Medical Cannabis and Colorado
It is with sincere concern that I scribe the words of the popular and loudly growing voice of the Colorado Medical Marijuana Patients and Industry. Since Colorado Voters elected medical marijuana into their State Constitution nine years ago, this industry has served the Constitutional right of its patients and has grown exponentially over the years. As more Coloradoans discover the true ability of this plant as an alternative form of medicine, this industry will continue to grow and is expected to surpass its 1.5% daily growth rate in population. Currently, over 1200 new patients apply and each of them pays the State $90 per patient to have the Constitutional right to legally access, possess, transport, and use this plant as a medicine.
Changing State legislation shows a divided issue: people see the industry’s economic, medical, and legal potential but much of society remains uneducated about this plant and its benefits. These issues play a large part in how the public views this industry and the people in it. While some groups move to ban Centers completely, many municipalities, including Denver, are moving toward decriminalization of marijuana due to the rising costs placed on judicial systems and the revenues gained in marijuana citations. As more states enact pro-medical marijuana legislation, it is logical to assume that many more Americans will be exposed to and educated about this plant and its ability to help ease people’s suffering. It is important now for to be educated about this plant and the industry that grows with it. The public will be looking to its leaders to know about this issue and to take a stance on how this industry should channel its growth.
Local organizations like the CSMCC take a progressive stance on this industry as do its industry members, constitutionally protected patients, and public supporters. With an estimated 10,000 patients in Colorado Springs alone, the CSMCC represents a large constituency of this single-issue votership in Colorado. Not only do these patients vote to protect their right to better, safer, and cheaper medicine, their family members also see the benefit of this plant and represent thousands more who favor a positive role in shaping this future green wave in Colorado and across America. Entrepreneurialism is the backbone of economy and this industry alone has provided thousands of jobs, occupied hundreds of market-trodden commercial properties, and raised millions of dollars in state revenues, fees, and taxes.
In addition, it has assisted law enforcement in stripping demand for black market substitutes and boldly competes against murderous drug cartels that don’t pay taxes and operate outside of ANY regulation. These dangerous gangs dominate supply in the market with decades of competitive advantage in established sales, distribution channels, and production facilities.
The people in this industry have the courage to legitimize a medicinal plant that could cost them their freedom, their business, and livelehood. Colorado has already seen legislative measures like HB 1284 target this industry and many would argue the legislation therein is meant to cut down business before it has a chance to grow. The reality is that support for this plant is strong. The genie cannot be placed back in the bottle and the potential economic importance of this industry for the future of Colorado cannot be ignored.