Medicinal Marijuana on trial

Let me say this at the outset:

1. I do not condone drug use.
2. Society should not be held financially responsible if persons who indulge fail to earn enough to support themselves over their lifetime.
3. I believe it is a states rights issue.
4. I think the federal government should be using all of its law enforcement manpower to put murderers and thieves behind bars. Not waste time with stoners.

That said, a young man from suburban Denver named Chris Bartkowicz was taken to jail and charged in federal court on one count of possession with intent to manufacture, dispense, or distribute a controlled substance. He appeared in court Tuesday and will remain in custody until his next hearing Thursday. His case, however, will be the first of its kind.

Other states, like California, provide only statutory protection for medical marijuana. Colorado, however, added medicinal marijuana specifically as a right to its state Constitution. Add to that the fact that Bartkowicz is one of the only people nationwide to face federal charges since an Obama Administration memo in October telling federal agents to respect medicinal-marijuana laws, and you have the ingredients for the perfect storm.

“There are complex legal issues that haven’t been addressed in this state,” said Bartkowicz’ attorney. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, has ruled in a prior case that the federal government can regulate marijuana, even if it is grown, sold and used entirely in a medical-marijuana state. Read more

Medicinal marijuana is becoming a hot topic business. My neighbor rents out bedrooms in his home and he told me he is renting two rooms to young men from California. One is from LA County, the other from north of Sacramento. Both are out to see what Colorado is doing right about its medicinal dispensaries.

Ever since National Geographics celebrated broadcast on the Emerald Triangle the gold rush for marijuana cultivation has taken the west by storm. Bills are moving through state legislatures to move marijuana into the mainstream. Will we see taxing and legalization before the year is out?

About Terry Crowley