White wants state of Colorado to go into the weed business

State Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, Friday promised to end the high times in the high country, serving up a big dose of GOP buzz kill in a release outlining legislation he’ll introduce next session to snuff out the current “free-for-all” in Colorado’s medical marijuana industry.

“What we’ve effectively got now is de facto decriminalization of marijuana. That is not what the people of this state voted for,” White said, referring to a 2000 vote that amended the state constitution to allow medical marijuana treatment for certain conditions.

Sen. Al White

Sen. Al White, R-Hayden

Actually, one ski town, Breckenridge, actually literally decriminalized possession of less than an ounce of pot Tuesday, but the move was largely symbolic since it’s still against state law.

Other local jurisdictions from the Front Range to the Western Slope have been struggling with how to handle pot dispensaries since the latest surge triggered by federal refusal to prosecute.

White’s worried international drug cartels are supplying pot dispensaries and that too many people who don’t qualify are getting their weed fix. He said he’ll propose a state marijuana growing and distribution monopoly to force out the cartels and a requirement that prescriptions be filled out by licensed pharmacists.

“If the state doesn’t take some action to put an end to this ‘Wild West’ environment, Colorado is going to become the global retail headquarters for international drug cartels. That is simply not responsible,” White said. “We don’t allow unlicensed people to simply open up a shop and sell controlled substances like Valium or Oxycontin – that’s why they call them ‘controlled substances. So, why are we allowing that to happen with medical marijuana?”

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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