Berthoud residents turn out for medical marijuana meeting

BERTHOUD — Peter Bridgman divides his life over the past four years, after his diagnosis with colon cancer, into two categories: before medical marijuana and after medical marijuana.

“The difference before and after was night and day,” he said.
Bridgman shared his experiences Sunday afternoon with about 30 people who gathered in the Berthoud Community Center for a Better Berthoud-sponsored meeting on medical marijuana business prohibition, which will appear on the ballot in November.

The meeting was organized by Michele Ballinger, the owner of Herb’s Medicinals, the town’s only medical marijuana dispensary. Ballinger’s business would be forced to close its doors if the ballot measure passes in November.

Ballinger and other proponents who have started a campaign to encourage a “no” vote in November believe that if the measure passes and dispensaries are banned in Berthoud, it’s people like Bridgman who will suffer. Medical marijuana was the last thing Bridgman tried after a host of other traditional methods and a variety of prescribed drugs, and the only thing to cure debilitating nausea and what he called “crushing fatigue” associated with chemotherapy treatments.

Berthoud is an important player in the national and statewide debate about medical marijuana dispensaries, said campaign manager Erik Williams, because proponents are not making theoretical arguments.

“What we have here is actually patients on the front lines,” he said.

Those in attendance at the community meeting heard from Ballinger, Herb’s Medicinals partner Megan Sanders and Dr. Alan Shackelford, a Harvard-trained physician and researcher who advocates for the use of medical marijuana.
“We take this very seriously,” said Ballinger. “We’re in this industry because we care about our patients.”

Herb’s Medicinals has been open since 2009 on Mountain Avenue, and in October they will move to Second Street to comply with an ordinance passed by the town council. That ordinance also states that no medical marijuana dispensaries may be in 1,000 feet of each other, so for now, no other dispensaries may come into Berthoud.

Community members submitted questions to the panel focusing largely on the regulation at the dispensaries and safety for kids. Community members circulated a petition to put the ban of dispensaries on November’s ballot after Berthoud police released a report showing an increase in crime and marijuana problems at the schools with the advent of the dispensaries.
Berthoud resident Dwayne White voiced concern about regulation. While Ballinger can track an amount of marijuana that a person buys from her dispensary and bans those who overuse, there’s nothing in place currently to stop a customer from buying two ounces from Ballinger then traveling to another dispensary to buy an additional two ounces and selling it on the street.

The solution, as White sees it, is banning the dispensaries altogether.
“That’s the first step in the marijuana problem,” he said. “There are alternatives.”

While Berthoud voters will choose whether to ban dispensaries at the polls, Fort Collins residents will choose whether to reverse a ban on dispensaries that was enacted in the 2011 general election. Statewide, all Colorado voters will answer yes or no to Amendment 64, a ballot measure that would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults age 21 and older.

Leading up to Election Day, Berthoud residents can expect more community forums as well as door-to-door campaigning, Williams said.

 

Source: www.weedwatch.com

No reviews yet.

Leave a Reply