By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Still, it was seen as a win for the cannabis community, and it inspired SAFER to push for a similar statewide measure in 2006 that only received 40 percent of the vote. In 2007, SAFER again focused on Denver, which this time approved making marijuana possession the city's lowest police priority.
And soon a lot more people would be possessing marijuana — legally.
For nearly a decade after the passage of Amendment 20, the medical marijuana program in this state was small, mostly underground, and run by a few pioneering caregivers like the late Ken Gorman, who famously advertised in Westword for his services; these caregivers were overseen by the Department of Public Health and Environment.
But in 2007, Denver District Judge Larry Naves ruled that these caregivers were not limited to five patients, as the law had previously been interpreted. That, along with a broad definition of the amendment's language allowing caregivers to "dispense," was enough to inspire eager ganja-preneurs to open actual medical marijuna dispensaries, which had already begun popping up in California. They were further encouraged by the election of President Barack Obama in November 2008. By early 2009, there were dozens of dispensaries in Denver, and later that year, Naves again pushed the industry with a liberal interpretation of caregiver. By September 2009, there were enough dispensaries in the metro area that Westword started advertising for a pot critic.
But most would still say the real green rush was triggered on October 19, 2009, when Deputy Attorney General David Ogden wrote a memo to all U.S. Attorneys advising them to consider the enforcement of federal drug laws among their lowest priorities when dealing with states' legal medical marijuana patients and programs. The Ogden Memo, as it has become known, seemed to give the official go-ahead to the state's evolving dispensary system. And in response, the number of official MMJ patients jumped from just under 20,000 at the start of October 2009 to more than 100,000 by the following July.
By 2010, the dispensary boom had become a major issue for Colorado politicians, who crafted House Bill 10-1284 in an attempt to regulate and guide (and in many ways, rein in) the fledgling MMJ industry that had been operating in a largely unfettered manner to that point. The measure established operating hours, security requirements and plant-monitoring procedures for dispensaries; required that dispensaries — now known as "centers" — grow 70 percent of the marijuana they sell; and prohibited former drug felons from working in the industry. The bill also allowed for cities and counties to enact their own bans against retail marijuana sales — and so far, more than eighty have. Most important, HB 1284 created a new branch of the Department of Revenue: the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, which is funded primarily by dispensary license and application fees.
At the same time Colorado officials were trying to come to grips with one new marijuana industry, some cannabis activists were already pushing to create another one. In the summer of 2011, there were several legalization proposals being considered by various factions, including one by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, headed by Tvert and attorney Brian Vicente. But only their proposal had the momentum to make it onto the ballot, as Amendment 64, which Coloradans will vote on next week.
If Colorado voters pass Amendment 64, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use by adults 21 and older would be legalized. (Possession of up to two ounces would still be decriminalized under state law for adults 18 and up.) Amendment 64 would also authorize the state to collect a voter-approved excise tax of up to 15 percent on marijuana — with the first $40 million collected earmarked for public-school construction across Colorado. Although personal sales would not be legalized, cultivation of up to six plants at a time would be permitted (again, for those 21 and up only), and growers would be able to keep their entire harvest, even if it is over an ounce; they could also give away up to an ounce to other adults 21 or over. (Laws against growing currently carry penalties of eighteen months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines for even a single plant.)
"Marijuana prohibition is causing harm every day we allow it to continue, so we believe that it is imperative that we replace it with a more sensible system as soon as possible," Tvert says. Past SAFER victories have played "a significant role in sparking a dialogue about marijuana in Colorado," he adds, "and the emergence of the regulated MMJ system has also played a role. If you talk with [Vicente], he'll point more to the legal wins, but I know the social movement has played a huge role as well. Both have changed the way people think about marijuana."
Amendment 64 has received the backing of numerous groups, including the Colorado Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party of Colorado (including presidential nominee and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson), the Green Party of Colorado, the local branch of the ACLU and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. It is also supported by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, as well as retired Denver Police lieutenant Tony Ryan, who spent 36 years patrolling the city. But its most recognizable supporter could well be former congressman Tom Tancredo, a Republican firebrand who called marijuana prohibition a "wasteful and ineffective government program" in his official endorsement of 64.
I'm gonna call it, Aaron... it's just you and me here....
Obama wins the Presidency and A64 wins too.
Who is Donkey Hotay?
Here's the answer:
Donkey Hotay [ Show all posts ]
Real Name:Aaron (Sawyer)
Registered: 12/19/2005 06:25PM
Last Activity: 11/28/2007 05:38PM
And to see proof that this is the same Donkey Hotay, here are the highlights:
1) he works at IBM, who has a plant in Boulder on Diagonal Blvd
2) he is a rockies fan
3) he writes like a lawyer
Read his posts for yourself, you will quickly see that Aaron Sawyer IS Donkey Hotay.
Forum Posts in the " 'Friendly' Political Ranting" section:
Here are posts from another forum by Aaron "the idiot Donkey Hotay" Sawyer:http://tinyurl.com/cldyphk
Who would expect a journalism award quality article from the pot columnist of a free weekly. Could this be journalism? There is that word again! Breathes give us the Information and background, overviews of the stakeholders, and the story as of today, The reader comes away better informed and with more depth. This is the job of journalists. The malleable message of the 30 second sound bite and the two minute news story does not an informed electorate make. We need every issue covered this way. How good is this article? If you are pro or con on the issue, you still come away with facts and history to defend your position.
The donkey is still posting the flawed study that "marijuana causes testicular cancer". Why does the Donkey hate marijuana and want it to remain illegal?
Proof that the Donkey is a prohibitionist can be found at
Here Donkey, I don't think I can take 4 more days of your copy and paste insults. So I found you this to help spark some creativity.
just a reminder that we'd love to publish some of these comments in our print letters to the editor section....ideally with the author's real name/town (we don't publish e-mail addresses). Or feel free to submit a fresh letter to patricia.calhoun@westword.
C'mon, Kevin, Ice pick, weib999x -- and dare I say it, donkeyhotay? Any takers?
@IcePick noted and archived
@nemopunk15 -- Gotta love R Lee Ermey
you bet I'm always up!
@patricia.calhoun Sure, I'll talk to you... look for my email.
@patricia.calhoun Patricia, it's obvious that the presence of the Donkey increases site traffic, because arguing with them is addictive.
What do you think of the Donkey's debate style?
@patricia.calhoun When you get donkeyhotay to reveal their real name, please let us know. That is currently the $10,000 question.
How much does it pay ?
@DonkeyHotayThe value of a person willing to sign his/her real name to an opinion is priceless...still, readers do it every day, and I encourage anyone willing to stand up for his/her thoughts to do so!
@kevin_hunt They beat me by 10 minutes.
Could it be too good to be true? I don't want to jinx it.
The Rocky Mountain High just got a whole lot higher. On Tuesday night, Amendment 64 -- the measure which sought the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults -- was passed by Colorado voters, making Colorado the first state to end marijuana prohibition in the United States.
With about 36 percent of precincts reporting at the time of publishing, 9News and Fox31 report that Amendment 64 has passed.
@IcePick Donkey = a Continuation of Criminal Prohibition against Marijuana Users and Growers and an endorsement of Reefer Madness hysteria regarding the HARMS and DANGERS of marijuana.
@DonkeyHotay Top posted above ^^^^^^
@DonkeyHotay Ok, you asked for it....
Time to reveal your sorry ass.....
@IcePick You're lying again, scumbag. Pay attention. Look it up.
@DonkeyHotay You didn't answer. Where did you answer? What was the answer?
@IcePick -- asked and answered you pig-ignorant drooling retard.
@DonkeyHotay LOL, are you denying that you are Aaron Sawyer of IBM?
@IcePick -- Does it hurt much to be so ignorant?
You know damn well you who are, Aaron Sawyer... employee of IBM.
@IcePick Who is Aaron Sawyer and why are you so infatuated with him ?
@sfsailor You appear to be suffering from DTs ... again.
@DonkeyHotaySo you are denying you fled to avoid serving your prison sentence/s? I am the person who told you, Corey, almost years ago while we were walking near the Capital, that you have no critical thinking skills, and that I was shocked at this as you claim to have a Master's degree. hth.
@sfsailor "You are clearly Corey "Nut-tap" Donahue - the convicted sexual offender who fled to Boliva [sic] to avoid serving his jail time."
You = clearly a clueless imbecile
@DonkeyHotay Your online name, DonkeyHotay; is a play on the way "Don Quixote" sounds. Your previous posts from 1-2 years ago, on Disgus, gave away your living place as near Boulder (which turned out to be your sisters apartment). Your posting as DonkeyHotay all but died out in September and October - the same time you fled to Boliva. Your postings started right back up after you where apparently (no one has checked this) granted asylum.You are clearly Corey "Nut-tap" Donahue - the convicted sexual offender who fled to Boliva to avoid serving his jail time. When you fled from America, you also forfeited all of the bonds your acquaintances had to put up to bail you out of jail all those times from your stint terrorizing the Denver Occupy movement... In the end, when you fled, the people who bailed you out must have lost over $10k.So, Corey, what gives you the right to chime in on anything in Colorado? You fled from here physically.... And why is Westword letting you, a known, fleeing and fleecing felon have a soapbox? If WW is not going to have any standards here- what's next??? Is WW going to have a forum where pedophilies can come and taunt their victims? Seems like sound Corey Donahue style logic to me...
@IcePick Down with donkeys!!
That right there is a thing of beauty!
@patricia.calhoun What's more important -- the message or the messenger ?
@DonkeyHotay irony is never lost on me. It's one of my favorite things. But the simple fact is that, unlike a food critic who can write under her real name and make reservations under a fake one, an MMJ reviewer must do the reverse: Use the real name to get into the place, and so a fake one for the reviews.
what's your explanation.
And the irony of this on a blog written by "William Breathes" is lost on you, Patty?