by David Downs
A California ballot initiative to regulate medical cannabis statewide is ringing in the New Year, thanks to the patient lobbying group Americans for Safe Access and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5. The two groups filed a request December 15 with the Secretary of State to circulate for signature-gathering an initiative that would mandate at least one dispensary per 50,000 people, and create a state “Bureau of Medical Marijuana Enforcement” to license growers and stores — similar to the system in Colorado.
On Monday, Sacramento lawyer George Mull said the initiative language is undergoing revisions, but ASA and other groups intend to begin pushing for a purported panacea for the ills of federal enforcement Jan. 1.
Over in Colorado — where US Attorneys are not threatening city council-folk with federal prison — the first clubs in Denver are finishing their final permitting, overseen by the state's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division. In 2011, about 850 medical cannabis centers sought newly mandated operation permits from the state. "Rejection is also a possibility. The state has already tossed 36 applications so far and ... 133 more are in the denial process right now."