The Colorado Senate has taken strides toward approving a bill to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries with only days left in the state's 2010 legislative session. Senator Chris Romer, the Denver Democrat who at times faced harsh criticism from pro-medicinal-pot critics, takes an old Grateful Dead reference and makes it his own: "This has been a long, strange trip," he says, according to The Denver Post. House Bill 1284, adopted by the Senate on second reading yesterday, would require all dispensaries in the state to possess local and state licenses and to pay fees that could cost tens of thousands of dollars. People convicted of drug felonies and those who haven't been residents of Colorado for at least two years, among others, would be barred from owning dispensaries, which would additionally be required to show that they grow 70 percent of all the marijuana they sell. Moreover, if local officials don't like dispensaries, they would be allowed to simply ban them. Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado found lots to criticize: "It will have protection under state law for these dispensaries, so patients can access medical marijuana; however, the state has created a giant bureaucracy to oversee this, and in doing so, they may destroy some of the small businesses that are actually helping patients right now" (via Fox 31). Meanwhile, Jessica Peck Corry, a conservative lawyer and medical marijuana advocate, has launched a new organization, called the Women's Marijuana Movement, that seeks to combat what it deems misinformation about marijuana. Lawmakers also touched on the issue of alcohol in separate legislation, once again refusing to allow beer, wine, and liquor to be sold in grocery stores---although a ballot measure might yet bring this issue to voters, according to the Post
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