As we approach November, I think it’s important to examine the politicians making decisions affecting the rights, well-being, and businesses of medical marijuana patients. Don’t you?
I am working on delivering a comprehensive and straightforward patient Voter’s Guide for the CSMCC to educate the public as to which candidates best represent MMJ. I’ll also let you know which ones don’t.
This first piece follows a meeting with Democratic Candidate Steve Kjonaas. Unfortunately, his opponent Daryl Glenn has yet to meet with Tanya Garduno or the CSMCC. He also has yet to visit a dispensary… but we’ll get to that.
EL Paso County Commissioners:
Following State level powers and authorities of the Governor, Congressional representatives, and Senators, Local County Commissioners are elected for 4 year terms and are constitutionally responsible for the “transaction of county business as provided by law”.
Consisting of a board of legislators, the Commissioners represent their districts in deciding administration, policy, and law for over 600,000 El Paso County residents. That’s approximately 17% of the population in Colorado!
The current board of County Commissioners voted that this November’s ballot will have a public vote to Ban Medical Marijuana Centers outside of city limits, throughout El Paso County. Similar to “dry counties” of the prohibition days, this legislation puts to vote taking away the right of Center owners to participate in businesses to serve patients.
It also puts at risk safe medical cannabis access for current and future generations of patients. If passed, this ban would force patients to access their medicine from unregulated and tax-exempt caregivers scattered throughout the county and in its neighborhoods.
Ongoing regulation, policy, and legislation regarding medical cannabis is at stake when electing County Commissioners and this position carries heavy weight affecting existing patients and citizens at the local County level who may require access to alternative medicine now and in the future.
County Commissioner Candidates
District 1 – Northern El Paso County
 Steve Kjonaas (D):
Candidate Steve Kjonaas took the time to meet and talk with the CSMCC about patients, alternative medicine, and the rights of Coloradoans to access medical cannabis safely. A cancer survivor, and disabled veteran, Steve served his country proudly in the Air Force and experienced firsthand what many Colorado patients go through combating chemo-therapy, severe nausea, and pain. Steve has also seen the bureaucratic “VA solution” for disabled Veterans who are shipped, in bulk, opiate-based narcotics like Vicodin and Percocet to treat pain and psychological conditions such as PTSD.
As a former EMT medic, Steve knows how dangerous narcotics kill thousands each year from overdose and how opiates habitually deteriorate internal organs after years of use. Steve says he advocates the right for patients to access medical cannabis as an alternative and substantially safer “replacement for narcotics”. Steve is also dedicated to fixing our “runaway county budget deficit” and knows legal taxation and licensing of medical cannabis business is more beneficial to the County. Known as “The Chief” by his constituents, Steve’s history as a fire chief, EMT, and US Veteran demonstrate his cool leadership under pressure and his driven ability to deliver results. His battle with cancer speaks to his understanding of Colorado patient needs and after speaking with Steve, I feel confident in voting in “The Chief” for County Commissioner. For more information visit Steve at: http://vote-steve.com
What about his opponent Daryl Glenn you ask? I said we’d get to that…
Check back next week for more!
 Colorado Constitution, Article XIV, Section 6
 US Census Bureau, “State and County QuickFacts” [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08/08041.html] 29 August 2010
 PeakDems “Steve Kjonaas for County Commissioner District 1” [http://www.peakdems.org/?p=6297] 30 July 2010