Longmont's medical marijuana dispensaries close down as judge refuses to block ban

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Jun 21, 2007
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A Boulder County District Court judge refused to stop Longmont from enforcing its ban of medical marijuana businesses today, denying the city's dispensaries a preliminary injunction in their lawsuit.

"Turn off the ‘Open' sign," Longmont Apothecary manager Jason Hicks said softly into a cell phone after Judge Ingrid Bakke's ruling. Bakke found that the dispensaries did not have a constitutional right to operate under Amendment 20 of the Colorado Constitution, nor a protected propety interest that could be guarded by an injunction.

The judge acknowledged that the decision would hurt the dispensaries, one of which testified that it had spent two years developing some of the marijuana strains it would now have to let go.

"I very much sympathize with you," Bakke said, "but you are very much victims of developing law that even to this day is in a very gray area."

Longmont City Atttorney Eugene Mei said afterward that he was pleased with the judge's ruling, which will allow the city's ban to go forward. The City Council banned marijuana-related businesses in May, originally to take effect July 1. The actual date was delayed for over a month and a half, first by a failed attempt to put the ban on the November ballot as a referendum, and then by the lawsuit and a temporary restraining order.

"We had a strategy," Mei said. "We implemented a strategy. And today is the day – at least for now – that the strategy has come to fruition."


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