Rob Corry calls latest Tom Massey-Chris Romer medical marijuana bill a "multi-layered bureaucratic monstrosity"

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Forces an applicant to have a building "ready for occupancy with the furniture, fixtures, and equipment in place" before the application is even approved. This would place a major burden on new entries to spend money that might be wasted if the application is rejected for the hundreds of discretionary, pretextual reasons the bill allows.

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Allows the government to deny a license if "the character of the applicant is such that violations of this article would be likely to result of a license were granted." The government can penalize and reject people for potential, imagined, future violations. Such Orwellian "future-punishment" does not belong in America.

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This prohibits a peace officer, or any member of a peace officer's family, from obtaining a license. Most police officers and their families are upstanding members of our community, and they should not be discriminated against.

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This would prohibit any person with an unpaid parking ticket from operating a medical marijuana center. I can sometimes understand government's burning desire to regulate and insert itself into every area of our lives, but why must medical marijuana providers meet a higher standard than any other business owner in Colorado? This section reveals the true purpose of this bill: to destroy the legitimate medical marijuana industry, and drive it back underground so DEA agents and prosecutors can have full employment.

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Prohibits a person convicted of any felony or a drug-related misdemeanor from involvement in the medical marijuana business. This would shut out many qualified people and further restrict competition and drive up costs. It is unconstitutional, as Article XVIII § 14 already defines caregiver and contains no such restriction.

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Prohibits a center from being located within 1000 feet of a school, preschool, or day care center. The State Legislature is not a local zoning board. This is an irrational limitation. Children are not accessing dispensaries. They can walk. 1000 feet accomplishes nothing other than to add another arbitrary limitation.

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Allows locals to limit arbitrarily the amount of centers. The City of Centennial and other cities' hatred of medical marijuana demonstrates that locals generally cannot be trusted to exercise any discretion in this area.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts