"The city of Centennial cannot use the potential violation of a federal law to order a business legally operating under our state constitution to cease and desist its business," Arapahoe County District Court Judge Christopher Cross said.
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A number of towns and larger municipalities in Colorado have decided that they can ban medical marijuana dispensaries. I guess their reasoning is because they feel like it, irrespective of the will of Colorado voters and the Colorado State Constitution. The large suburban municipalities in Arapahoe County, which borders the liberal Denver to the south, have closed dispensaries, or have completely banned them.
The town of Castle Rock, went so far as to issue a business license to two medical marijuana dispensaries, and has now disenfranchised them, potentially costing the owners tens of thousands of dollars.
I guess the town fathers will have to find some other angle to deny Colorado citizens their legal rights (they are talking about zoning laws next). They will lose, lose, lose, as the lawyers who fought the ban predicted two weeks ago.
So far, these bans have been struck down by the Colorado courts, including the strict caregiver definition from the Dept of Health. That ban was struck down by the Denver District Court, leaving the DOH bereft of further prohibitionist regulation, until, I suppose, they decide whether the courts will uphold the Colorado Constitution.
The irony of all this is that Congress passed the Volstead Act as a Constitutional Amendment to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Now we need specific Constitutional Amendments to permit personal freedoms. And even after the voters pass an amendment, the small time city councils, and a number of State Reps and Senators, still feel that they can restrict what has been specifically permitted by law. I heard a Democratic State Senator intimating that if the voters knew how many people would be granted MM licenses, they never would have voted for it, and now the State needs to figure out how to stop the "abuse" of the law by people who "only want to smoke marijuana."
Really, the only way the continued denial of Constitutional rights can be dealt with is through outright legalization. I believe the movement is picking up popular support as DA's and city councils decide they will hassle medical marijuana patients and legal dispensaries regardless of their rights. I believe this is a valid threat that will ultimately cause these intransigent cities, law enforcement and PA's to back off.