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Florence OKs Moratorium on Medical Marijuana

October 7th, 2009 Dr. Skunky

Colorado Medical Marijuana

FLORENCE, COLORADO — Claiming the city wanted to be prepared, the Florence City Council approved an ordinance to place a 90-day moratorium on the use of property in city limits to dispense medical marijuana and paraphernalia.After Colorado adopted Amendment 20, which made it legal for people to obtain, possess, cultivate, grow, use and distribute marijuana for medical purposes, the city decided to be prepared.

“In terms in trying to regulate the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, we don’t have any language regulations in place,” said City Attorney Bryan Fredrickson Monday during its regular meeting. “Obviously, these questions arise on whether the city might want the dispensaries close to a school, for example, or a child-care facility.”

The ordinance will not permanently prohibit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes because the amendment to the constitution allows it.

“Hopefully, we can jump on this relatively quickly and decide what kind of language we might want or other regulatory language in the event someone comes to town” to start a dispensary, Fredrickson said. “As far as I know, it’s not an issue right now.”

Councilman Charles Giebler said he opposed the ordinance as written.

“I believe that ordinance 16-2009 is jumping the gun,” he said. “We’ve had no interest in anyone doing it here. I believe the city council needs to study and implement appropriate land use and regulatory provisions regarding medical marijuana dispensaries, which I believe we’re going to find out will be the same as any pharmacy. I don’t see this happening in Florence anytime soon. We probably should get on it, but to pass an ordinance that just seems unfriendly to the sick and impaired, it doesn’t seem right to me.”

It is reported the No. 1 abuse of drugs are prescription drugs.

Councilman Joe Caruso reported a story of a family, which already is licensed as a dispensary.

“This would make them a criminal in the City of Florence,” he said.

When Caruso asked whether Fox Drug could dispense medical marijuana, Fredrickson said that pharmacies cannot, because they are regulated by federal law.

“That’s why this has become a Colorado problem, because the Colorado amendment passed in contradiction to federal law,” he said. “This ordinance does not prevent them from dispensing it to the patient. This is more of a moratorium to prevent commercial operations” in certain zones.

Councilman Roger McFaul said rather than impose an ordinance, it would be better to take time to come up with an ordinance to regulate it.

Councilman Ron Hinkle said he could see both sides.

“I somewhat agree that it would be a benefit to have something in place before a situation develops,” he said. “We can say that hasn’t happened in Florence yet. But we don’t know about a situation. Things can change in a heartbeat. They can change overnight.”

Pro Tem Mayor Paul Villagrana said the moratorium gives the city a chance to determine the regulations it would like to pursue.

After adding 90 days to the ordinance, the council approved the temporary moratorium.

Following the vote, Florence City Planner Don Moore has written a first draft to determine how to proceed.

“We’re treating these dispensaries as retail sales outlets and recommending the zone be changed in the commercial,” he said. “We would recommend the zoning would be changed in the commercial zone district to allow the dispensary by special use only. We’d like to take downtown out of that because there is very little parking. These things could use a lot of parking.”

The Florence Planning Commission will host a public hearing on the zoning of marijuana dispensaries at its November meeting.

The way it is written now “not only can you dispense, but you can use it on premises, which the planning commission may chose to remove. Some communities have,” Moore said.


Treat marijuana like alcohol and cigarettes

October 7th, 2009 Dr. Skunky

I was disturbed to see that a recent health column by Sarah Baldauf about the effects of marijuana (“What Parents Need to Know About Pot,” Oct. 6, 2009) was in fact a verbatim reprint of a syndicated Aug. 2008 article, and wasn’t updated with any new findings published on the topic since the article was first written more than a year ago.

Cannabis Cigarettes

Much research since Aug. 2008 has cast further doubt on claims about the harms of marijuana. For example, the claim that marijuana use leads to “a greater risk of cancer to the head and neck” was refuted by two 2009 studies. One, in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention, found the risk of head and neck cancer “was not elevated” among marijuana users. Another, in Cancer Prevention Research, found that people who use marijuana actually have a lower risk of head and neck cancer than people who don’t use marijuana.

That doesn’t mean marijuana is for kids — it’s not. But if parents really want to protect their children from marijuana, they should ask lawmakers to support a system that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol or tobacco. If marijuana were regulated and sold only by licensed merchants who check IDs, it would become harder for underage teenagers to purchase it. That’s why teen cigarette smoking has dropped like a rock since the early ’90s, while teen marijuana use has not. Drug dealers do not check IDs.

Mike Meno, Washington

The writer is assistant director of communications of the Marijuana Policy Project.


Pink Lemonade Strain Review

October 1st, 2009 Dr. Skunky
Strain: Pink Lemonade
Lineage: Purple Kush Pheno
Genetics: 20% Sativa / 80% Indica
THC Level: 18% – 25%
Grow Medium: Indoor, BioGrown Soil
Purchased: Peace in Medicine, Sebastopol, CA
Price: $16/gram , $54/eighth, $105/quarter, $395/ounce
Overall Rating: 8.5

“Joyous Elation, Afternoon Appropriate”

Looks: 8.0
Dark green buds with hues of purple covered in frosty white trichomes.

Smell: 9.0
Smell like…guess what? Pink lemonade!

Taste: 8.5
Tastes sour, very much like pink lemonade.

High: 8.0
Heavy indica high, very refreshing.

Value: 9.0
The best $55 eighth I’ve ever purchased from a cannabis club.