Wake-Up Call: Senator Chris Romer submits a bill for pot!

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State senator Chris Romer could have used some medical marijuana last night, to soothe the headache of dealing with all of yesterday's complaints over his just-released, 63-page bill to regulate the industry. Among its provisions: creating a state licensing authority to handle licenses for both clinics and growers and setting new rules for doctors recommending medical marijuana, caregivers handling it -- and patients asking for it.

But Romer's headaches are just beginning.

Because even as those inside and outside the industry pick apart the provisions of Romer's proposal, at least one competing bill -- this one coming from law-enforcement professionals -- is in the works. And that's not likely to be the last, either. By the time the Colorado Legislature, which convenes in January, is done debating all the possibilities, we may all need to mellow out with some quality bud.

In the meantime, many of those lawmakers have been invited to the Cannabis Therapy Institute's Cannabis Holiday Health Fair at the Holiday Inn, 4849 Bannock Street, on December 13 -- and although Romer has not yet responded to his invitation, Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown, who's been working on rules for dispensaries in this city, has already promised to come.

"A holiday fair at the Holiday Inn -- mainstream America. I couldn't resist," says organizer Laura Kriho, who's been involved in the campaign to legalize marijuana since 1992. "I think people will be impressed when they meet these caregivers and patients. This event will show clearly that the Reefer Madness image of medical marijuana users is dead, and that the industry is quickly evolving to join the mainstream of American business."

The event is free; find more information at www.cannabistherapyinstitute.com.

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