Aspen may be open to marijuana clubs after all

Aspen city leaders could give private pot clubs another whiff of consideration, but they first want to see how regulations are addressed by Denver and the state of Colorado.

“I’m open to having the conversation,” Mayor Steve Skadron said Monday, noting he is watching the state capital to see if it creates any regulatory model for private cannabis clubs that Aspen could mimic. “I know Denver is making some progress on bring-your-own pot clubs, and perhaps that could weigh into our conversation.”

According to The Associated Press, Denver officials are working on regulations to open a one-year pilot of bring-your-own marijuana clubs, while state lawmakers are expected to consider measures to allow either marijuana “tasting rooms” run by marijuana dispensaries, or smoke-friendly clubs akin to cigar bars.

The Aspen City Council decided in 2015 not to allow private pot clubs, chiefly because of ambiguity in state law concerning private smoking venues along with worries about how they could negatively affect Aspen’s image.

Freddie Wyatt of Denver-based Munch & Co., which produces marijuana-friendly events, urged City Council members at their Feb. 13 meeting to repeal the law that prohibits pot clubs. The consumption restrictions put cannabis consumers, particularly visitors, in a confusing position if they want to legally get high in a city that boasts eight marijuana dispensaries, he said. Using special permits at private locations, Munch & Co. has held three events in Aspen during the past three Winter X Games in which attendees could openly and legally consume marijuana.

Read the full story on AspenTimes.com.

This story was first published on AspenTimes.com

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New Medical Marijuana Legislation Cultivated in Kansas

Politicians in Kansas are at it again … contemplating the legalization of medicinal cannabis for specific life-threatening medical conditions.

A Kansas State representative introduced Senate Bill 155 on Monday. Aimed at helping Kansas become the 29th state to legalize some form of medical marijuana, Sen. David Haley’s bill would allow access to those seriously ill residents with certain qualifying conditions.

Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, the genesis of SB 155 was necessitated after several attempts failed to advance some form of meaningful medical marijuana legislation in recent years. Benefiting Kansans stricken with cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s, the ACLU of Kansas have encouraged state policymakers to support SB 155 —  claiming “the state should recognize marijuana as a potential cure, not a crime.”

Favored by 68% of those polled in a 2015 survey, a preponderance of Kansans surveyed believe that marijuana, and its miracle cannabinoids, should be legal for medicinal applications.

Kansas survey on medical marijuana acceptance

2015 Kansas Poll

Known as the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act of 2017, SB 155 would define a qualifying patient as an individual who possesses a state-issued medical marijuana identification card. If passed, the bill would provide legal cover for patients from prosecution or fines for the possession and use of medical marijuana.

Allowing their patients to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants and possess as much as 6 ounces of processed cannabis, SB 155 would also mandate patients who chose to cultivate their herbal medicine do so in an enclosed and locked facility.

Meant to establish a comprehensive system for the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana, SB 155 seeks to protect the health of its citizens as reserved to its people “under the 10th amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Better late than never, I suppose.

Kansas Senate Bill 155 by Monterey Bud on Scribd

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

 

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A Fight, A Win, and A Legacy in South Africa

On Feb. 19, 2014, Member of Parliament Mario Oriani-Ambrosini stood up in the South African National Assembly and passionately introduced a private member’s bill to decriminalize the medical use of cannabis.

Other than wanting to make this wonderful medicine available for his fellow citizens, Oriani-Ambrosini had a very personal reason as his incentive: A few months earlier, he had publicly announced his diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer.

Time went on, and while other countries of the world made cannabis reform a reality, Oriani-Ambrosini and his fellow members of the IFP party continued to work vehemently to allow South Africans the same relief.

On Aug. 16, 2014, Oriani-Ambrosini lost his battle with cancer, but the latest announcement from the African nation proves that his fight for medical cannabis was not in vain.

The South African Government has given the go-ahead for the manufacture and distribution of cannabis as medicine. Oriani-Ambrosini’s party, the IFP, is calling it a “major victory” and a fitting tribute to its former member who fought for legalization.

It was reported that South Africa’s Medical Control Council recently sent a letter to IFP Member of Parliament Narend Singh, stating that it would publish proposed guidelines on cannabis production in the coming weeks.

An elated Singh stated that “Mario had fought tirelessly for this, and although he proposed cannabis beyond medicinal use to also include it for recreational use, we agreed to withdraw every clause relating to non-medicinal use in our efforts to ensure it becomes legal.”

Singh also added that thousands of patients are already using cannabis oil, which is very expensive in the nation, and a major catalyst for the bill was to make it freely accessible for patients who need it.

Under the proposed new rules, doctors can apply to the Medical Control Council to obtain permission to access cannabis for their patients. The council will authorize the prescription and appropriate dosage based on its intended use.

As well, there will be licensed domestic cultivation of medicinal cannabis for prescription and research purposes.

As South Africa moves ahead with this important legislation, along with it comes an enduring legacy started by one forward-thinking Member of Parliament. Although MP Oriani-Ambrosini is not here to see this landmark for the country, he lives on in every patient who will soon be able to experience profound relief based on his tireless efforts.

Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett

 

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