Colorado

Feb 5, 2010 4:19 PM by Greg Boyce

AG Suthers weighs in on marijuana legislation

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers went on record Friday, "vehemently opposing" any legislation that embraces a medical marijuana system that uses clinics or dispensaries to distribute medical marijuana.

Suthers says Amendment 20, passed by the voters of Colorado in 2000 allowed patients to grow and possess small amounts of marijuana for themselves.  He wrote that even proponents of Amendment 20 did not believe it allowed for commercial sale of marijuana, nor commercial clinics and dispensaries.

Suthers noted only about 1,600 patients used medical marijuana in Colorado until 2008, then the number exploded last year.  He projected it will reach 100,000 soon.

Suthers says passing legislation that allows clinics and dispensaries to distribute medical marijuana will go far beyond the intent of the voters back in 2000 and he believes have adverse social ramifications.

Medical marijuana advocates are prepared to go to the ballot if they think lawmakers go too far in limiting access to the drug.  Thursday activists filed a ballot initiative that would bar lawmakers from limiting the number of patients a dispensary can serve. It would also stop cities and counties from passing an
outright ban on dispensaries, something which could be allowed under a new dispensary regulation bill.

Sensible Colorado, a medical marijuana patients' group, is organizing the effort.

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