Marijuana: Rob Corry likes some A64 task force recommendations, hates even more
Marijuana lawyer Rob Corry has spent years critiquing, and often ripping apart, pot-related legislation. Note his line-by-line shredding of the original 2010 medical-marijuana regulatory draft and a companion measure about the relationship between doctors and MMJ patients or his 2011 letter to lawmakers about that year's THC driving bill. His latest self-given assignment? A detailed breakdown of the Amendment 64 task force's 166-page report, which features more negatives than positives. Get details and see both docs below.
In the introduction to his missive, Corry maintains that "the Task Force was distracted by amorphous, alleged but unattributed, wishes of a Federal Government that it is Colorado's job to prevent the out-of-state 'diversion' of marijuana. No actual Federal official has ever gone on record as stating that out-of-state "diversion" is a Federal priority, and yet the Task Force allowed this fake bogeyman to taint much of its work."
He further attacks the credibility of the group based in part on the man who empowered it, Governor John Hickenlooper. Here's an excerpt:
The Task Force was constructed from a flawed premise at the outset, and conducted itself with a lack of procedure and accountability. Luckily, the entirety of the Task Force work is non-binding on this Legislature, which should resist the temptation to "rubber stamp" these recommendations. First and foremost, the membership of the Task Force was determined principally by a Governor, with roots in the alcohol industry, who actively opposed and aggressively campaigned against Amendment 64, even going so far as to donate his valuable time to cut and air political advertisements against the measure. The makeup of the Task Force thus reflected the bias of the Governor who appointed them, with a majority of the members in opposition to Amendment 64, not reflective of the strong public support for the measure.
Nonetheless, Corry did find some task force recommendations he likes. Those he supports include allowing currently licensed medical marijuana operations -- either retail outlets or manufacturers -- to designate separate portions of their inventory for MMJ and recreational purposes; banning certain pesticides and chemicals from use in the cultivation process; promoting educational, technical and professional efforts; and equating penalties for juvenile weed possession to those established for underagers with alcohol.
Still, the majority of the document, which Corry has sent to members of the joint committee on Amendment 64 implementation, finds him taking issue with the task force.
The first task force meeting took place in mid-December.
Photo by Sam Levin
An example: Under the heading "The Drug War is Over, Prisoners of War Should Be Released," Corry writes that "the State should consider amnesty, pardon, or commutation of sentence for all individuals in Colorado currently serving a sentence of prison, jail, parole, or probation for any previous 'crime' related to marijuana that is no longer a crime under Amendment 64, Article XVIII §16 of the Colorado Constitution." Likewise, he believes records involving such offenses should be sealed, so that individuals convicted of matters that are no longer crimes should be given an opportunity for a fresh start.
Corry also takes on the subject of rescheduling marijuana, which is currently considered a Schedule I narcotic -- meaning that it has no known medical efficacy -- by the federal government. "It is a little-known fact that the State of Colorado independently schedules controlled substances, in addition to the federal scheduling. The Legislature should consider removal of cannabis and its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinols ('THC'), from the scheduling of drugs under Colorado law." Presumably, such an action would increase pressure for a similar shift by the feds, who have thus far shown little interest in the subject.
Other items that generate objections from Corry: vertical integration (requiring marijuana retail outlets to grow their own product), licensing fees (he believes the current ones are already too high, yet legislators might raise them even more), residency requirements for owners and employees ("It is discriminatory, exclusionary, offensive, and should sicken any Coloradoan who wishes for a more vibrant and robust economic recovery here") and plenty more.
Read the entire document below. It's followed by the complete A64 task force report.
More from our Marijuana archive circa 2010: "Rob Corry's line-by-line shredding of Senator Chris Romer's medical marijuana bill."
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