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Loveland – Nov. 2, 2010
Loveland voters overwhelmingly rejected ballot question 2C referred by the City of Loveland which would have allowed the city
to license marijuana dispensaries and grow operations in town in defiance of federal law. As of 7:00 PM election night, a
landslide against 2C was recorded of 63% against and only 36% in favor.
Carmen Weston, an outspoken opponent of 2C, funded signs around Loveland for a few hundred dollars opposing the measure
through an independent expenditure. Weston stated, “I am relieved that quack medicine will not be licensed in Loveland so truly
sick people cannot be hurt here.” She also noted, “Anyone with a medical marijuana card can still use pot legally in Colorado for
themselves but they can’t be licensed to grow it for profit while making outrageous claims about its medicinal value at least in
Loveland” She continued, “science and not emotion needs to prevail in this debate and the science is clear. Our town just
dodged a bullet that would have brought more crime, drug addictions and lower property values not to mention possibly deaths
of immune suppressed cancer or aids patients mislead by backyard pharmacists.”
During a 2 hour hearing before the City Council last August, one backer of the marijuana dispensaries warned Loveland’s council,
” if you take this to the voters you will tear this town apart .” No organized opposition to 2C ever materialized with the
exception of Carmen Weston; whose signs were quickly stolen whenever posted. Some opponents interviewed by
LovelandPolitics asked not to be identified in fear of retaliation by the marijuana dispensary owners who were active and vocal in
the campaign to pass 2C.
Loveland’s City Council referred the question of ‘medical marijuana’ dispensary licensing to the voters last summer. Dispensaries
began appearing in Loveland in 2009 after the Obama Administration announced it would no longer enforce federal laws that
prohibit the sale of marijuana to the public in states that allow medical marijuana. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1
narcotic by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is available through pharmacies for
people with a doctor’s prescription in a synthetic form that is not addictive.
Unlike other local governments, Loveland’s council failed to reach a consensus on the issue last July and instead threw the
political hot potato to the voters through ballot question 2C. Councilwoman Joan Shaffer was perhaps the most ardent
supporter of 2C who helped the backers devise a plan to remove marijuana leaves from their business signs to improve their
public image. She also bragged recently in a joint city/county meeting that marijuana dispensaries could provide over $1 million
for Loveland in future sales taxes.
Councilwoman Donna Rice and Councilman Hugh McKean both opposed the licensing of dispensaries in Loveland and
opposed 2C while the majority of Loveland’s council refused to take a public position on the ballot question.
The City of Loveland extended a previous moratorium on new businesses that allowed the dozen pot shops already operating in
Loveland without a license to continue until March 1, 2011 even if voters rejected 2C. Defiant owners are likely to sue the City
of Loveland as they threatened earlier during council public hearings on the issue in an effort to remain open regardless of what
the voters decide.
Curiously, these same operators have ignored federal laws, operated outside the constraints of Amendment 20 (medical
marijuana amendment passed 10 years ago in Colorado) and even violated Loveland’s own charter by failing to report campaign
contributions or open a bank account for money raised in support of 2C. Despite all that, they will be looking to a court of law to
adjudicate whether or not they can continue operating after the March 11, deadline.
L.A.W. (Loveland Association of Wellness) is an association of the majority of marijuana dispensaries in town that exclusively
funded the very visible political campaign to pass 2C. Spending over $3,000 (more than 5 times the one person campaigning
against the measure spent) but failed to persuade voters 2C was worth supporting. In a last ditch effort to gain momentum, a
crowd assembled on an intersection of highway 287 with signs that read, “ control medical marijuana .”
Perhaps the cynical nature of the yes on 2C campaign that pretended it was a measure meant to limit or control marijuana
dispensaries in Loveland (instead of allowing them) backfired as voters read the language on their ballots and realized it wasn’t
what they were being told.
Colorado voters approve Amendment 20 to
State Constitution allowing for limited use of
marijuana for medical purposes
President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric
Holder, instructed federal prosecutes not to
seek charges against medical marijuana users
in 14 states where some form of marijuana use
is allowed under state law.
|Marijuana candy that will be legal to produce
and sell in Loveland if 2C passes.
Academic Study On Drugs Derived From
Cannabis – Medical Peer Review
California Police Chief’s Summit On
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and
Links to Crime In Community
Colorado State Medical Marijuana
Dispensary License Application
Loveland, Colorado voters say NO to medical marijuana