The passage of Amendment 64, is big news in Colorado and nationwide -- so it's no surprise that entrepreneurs are looking for ways to cash in. But what's just as intriguing as the commemorative merchandise available at a website called Colorado Rocky Mountain High -- see photos of everything from Christmas ornaments to iPad covers below -- is the possibility that the items are connected to one of A64's most vocal critics.
An e-mail touting the site that was received by Westword features a link to a site dubbed FirstToLegalize.com. Clicking it, however, takes the user to Legalize2012.com, an address launched in November 2010 by Laura Kriho of the Cannabis Therapy Institute. In a post from that month headlined "Marijuana legalization campaign for 2012 starts tomorrow if Proposition 19 passes or not," Kriho spoke about Prop. 19, a California proposal for marijuana legalization. "We hope it passes; that'll be better for our momentum," she told us before adding, "We're going forward regardless of what happens in California."
Kriho did, working for the better part of two years to shape a proposal she portrayed as far superior to Amendment 64. But the effort failed to qualify for the ballot. In an August 2012 interview, she explained that "we never even printed petitions," adding, "We had no money.... You get all the politics you can afford, and we couldn't afford to do it."
Nonetheless, she didn't throw her support behind A64. "Amendment 64 is absolutely the wrong model," she said, "You can't take your freedom one gram at a time. If you try to do that, you're going to create a new position for a whole lot of law enforcement to measure that gram.... And Amendment 64 gives too much money to law enforcement."
Is Kriho behind FirstToLegalize.com? We've left numerous messages for her and will update this post when and if we receive a reply. But the website features the following statement along with a link to the main merchandise site:
Even though the authors of A64 say that it is "not legalization," the whole country is looking at Colorado as the First to Legalize™!!!
Being First to Legalize™ Carries a Lot of Responsibility to Get it Right!
Many longtime cannabis activists in Colorado opposed the language in A64 because they feared it gave too much power to the government to control marijuana smokers. Now that the initiative has passed and it has become part of the Colorado Constitution, it is the duty of all cannabis activists to make sure the law is implemented in a way that endangers as few people as possible.
To browse all of the merchandise, click here -- but we've included a slew of samples. Check them out below.
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More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana initiatives: Why three alternatives to Amendment 64 didn't make ballot."