Shots fired in robbery attempt at Denver-area pot dispensary
December 16, 2009
DENVER – Gunshots were fired and a suspect was wounded during an attempted holdup at a medical marijuana dispensary Wednesday, police said, adding another shock to a booming young industry struggling to find its place in Colorado.
Police spokesman Joe Ramirez said two men entered the shop and confronted the owner and an employee. A fight erupted and multiple shots were fired, but it’s not clear by whom.
The owner called 911 and police apprehended the injured suspect. He was taken to a hospital but the details of his injuries weren’t known.
Police were seeking the second man, who was believed to be armed. Seven area schools were placed on full or partial lockdowns, but authorities said those precautions were lifted by late morning.
Dispensaries have sprung up across the state under a voter-approved constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana. Some local governments are at a loss about whether to allow them to open, and if so, where. Many communities have imposed moratoriums on new shops while waiting for the Legislature to act.
Lawmakers meet again in January. State Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, is drafting legislation that would require dispensaries and growers to get state and local licenses and set stricter rules on who can use medical marijuana.
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Moffat County commissioners on Tuesday approved a moratorium lasting six months or until the Legislature creates rules.
El Paso County commissioners on Thursday plan to discuss whether to impose a moratorium in unincorporated areas or offer temporary permits for certain areas.
Moratoriums have also been discussed or imposed in at least five cities and several other counties.
The state Board of Health tried imposing new rules on medical marijuana providers last month, but a judge overturned them, saying the board ignored the needs of patients and violated open meetings laws.
The board has said it is reviewing its options before deciding what to do next.