Video: Marijuana activists debate Amendment 64

Update: On Friday, we shared with you part one of a video capturing a debate about Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act -- one that pitted a proponent of the measure against another activist who wants recreational cannabis use permitted, but not the way the ballot measure proposes. Just hours ago, part two went live. See it below, along with another recent pot panel discussion -- this one far different in tone.

The first video features Sensible Colorado's Josh Kappel, on the pro-Amendment 64 tip, facing off against CARE's Rico Colibri, whose competing proposal, Initiative 70, failed to collect enough signatures to go before voters in November. Colibri is working overtime to make sure Amendment 64 doesn't succeed despite being in favor of weed legalization.

As for video number two, it features footage from a conversation in Fort Collins sponsored by the Larimer County League of Women Voters. As noted by moderator Barbara Rutstein, Fort Collins has another marijuana item on the ballot this year -- Question 301, which would overturn a dispensary ban that went into effect there on Valentine's Day. However, the focus of the chat is Amendment 64, with Brian Vicente, one of the initiative's principal proponents, voicing his views in the company of Larimer County District Attorney Larry Abrahamson, Dr. Bernard Birnbaum, a family practice physician, and Ray Martinez, spokesperson for "Against Ballot 301."

The lineup isn't exactly stacked in Vicente's favor, but he certainly holds his own. See both videos below, followed by part one of the Kappel-Colibri exchange and some sample questions from Amendment 64 critics.

Continue to see part one of the Josh Kappel-Rico Colibri Amendment 64 debate and more.   Original post, 11:59 a.m. September 28: While Smart Colorado is the main group opposing Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, there's another one that may be more surprising to some observers: pot-legalization activists who feel the measure doesn't go far enough and is fatally flawed. These sorts of objections were aired at a debate in Colorado Springs last night that pitted a campaign supporter against just such a critic. See a video of the exchange below.

The folks in the spotlight throughout the conversation, which was hosted by Coloradans 4 Cannabis Patient Rights and moderated by Laurie White at Penrose Library in the Springs, are Josh Kappel of Sensible Colorado, who backs Amendment 64, and Rico Colibri of CARE Alliance, who has grave doubts about it. Note that Colibri was among the main supporters of Initiative 70, a ballot proposal that would have regulated cannabis more like tobacco than alcohol. Initiative 70 was one of three proposed marijuana initiatives that failed to qualify for the November election.

The following video is part one of the debate.... (Update: See part two above.) We've also included a release from the Cannabis Policy Project sent out in advance of the forum. It includes a list of proposed questions that will give you a feel for the objections some activists have about Amendment 64. Note that the act's supporters reject these positions, for reasons that Kappel elucidates in the video. Here part one:

Cannabis Policy Project release: Proposed questions for town hall q&a released in advance of last night's event:

1) If A64 is not "legalization", as author Steve Fox admits, why does the A64 campaign continue to promote the amendment in their campaign as "legalization" and an "end to prohibition"? *NEW VIDEO proves A64 is NOT Legalization*

2) The A64 Campaign has been claiming that A64 would prevent 10,000 to 12,000 arrests every year. Yet they cannot point to one case of a person that has been arrested for possessing ONLY one ounce of marijuana or growing only 3 flowering marijuana plants. Isn't it true that A64 would have no real impact on marijuana arrests in Colorado? Westword: Would Amendment 64 really prevent 12,000 pot arrests?

3) If A64 says that a person can possess only one ounce, how will A64 prevent the creation of a statewide, non-confidential registry of marijuana users to track that one ounce?

4) Why does A64 allow for an unlimited excise tax on marijuana?

5) Does it concern you that A64 was financed almost entirely by out-of-state corporate interests like Peter Lewis of Progressive Insurance and billionaire currency manipulator George Soros?

6) A64 does nothing to prevent the federal government from enforcing federal law in Colorado. Don't you think this will give people a false sense of security, like the medical marijuana law (Am. 20) did?

7) Am. 64 creates a new constitutional crime called "Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana" that will have to be defined by state lawmakers who are hostile to marijuana. Why didn't A64 define DUI-M in A64 instead of leaving it up to the legislature to decide?

8) A64 enshrines discrimination against marijuana smokers into our Constitution. Employers, landlords and others will be legally allowed to discriminate against marijuana users. How is this a step in the right direction?

9) A64 gives constitutional authority to the Department of Revenue to police all marijuana in the state. The DOR Medical Marijuana Criminal Enforcement Division has been involved in many scandals, including charges of being too "cozy" with the industry, cronyism and wasting taxpayer dollars. Given the DOR's proven track record of corruption, why do you trust the DOR to regulate all marijuana in the state?

Medical Marijuana Division Has More Vehicles Than Workers

State medical marijuana letter causes concern

Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division's Dan Hartman reassigned

Colorado medical-marijuana regulator rents space from lawyer that represents dispensaries

10) A64 proponents have said that A64 allows you to possess unlimited amounts of cannabis, as long as you grew it at home and it never leaves your house. A64's campaign ignores the fact that possession of 12 ounces is a felony in Colorado. Mere possession of 12 ounces is enough to be charged with felony "intent to distribute", which A64 does not protect against at all. Won't this give marijuana users a false sense of security and lead to more arrests of unsuspecting marijuana users who relied on A64's campaign pitches?

11) How can A64 be an "end to prohibition", as proponents claim, when A64 supporters are in favor of jailing "bad apples" that don't follow all the complex and ambiguous marijuana rules and regulations? If it were really "legalization" or an "end to prohibition", there wouldn't be any "bad apples", and all cannabis users would be free from punishment, prosecution or discrimination.

A64 Proponents Admit They Favor Jailing "Bad Apples"

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Amendment 64 blasted by Douglas County sheriff, Mason Tvert responds."

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