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The Red-Tape War on Medical Marijuana

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Medical marijuanaPoliticians around Colorado—from Pueblo to Grand Junction—are cracking down on the proliferation of the dispensaries that distribute legal medical marijuana. Their weapon: red tape. A state legislator is exploring ways to slow the spread of such operations, but Pueblo’s city council is leading the charge. Last night, the council there voted unanimously for a 90-day moratorium on licensing dispensaries following a lengthy hearing, according to the Chieftain, as the city looks at a variety of ordinances to regulate how marijuana may be distributed to patients. In Denver, Councilman Charlie Brown is pushing for much the same: a new licensing system similar to that of bars and nightclubs, and outright bans on dispensaries near schools. “I think it’s out of control here,” Brown tells The Denver Post. “We need to play catch-up here. It’s become Wild West, baby.” There could be as many as 100 dispensaries in the state. As for the estimated 20 in Boulder, officials are proposing sweeping regulations—or perhaps an outright ban, according to the Camera. In Grand Junction, city leaders are mulling a one-year moratorium on licensing and permitting of dispensaries or any “primary caregiver” in order to have time to craft regulations, reports the Grand Junction Free Press. And in Colorado Springs, police and prosecutors are accused of pursuing patients and caregivers, writes the Gazette. Meanwhile, Westword is reporting the Colorado Board of Health has called an Emergency Rulemaking Hearing this morning in what medical-marijuana advocates are calling an effort to “weaken” the state’s law.

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