By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
And Colibri isn't alone in thinking that Amendment 64 doesn't go far enough. Even Tvert admits he'd like to see a proposal that opens up Colorado to total unregulated legalization of cannabis, but that won't happen overnight. In the meantime, he points out that the one-ounce limits in Amendment 64 are merely a baseline and can be increased by state statute. "The notion that it's better to keep marijuana 100 percent illegal for non-medical use because we'd like it to be 100 percent legal without any sort of regulation is counterproductive and irrational," he says.
Last week, the New York-based Marijuana Arrest Research Project released data showing that police in Colorado made more than 210,000 arrests for marijuana possession between 1986 and 2010, which put it right in the middle of all the states for pot arrest rates.
A disproportionate number of those arrests involved minorities. Although statistically whites use more marijuana than any other racial group, Hispanic tokers are almost twice as likely to be arrested — and African-Americans are more than three times as likely. The study made a point of noting that only 3.8 percent of all Colorado residents are black.
A second study by Drug Science.org based on the same FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program data indicates that the arrest rates for possession in Colorado hovered between 10,000 and 12,000 in recent years — arrests that Amendment 64 backers say would end if their bill passes. As neither study breaks down the possession arrests by amount, though, critics say that proponents are being misleading when they say that arrests would be eliminated, since the amendment would only legalize an ounce for personal possession. But 64's backers counter that legal pot shops will eliminate the need for mid-level pot dealers, who are now getting busted for storing up several ounces at a time to sell off.
As for Colorado's decriminalization of up to two ounces? The MARP study points out that a court appearance is mandatory, and missing it could mean up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. "It would be a mistake to think that these arrests do not carry significant consequences for the thousands of mostly young Coloradans who go through the arrest, prosecution, and sentencing process every year," the report concludes.
Although both Oregon and Washington state also have marijuana legalization measures on the ballot, Colorado's looks like it might have the best chance of passing, with polls in late October showing voters equally divided.
What would happen if Amendment 64 is approved?
Even though the amendment would be in the Colorado Constitution, it would not supersede the federal Controlled Substances Act, nor make marijuana in any way legal at the federal level. Getting popped federally for cultivation could still net a quarter-million dollars in fines and up to five years in prison. But 64 would create a buffer for use and possession of limited amounts in Colorado: State police would not be able to cite or arrest anyone for anything at or under the prescribed amount.
Someone in the state legislature would have to take the lead and propose legislation to regulate the new marijuana industry, as lawmakers did with HB 1284. Nancy Spence, who is now retired, was one of the two Senate sponsors of that measure; although she says she wasn't supportive of the boom in the MMJ business, she helped craft the rules because it was the right thing to do. "I tried my best to do a good job at the regulation," she recalls. "Although I didn't support MMJ in the year 2000, the responsible thing to do was take care of it and do my best to make certain that it was regulated in a way that would contain it."
So far, no legislator has stepped forward — at least, not publicly — to do the same work on Amendment 64. It's possible that none will — and even if such legislation is passed, the governor could refuse to sign it. But the language of the ballot proposal takes that into account. If state government stalls on enacting the will of the people, one lawyer notes, the matter would automatically bypass the state and go straight to local jurisdictions, which would then license and regulate the stores. (If they allow them at all; as with MMJ, municipalities can opt out of pot shops.)
Tvert points to the state medical marijuana system as a good example of what this version of legalization regulation could look like. Just as the Colorado Legislature charged the Department of Revenue with regulating the MMJ business, Amendment 64 would have the Department of Revenue do the same for commercial marijuana stores. That means regulating everything from labeling requirements to production standards to advertising and display of marijuana in public. And all of those rules would have to be in place by July 2013, so that the state could begin licensing pot shops that October.
But while Tvert cites the system that the legislature set up with the Department of Revenue as a model that could be followed again, he might hope it works a little more smoothly the second time around. The Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division has struggled in its sixteen months of existence and has had financial problems, squandering a lot of its operating budget on overpriced video-monitoring systems and leases on new black Chevy SUVs. There aren't enough people on staff to drive those vehicles: The division has gone from thirty employees to around a dozen.
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?