The key to Medical Marijuana in Colorado rests with the protections provided by Colorado Amendment 20, which states, among other things, that medical use means the acquisition, possession, production, use, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia.
In essence, state laws and local ordinances that ban the sale, or acquisition of MMJ fly directly in the face of Amendment 20, and would most likely, be considered unconstitutional according to a recent article entitled, Marijuana Stores Are A Bit Like Churches from Cannabis News:
Amendment 20 of the Colorado Constitution is typical of constitutional law because it enhances freedom for individuals and limits the authority of government. It’s true the amendment doesn’t specify a right to medical marijuana stores. But what in the state or federal constitution grants a right to sell Bibles, books or liquor or to run a 7-Eleven?
The right to sell medical marijuana is inherent in the right of individuals to acquire and possess it. If it’s not, we can eliminate any right by simply banning vendors of protected goods and services.
A powerful argument in light of the recent MMJ law changes in Colorado. Many cities are acting to ban, or extend moratoriums, on dispensaries. Most are waiting to see what happens with HB 1284 and HB 109. Both laws were recently signed into law by Governor Ritter. But these laws seem to contradict the basic premise of Amendment 20, that patients may use medical marijuana.
States that adopt similar laws, without the protection of a State Constitutional amendment, will face the same back and forth cycle of initiatives that seek to ban medical marijuana, followed by initiatives to reinstate them. Precisely what is happening in Montana, where volunteers across the state are working to collect 25,000 signatures to get an initiative on the Montana November ballot to repeal medical marijuana.
Read the Cannabis News article above. Read it twice. Forward this article to your friends, your care-giver, your Colorado dispensary, and your state and local government representatives. It’s that important.