A proposal to legalize the possession and use of marijuana that is headed to the state ballot in November drew mixed reactions from veterans of the medical marijuana war in Fort Collins.

The measure calls for regulating marijuana in ways similar to how alcohol is regulated, including allowing sales in special stores.

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Communities would have the option of banning the businesses.

Under the measure, people who are at least 21 years old could possess up to an ounce of marijuana. They could grow up to six plants in their homes.

The state needs consistent laws about marijuana, said Michelle Tucker, owner of the closed dispensary Medicinal Gardens of Colorado.

But the use of alcohol and marijuana are not comparable from a medical perspective, she said.

“We need to make sure that the state and every city are on the same page,” she said. “The genie is out of the bottle and it’s not going back in.”

The production of alcohol is heavily regulated because it is a consumer product, said Scoot Crandall, executive director of the anti-substance abuse coalition TEAM Fort Collins. That includes health inspections of production facilities and regulation of ingredients.

The marijuana industry may not be up for that kind of scrutiny, he said.

“If this passes, they might find they have bitten off more than they can chew,” he said.

Crandall was among the vocal supporters of the ban on medical marijuana businesses Fort Collins voters approved last year.

Ken Correia, who owned the medical marijuana dispensary Solace Meds, said he needed to research the proposal to better understand its ramifications.

But a major issue is likely to be how the federal government would react if the measure is approved, he said. Marijuana possession and use are illegal under federal law.

“I think we need to work on this at the federal level,” he said.

Crandall said the conflict between state and federal law on marijuana has to be rectified at some point.

“Until that happens – and there’s no indication the feds are going to move away from making it a schedule one substance – this seems kind of silly,” he said.

News Hawk – 420 Warrior 420 MAGAZINE
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Source: The Fort Collins Coloradoan
Author: Kevin Duggan
Contact: www.coloradoan.com/contact us.html
Copyright: 2012 The Fort Collins Coloradoan
Website: www.coloradoan.com