February 4 2010, 10:17 AM
Medical marijuana is the big story once again at the Capitol, where yet-to-be-introduced legislation could ban any new medical marijuana dispensaries in the state from opening until July 2011, while forcing existing establishments to meet strict regulations (via 7News). It will be the second major marijuana bill this year sponsored, in part, by Senator Chris Romer, a Denver Democrat, although the legislation's primary sponsor is Representative Tom Massey (left), a Poncha Springs Republican. The 45-page bill would also require most dispensaries to register with the state as nonprofits, making them "health centers." Cities then could decide if they want to ban the centers outright, according to 9News. Medical marijuana advocates aren't taking this one lightly. In response, Sensible Colorado is planning to file a statewide ballot initiative "to let voters establish regulations kinder to the medical marijuana industry than those likely to be passed by legislators," writes Westword.