The Queen of the Plains and the capital of the Rocky Mountain Empire is about to become the headquarters of medical marijuana distribution. More than 500 dispensaries have sales tax licenses in Denver. All of Los Angeles has limited licenses to 70 sites. The entire state is dealing with the issue. Already, there are 23,000 Colorado applicants, up from 4,700 in 2008.
Colorado is one of a number of western states that have active pro-marijuana lobbies, permissible ballot procedures and sympathetic electorates that have adopted medical marijuana ballot issues.
One mid-western state, Michigan, allows use, along with several New England states (Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island – New Jersey and DC are pending).
Because of federal restrictions, most states had no real regime for sale and distribution. Once the Obama administration announced it would stop enforcement of federal law, a commercial rush to distribute marijuana for allegedly medicinal purposes began. The public is shocked by the abuse of the law by irresponsible physicians and the apparent inability of legislators to address the issue.
Politicians should not confuse the public’s desire to allow medicinal use, and even to not make marijuana criminal enforcement a high priority (in Denver) with the desire to see large-scale wholesale distribution with multiple sites, including in their neighborhood.
(See Denver Post article)