Welcome to joe the stoner's blog ~ An American Pothead from Boulder, CO


....as an American Pothead it is my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - My life as a stoner, the liberty to enjoy my life in this fashion, and the pursuit of happiness to enjoy smoking without having the fear of Federal Agents busting the door down just for smoking a bud or having a few plants for personal, recreational, medicinal or pleasurable use.....
~ Joe the Stoner

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Denver enacts new pot shop rules

DENVER - In front of a packed audience of medical marijuana supporters and opponents Monday evening, the Denver City Council voted unanimously to enact new restrictions on where pot dispensaries can operate, and who can own them.

In a 13-0 vote, council members voted to restrict dispensaries from operating with 1000 feet of each other, schools and child care centers. The new ordinance also denies people convicted of felonies within five years from obtaining a license to operate a dispensary, and also bars on-site consumption of marijuana.

Dispensary owners will have to pass a criminal background check, pay a $2,000 application fee, and pay $3,000 a year to renew licenses. The new rules will likely result in the closure of several dozen medical marijuana dispensaries which are already open for business.

Prior to the vote, the council heard public comments from both sides of the issue. Some 92 people signed up to speak.

"The whole country and many parts of the world are intensely watching Colorado. What we do here will effectively change the course of American history," said one man who opposes the new restrictions.

Many argued that Denver voters have repeatedly spoken on this issue, and have approved medical marijuana sales and possession in several elections.

"The council's haste and its arrogant disregard for the will of its constituents is completely unacceptable," one opponent told council members. "This is still a civil rights issue, a human rights issues, and it's a health issue, not a criminal issue," another shouted.

While the crowd may have been overwhelmingly opposed to the new restrictions, there were a handful of supporters.

"I want you to close all dispensaries which are already located 1000 feet from schools," one woman said. "I believe that (the dispensaries) just a target for crime," said another.

Rob Corry, a pro-medical marijuana criminal defense attorney, says he plans to sue Denver over the legality of the new restrictions.

City officials estimate there are 390 medical marijuana licensing applications pending approval.

Marijuana legalization bill approved by key Assembly committee

Reporting from Sacramento - A proposal to legalize and tax marijuana in California was approved by a key committee of the Assembly on Tuesday, but it is not expected to get further consideration by the Legislature until next year.

Despite a procedural glitch, backers hailed the committee's action as historic because it represented the first legislative approval of the proposal.

"This vote marks the formal beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition in the United States," predicted Stephen Gutwillig, California state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a pot legalization group.

The legislation would allow those who are at least 21 years old to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), author of the measure, said it would provide needed revenue for the state as well as regulation of the drug.

Existing law "is harming our youth," Ammiano said. "Drug dealers do not ask for ID."

It is estimated that the proposed $50 tax on each ounce of marijuana sold, along with license fees charged to cultivators, would generate $1.3 billion a year to be used to pay for drug education and treatment.

Ammiano said his bill is not expected to get a required hearing by a second committee in time to meet a Friday deadline. He said he plans to reintroduce the legislation if a similar initiative proposed for the November ballot is not approved by voters.

The anticipated revenue would not be worth the grief the bill would cause, said Assemblyman Danny Gilmore (R-Hanford), a former assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol.

"We're going to legalize marijuana, we're going to tax it and then we're going to educate our kids about the harm of drugs. You've got to be kidding me," Gilmore said. "What's next? Are we going to legalize methamphetamines, cocaine?"

The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved Ammiano's bill, AB 390, on a 4-3 vote.


Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

California: Lawmakers Cast First Vote In Nearly 100 Years To Repeal Marijuana Prohibition

Lawmakers on the California Assembly, Committee on Public Safety, voted 4 to 3 today in favor of Assembly Bill 390: The Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act — which seeks to legalize the production, distribution, and personal use of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. The vote is first time since 1913, when California became one of the first states in the nation to criminalize the use and possession of marijuana, that lawmakers have called for the repeal of cannabis prohibition.

“Today’s vote marks the first time in nearly a century that California lawmakers have reassessed this failed criminal policy,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Any risks presented by the use of marijuana by adults falls within the ambit of choice we should permit individuals in a free society. It’s time replace the failings of marijuana prohibition with a policy of legalization, regulation and education. Today’s vote is a significant, albeit first step in this direction.”

Further Committee votes on AB 390 are unlikely to take place this session because of legislative calendar restraints. However, the bill’s sponsor, San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, said that he would likely reintroduce a similar version of the bill later this month.

Registered supporters for the measure included: the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the California Public Defenders Association, among others.

Registered opponents of the bill included: the California Fraternal Order of Police, the California Narcotics Officers Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, the California State Sheriffs’ Association, the California Peace Officers’ Association, and the California District Attorneys Association.

Voting ‘yes’ on the bill were Ammiano, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. Voting no were Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena (Los Angeles County), Assemblyman Danny Gilmore, R-Hanford (Kings County) and Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills (San Bernardino County).