Wed November 2, 2011

UFCW Vows to Continue Fighting for Medical Marijuana

A proposed ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Fort Collins continues to lead in the polls-- 53 to 47 percent. A final count is expected after 5 p.m. today. Regardless of the outcome, the state’s largest union is already promising to continue its fight to legalize medical marijuana.

United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 7 represents more than a half dozen Fort Collins dispensaries right now. Statewide the numbers are between 100-200 dispensary workers. Speaking with reporters today, Mark Belkin with the group said Fort Collins is just one battle in a war that will continue.

“We took the responsible position, we took the position of keeping medical cannabis controlled and regulated,” he said. “All this initiative has accomplished is boarding up 22 small businesses in the town of Fort Collins. And that’s the real tragedy.”

Organizers said they are looking into ballot initiatives that would appear both in Fort Collins and statewide in 2012 pertaining to medical marijuana. Meantime, Dan Rush, director for Medical Cannabis and Hemp Division of the UFCW, said he’ll continue to organize workers in Denver and Boulder.

“If you’re a dignified sincere and compliant employer in this industry, we’ll organize your workers and help stabilize the industry,” he said.

The UFCW is also actively organizing dispensary workers in California and Michigan.