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Death Of Med-Pot Advocate Could Lead To Changes


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Police are still searching for a suspect in the murder of marijuana advocate Ken Gorman. He was shot to death at his Denver home Feb. 17 in what police think was a robbery.

Gorman grew pot in his home for himself and others. Just days before his murder, he spoke to CBS4 of the dangers.

"I've had a gun stuck to my head," Gorman said. "I've had people stabbed here, in my house, from people trying to get my marijuana."

Gorman called Colorado's amendment legalizing medical marijuana "a great, great law." The law allows patients and caregivers to grow pot, but makes no provision for secure marijuana dispensaries, like they have in some other states. It leaves it up to the user to find their own.

Medical marijuana patient Dana May said finding it can be dangerous.

"You try your luck down on Colfax and get shot," May said. "Or, get your car hijacked for a $20 bag."

In response to the violence, medical marijuana dispensaries are now opening, like Cannabis Therapeutics Dispensary in Colorado Springs.

Matt Schnur of Cannabis Therapeutics said they have bullet proof glass and a steel door for security. There is also an extensive camera system. Behind the counters there are water pipes, known as bongs, and a wide array of smoking aids and samples of the different types of marijuana available for purchase. To some, it looks like a head shop, but it has the environment of a clinic.

Unlike some other states, there is no provision in Colorado's law providing for medical marijuana dispensaries. Only those with medical marijuana state registry cards can participate at Cannabis Therapeutics. But Colorado's Attorney General John Suthers believes such dispensaries may be exploiting the law.

"This is the medical marijuana law being abused for purposes of wide scale marijuana distribution," Suthers said.

Ken Gorman hosted a giant smoke-out at the Capitol every April 20th rallying for the legalization of marijuana. This week, Gorman's supporters gathered at a local park for a memorial and a smoke.

"To take a great man like that from this community for no reason but money shows how dirty people are," said participant Tom Esparza.

Gorman's death may now lead to a push by medical marijuana patients to be able to get their drug safely.

"I'd like to see the law changed in Ken's name to allow safe access," Dana May said. "An outlet for safe access for those of us who need medical marijuana to get it without being in fear of our lives."

Suthers said he will ask drug task forces to examine whether medical marijuana dispensaries are in compliance with the law.

Source: CBS4Denver.com
Author: Rick Sallinger
Contact: rsallinger@cbs.com
Copyright: 2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc.
Website: cbs4denver.com


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This just speaks to the core of SAFE ACCESS NOW!!
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