that the state bill limiting how much THC can be in a driver's blood has been stripped of its zero-tolerance policy toward other Schedule I or II substances, making it essentially the same bill that failed in the Legislature last year. Read more at tinyurl.com/thcmmj.