May-be too much?
Some folks accuse District Attorney Dan May of cherry-picking facts and stats, often unrelated to medical marijuana, to manufacture his very public case against centers. Others feel he's simply and rightly highlighting need-to-know cases of marijuana-induced harm.
Either way, it prompts a question: Should the district attorney, whose chief job is law enforcement — not creation — be filling this role? For thoughts on May's approach, we made a few calls.
Deborah Cantrell, previously of Yale Law School and now associate professor of legal ethics at the University of Colorado at Boulder Law School, says she hasn't followed Colorado Springs developments closely enough to opine on May specifically. From her perspective: "We want our DA to be representative, right? That's the real question. When we elect a DA, we're saying that person is a representative of a certain constituency, and we want that person to act on behalf of the constituency."
Stan Garnett, Boulder County DA and Democratic state attorney general candidate: "I think Dan is a pretty shrewd guy who has a feel for the pulse of the El Paso County community, so he will make decisions like every district attorney makes about when and how to get involved in an issue like this."
Colorado Senate Majority Leader John Morse, Democrat from Colorado Springs: "I would say that [his public stance] is unusual. There are 22 or so district attorneys throughout the state, and I'd be willing to bet that he's the one that's out front in his area. I think most of the rest of them are not taking the same approach that he is. It's just then up to the voters to hold him accountable when the time comes, if they choose to."
Meals on Wheels, meet the MDARX, a 31-foot-long re-purposed 1968 Airstream trailer bringing "highly qualified doctors to the patients themselves," as described in a news release.
The program comes courtesy of Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of the Rockies (mmapr.org), founded in 2009 by real estate investor Vincent Palazzotto. Besides being the acronym-lovingest bunch this side of the BOEMRE (that's the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement), MMAPR says its goal is to provide free medical evaluations to 30 indigent patients per month, as well as discounted evals to others.
"The patient was kind of being left out of the equation. In fact, I saw that the patient was being squeezed," says Palazzotto in the release. "There was no room. There were no patient stories."
For help from the Denver-based organization, visit its website or call 303/386-4001.
Let us (watch you) meet
The first meeting of the Department of Revenue's rule-making workgroup gets under way at 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 27 at the Gaming Conference Room, 1881 Pierce St., in Lakewood. The public is invited to "attend and observe the discussion," says the department's website, though there will be an opportunity for public comment from 1 to 3 p.m. at the same location, jointly hosted by DOR and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The workgroup, which aims to add specificity to some of House Bill 1284's guidelines, came under fire when it originally planned to hold closed sessions. In response, the DOR changed the structure, and pushed out the date to give the public sufficient notice.
Either way, senior director of enforcement Matt Cook told the Independent at the time that secrecy was never the point.
"I don't have any problem with it at all," he said a few weeks ago. "I just want to try and create a forum where we can get some things done — that's the critical part."
• On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Bill Ritter will be transferring $9 million out of the Medical Marijuana Program Cash Fund to help close a $60 million shortfall in the state's budget.
"I was not in favor of medical marijuana, but I'm also a lawyer and the governor," Ritter reportedly said, "and I believe in the law. And it's the law in this state."
The fund is the accumulation of the $90 application fees charged by the state to each patient, and is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Spokesman Mark Salley says the state Legislature has previously designated the fund as available to help balance the state's budget, and that the money does not need to be repaid.
• Near the corner of West Fillmore Street and North Cascade Avenue lies A-Wellness Centers (2918 Wood Ave., awellnesscenters.com), where you can find $10 grams, $35 eighths and $5 Keef Colas, "which is pretty cheap, I hear," says manager Tracie Willis. Massage will be offered in the future, but in the meantime look for clones, rubbing oils, healing salves and smoking accessories.
And what should you try?
"The Pot of Gold," says Willis. "It's indica-dominant. It's pretty good, because it makes you feel relaxed and you can still function, so it's got the good sativa high in there, too."
Send MMJ news to firstname.lastname@example.org.