State of the state
It's time to have "The Talk." This relationship between us and medical marijuana: Where's it going?
If you ask the state's Grand Old Party, it's time to break up. Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down a proposal from Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, to ban dispensaries outright. Later, in what can only be described as "pure bullshit," Renfroe sent out a release saying, "Citizens don't want dispensaries ..."
Now, if you ask Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, it's time to take a break. He estimates his proposed legislation to require dispensary owners to pay exorbitant licensing fees and grow 70 percent of its own product would result in the closure of 80 percent of existing dispensaries.
And if you ask Brian Vicente of advocacy group Sensible Colorado, as Westword did, it's time to figure out what time it is.
"It's really been a roller coaster, trying to follow where the [bill's] sponsors are trying to go with this," Vicente says.
Either way, the Legislature adjourns Wednesday, May 12, and last-minute measures are sure to be attempted; check the IndyBlog and this space for more.
The legislative turmoil is causing some angst in Colorado Springs. City Councilor Sean Paige would like to see the Springs move with its draft ordinance, which would ban on-premise consumption and require a 200-foot buffer between a dispensary and a school, among other measures.
"After quick work by the [Colorado Springs Medical Marijuana] Task Force, they've all gotten bogged down in city bureaucracy," Paige says. "I think we're progressing a lot slower than I would have liked."
This was news to Deputy City Attorney Wynetta Massey, who had previously described the process of working with the Task Force as "very collaborative."
"I'm not aware of a staff roadblock," Massey says. "These are not easy topics — what's going to ultimately be contained in that draft changes every day with the changes to the legislation that's winding through the State House.
"It's not easy, but we are continuing to work on it. And I think we've been pretty diligent, but that's just my opinion."
Rocky Mountain Herbal Health Center (434 S. McCulloch Blvd., #1, Pueblo West, 719/562-0420) has opened and is offering at least 10 strains, plus delivery. Other items include customizable edibles and massage services, as well as $40 eighths on Tuesdays. Find it on the calendar at csindy.com under the "Locations" tab (under Shops & Services / MMJ Dispensaries) for more.