Last November, Larimer County passed a bill which outlawed the sale of medical marijuana in Loveland. That bill went into effect this week and local patients have been feeling the effects, now forced to travel outside their town to receive treatment. Loveland dispensaries have closed, despite a lawsuit filed which sought to keep a few open. The suit was filed Monday, a day before the ban went into effect.

The lawsuit, which challenged the ban as “unconstitutional,” was filed by Rocky Mountain Kind, Magic’s Emporium, and Colorado Canna Care. Dispensaries were warned a month in advance that sale after the March 1st deadline would result in $1,000-per-day fines and jail sentences.

Despite this, one of them stayed open on Tuesday and an employee was issued a summons. Colorado Canna Care, on South Lincoln Ave., remained open beyond the Tuesday deadline. Police visited every Loveland dispensary on Tuesday to ensure they adhered to the ban. Now, patients will have to go elsewhere for their medication.

The bill only bans the sale and cultivation of medical marijuana, but not the use. This means Loveland patients must travel outside the town to fill their prescriptions, creating at best an inconvenience for them. Really, what are the legislators and voters trying to prove? Loveland’s new ban doesn’t keep pot out of town; it draws more in.

Is this what we’ve come to, Colorado? We’re arresting people who just want to give care to people who need it. Fining people for something so harmless. Is the community of Loveland really so marred by offering treatment to local patients? Is it better to send those patients to other towns?