Pubdate: Fri, 07 May 2010
Source: Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO)
Copyright: 2010 The Gazette
Author: Bill Moss


It looks like one of the hotly debated issues in the  Colorado 
General Assembly this month will be medical  marijuana. According to 
news report Senator Chris Romer  of Denver is leading the charge to 
highly (over)  regulate growers and dispensaries. He claims there 
are  too many dispensaries and a criminal element in the  business. 
He first proposed charging dispensaries a fee  between $10,000 and 
$35,000. "To get the thugs and the  knuckleheads out of the 
business." Now he has lowered  that fee to between $7,500 and 
$18,000. He wants to  weed out operators who may have criminal ties.

How about requiring a background check for growers,  dispensary 
owners and their employees? If someone has a  felony conviction they 
would not be allowed to own a  business or work in the industry. The 
fee should be  similar to fees charge for background checks for other 
purposes. Not so high as to put someone out of  business.

If he and has followers think there are too many  dispensaries it 
would appear they have never heard of  our free enterprise system. 
Or, they have been talking  to too many lobbyists from big 
pharmaceutical companies  and the large medical marijuana 
dispensaries that can't handle the competition. This is not an area 
for  government. Let the free market system work.

The Generally Assembly and Governor have passed to 
many  anti-business laws and taxes already this year. We  don't need 
any more. And, if someone is against the  medical marijuana industry 
they should be careful. What  about restaurants that serve food high 
in fat, salt and sugar? Are they next to be taxed and regulated out 
of  business?

Dispensaries should be located in commercially zoned  areas that 
allow businesses like restaurants, grocery  stores, retail stores, 
etc. The growing operations  should be in enclosed facilities. I have 
read where  some people think growing should only be allowed in 
agricultural areas. That sounds reasonable, but be  careful. That 
vegetable and herb garden in your  backyard might be considered an 
agricultural operation.

Bill Moss

Colorado Springs
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