Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mile "high" city

Yesterday was 420 in the Mile High City. Which was the 23rd annual 420 rally at the Denver Civic Center Park.
Back in 2005, voters here approved making Denver the first major city to legalize small amounts of marijuana. On November 7, 2007, Denver passed an initiative to make cannabis the "lowest law enforcement priority". This was the third cannabis initiative sponsored by Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation.


In addition to initiatives for advocating cannabis as a safer alternative to alcohol, Colorado has also passed legal medical marijuana, what Coloradoans are referring to as the "Green Rush"--a medical marijuana business boom. Between 2000 and 2008, the state issued only about 2,000 medical marijuana cards to patients. By 2009, that number skyrocketed to more than 60,000 due to the unlimited amount of patients the dispensaries are now able to provide care for.

Multiple places have decriminalized non-medical cannabis in the United States; however, cannabis is illegal under federal law. Gonzales v. Raich (2005) held in a 6-3 decision that the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution allowed the federal government to ban the use of cannabis, including medical use even if local laws allow it. Most places that have decriminalized cannabis (also known as marijuana) have civil fines, drug education, or drug treatment in place of incarceration and/or criminal charges for possession of small amounts of cannabis, or have made various cannabis offenses the lowest priority for law enforcement.

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