Forget Medical: Colorado Legalizes Recreational Weed

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If there's anything that Californians have learned in the 16 years since voters passed Proposition 215, it's this: medical marijuana is a mess. On the one hand, marijuana has gotten a lot easier to come by over the years. What used to be only available on the street or in a few scattered dispensaries in the Bay Area or Los Angeles in the past few years has blossomed into hundreds if not thousands of storefront operations and delivery services. And anybody with a doctor's note that you can obtain for as little as $20 is allowed to posses, cultivate or smoke the stuff.

On the other hand, cities up and down the state have outlawed dispensaries and sued their operators and landlords, police have raided clubs with growing enthusiasm, and especially in the past year, the feds have stepped in and cracked down big-time. It didn't help matters that California tried to legalize recreational weed in 2010 with Proposition 19 and failed. But non-medical weed isn't going away anytime soon, according to some major news that broke yesterday: voters in Washington State and Colorado have passed America's first two laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

While pot fans celebrate in those two states, supporters of a similar measure in Oregon were disappointed when their proposal failed at the polls. Meanwhile, Montana, which already allowed medical marijuana, passed an initiative restricting the availability of weed there, while voters in Massachusetts passed a medical marijuana law for the first time and Arkansas voted against the concept.

It's still too early to know what's going to happen in Washington or Colorado once the euphoria breaks and reality settles in, but more than one source of mine, anticipating the victory in Colorado, have already moved there, hoping to find opportunities in the new marijuana economy there. Colorado's Governor, John Hickenlooper--who clearly knows a thing or two about the munchies--has warned cannabis enthusiasts not to "break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly," because there's one big obstacle facing recreational weed in his state, vote or no vote: the feds, who have likely already started tracking developments in the Mountain State for future enforcement actions.

Of course, the feds only came into California and stared threatening dispensaries and landlords after cities throughout the state begged for such help. But as one of my sources, speaking to friends flocking to Colorado, warns, don't pretend you or your crop will be safe just because you passed a pot-friendly law. The source has close friends who were recently arrested by DEA agents for doing something--distributing marijuana to people with doctor's notes--that they assumed was legal under Prop. 215. 

What she said is worth repeating here.

"I don't mean to be a buzz kill for all those Californians migrating to Washington & Colorado, but let me remind you that regardless of state laws, the Feds will come kicking down your door, waving guns in your face, they will take your children, your assets & your freedom; over a plant." she said. "Winning a battle, doesn't mean victory! Federal Law needs to change before we can truly see progress. Ask all the CA MMJ Patients sitting in federal prison, on charges equal to heroin dealers, what California laws did for them!!!!!!"

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3 comments
ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

California potheads, please move to Colorado. Thank you for your cooperation.

cannamed
cannamed

ATTENTION MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS, HOW TO VERIFY A MEDICAL MARIJUANA DOCTORS CLINIC, STATE AND CONSUMER SERVICES AGENCY Department of Consumer Affairs DMUND G. BROWN, Jr., Governor,                   MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA, Licensing Program.   It has come to the attention of the California Medical Board that there are a wide variety of Medical Marijuana Evaluation clinics that are operating in an UNLICENSED capacity, which is clear violation of State of California Law, and is an offense punishable by CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, FINES, INCARCERATION and LOSS OF ALL CA MEDICAL LICENSES. The State of California Medical Board is currently investigating all UNLICENSED and ILLEGAL Medical Marijuana Clinics who are issuing Marijuana Recommendations to patients in violation of California Law., The law clearly states that not only is the physician required to have their medical license RENEWED and CURRENT, but the clinic where patients are being seen is also required to have RENEWED and CURRENT Factious Name Permit., As a matter if California Law it is your legal obligation to educate your volunteers and  your patients and to ensure that the medical marijuana clinic where they receive their recommendations:,    1. Are Operating LEGALLY;,    2. Are LICENSED to practice medicine in the State of California by evidencing a RENEWED and       CURRENT Factious Name Permit License Number,    3. Are in compliance with State of California Medical Board rules and regulations as well as in              compliance with California Law., ONLY A LICENSED CALIFORNIAPHYSICIAN can own, control and operate a medical clinic (I.e., practice). It is against California Law, for LAY PEOPLE (I.e. unlicensed persons) to operate, own, control, a medical clinic. The law clearly states that the medical clinic must be organized as a Professional California Corporation which can only be obtained from the State of California by a Licensed physician., If a LAY PERSON (I.e., unlicensed person) is known to or represents that they own, control and/or operate a medical practice, they will be CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED to the fullest extent of California Law., It is Your LEGAL OBLIGATION to Verify EVERY Medical Marijuana Clinic:, As required by California Law Proposition 215 & SB 420 it is your legal duty to VERIFY every recommendation for every patient prior to allowing that patient entry into your dispensary.  If a patient DOES NOT have a valid recommendation, they CANNOT enter and obtain medication., It is your LEGAL OBLIGATION and LEGAL RESPONSIBLITY to VERIFY every Medical Marijuana Clinic to make sure that they are LICENSED and operating LEGALLY in order to protect patients and to ensure that ILLEGAL Medical Marijuana Clinics STOP OPERATING and stop endangering the lives and health of patients who seek medical help for their medical problems and believe that they are visiting a LEGAL and LICENSED medical marijuana clinic., STATE AND CONSUMER SERVICES AGENCY - Department of Consumer Affairs                      EDMUND G. BROWN, Jr., Governor,                  MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA, Licensing Program, June 14, 2011, ________________________________________________________________ HOW TO VERIFY IF A MEDICAL MARIJUANA DOCTORS CLINIC IS LICENSED, TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, 1. When does a Medical Marijuana Clinic need a fictitious name permit?,    A. If you are a LICENSED PHYSICIAN and SURGEON, practicing under a fictitious, false or assumed name in any public communication, advertisement, sign or announcement., Example: ìABC Evaluation Centerî., 2. How do I Verify a Medical Marijuana Clinic to Make Sure They Are Legally Licensed to Practice Medicine in the State of California?,    A. Please visit: http://www.medbd.ca.gov/,    B. Then please click on the LICENSEES TAB on top or go to:,         http://www.medbd.ca.gov/licensee,    C. On the left side (Quick Links) please click on Fictitious Name Permit or go to:,         http://www.medbd.ca.gov/licensee/fictitious_name.html,    D. Click on Name Search for Fictitious Name Permit:,    E. Enter the EXACT NAME of the Medical Marijuana Clinic as advertised in the Business Name                       field to search for a valid Fictitious Name Permit, meaning that the FNP Permit is (I.e., License                     Renewed & Current); Example: ìABC Evaluation Centerî.,        I. If your search reveals the EXACT NAME of ABC Evaluation Center as advertised by                       the Medical Marijuana Clinic and the FNP licensed in RENEWED and CURRENT,                                               this constitutes a LEGAL MEDICAL MARIJUANA CLINIC;,        Ii. If your search DOES NOT reveal the EXACT NAME as advertised of ABC                               Evaluation Center and NO RECORDS RETURNED is the result and ABC                                            Evaluations Center DOES NOT have a FNP License Renewed & Current, that means                            that this medical practice is OPERATING ILLEGALLY and in clear VIOLATION                                                of California Law and California Medical Board Rules and Regulations;,        Iii. Such ILLEGAL and UNLICENSED medical clinics marijuana clinics will be                                                    INVESTIGATED and CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED to the fullest extent of the                                           law;,                  Iv. Furthermore, ALL recommendations that are issued by ILLEGAL and                                               UNLICENSED medical marijuana clinics will be REVOKED without notice., In closing, recommendations issued by UNLICENSED/ILLEGAL medical marijuana clinics are INVALID and will be REVOKED. It is estimated that over 100, 000 patients in the State of California have been issued recommendations by ILLEGAL and UNLICENSED medical marijuana clinics. For further questions, call the State of California Medical Board Licensing Program at (916) 263- 2382 or (800) 633-2322., STATE AND CONSUMER SERVICES AGENCY - Department of Consumer Affairs    EDMUND G. BROWN, Jr., Governor, MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA, Licensing Program, June 11,

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