Pot Shots: More Local Governments Consider Banning Medical Marijuana, While Advocates Chart a Course Toward Legalization

May 20 2011, 10:47 AM

After a review of court cases dating back to 2008, the Denver Post concludes that a recent message from U.S. Attorney John Walsh (that "the department would consider civil actions and criminal prosecution regarding those who set up marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries") may have been an empty threat: Federal officials aren't cracking down on medical marijuana in Colorado now any more than they have in the past three years.

But perhaps the portent was enough: Local governments and loyal law enforcement officials around the state are taking action themselves, with some saying they fear being out of compliance with federal law (Post Independent).

Longmont, Fort Collins, Steamboat Springs, and Garfield County are the latest to consider jumping on the MMJ "ban"-wagon, joining dozens of other Colorado cities and counties in their condemnation of medicinal ganja. While not all are considering outright bans on every type of business, new regulations will likely have a major impact on already-operating dispensary owners (Steamboat Today), a reality not lost on the editorial board of the Longmont Times-Call.

But the feds haven't scared some advocacy groups from pushing to legalize private marijuana use, possession of up to an ounce, retail sales, and the ability to grow as many as six plants. Their intent is to put an initiative on the 2012 state ballot, and they've filed a total of eight versions "so that supporters can see which of them contains language that will pass the state's Title Setting Review Board" (Post).