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Governor Hickenlooper meets with families at the Capitol.
Governor Hickenlooper meets with families at the Capitol.
Thomas Mitchell

Reader: Marijuana Consumers Deserve and Demand Equal Rights and Protections!

Governor John Hickenlooper vetoed three cannabis-related bills in a span of two days in early June, including a measure that would have allowed dispensaries to add tasting rooms and another that would have added autism to the state's list of acceptable medical marijuana conditions.

The veto of HB 1263 hit hard for parents with autistic children; proponents had camped out by Hickenlooper's office in hopes of persuading him to sign the bill.

Says Michelle Walker, who'd pushed for HB 1263:

 We are disappointed and saddened by the governor's veto of our bill. We had two meetings with him behind closed doors, and even though we had answers to all of his concerns, in the end our children were left behind.

My son qualifies for medical cannabis because he has epilepsy as well as autism. What about the other families? This was a beacon of hope for them. The children of Colorado deserve better.

Notes Bob: 

He shouldn’t be vetoing any MMJ bills that were passed by the legislature. Vetos aren't meant to ensure the governor always gets his way; they are intended to stop a harmful or heinous bill from passing. You're gonna say the people’s right to consume cannabis is so dangerous that the governor needs to veto the democratic process?
Insanity.

Explains Ben:

John Hickenlooper is a hypocrite booze peddler who was against cannabis legalization from the start and went out of his way to stop full legalization. The booze Hickenlooper sells at his breweries is a contributing factor for over 104,000 alcohol caused deaths annually. Business at his breweries is down and John knows why, it has been replaced by cannabis, a far safer alternative to serial killer alcohol. Shame on you, John, for pushing a deadly addictive product that is well known for the harm it causes and the families it destroys.

Based on his bad behavior I would never vote for Hickenlooper for anything!

Concludes Brian:

Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of alcohol: far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime.

Plain and simple! Legalize nationwide!

Keep reading for more on Colorado's politicians and pot.

Reader: Marijuana Consumers Deserve and Demand Equal Rights and Protections!
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"Hickenlooper Vetoes Three Pot Bills in Two Days"

Reader: Marijuana Consumers Deserve and Demand Equal Rights and Protections! (2)
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Reader: Marijuana Consumers Deserve and Demand Equal Rights and Protections! (3)
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"Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren on Their Marijuana Bill Team-Up"

The same week that Hickenlooper vetoed those three marijuana bills, Senator Cory Gardner, who'd also opposed Amendment 64 back in 2012, joined Senator Elizabeth Warren in pushing federal legislation that would protect states that have legalized marijuana, such as Colorado and Massachusetts, from federal prosecution.

Hickenlooper wasn't concerned about the feds when he vetoed HB 1263, though. “While we are very sympathetic with families advocating medical marijuana (MMJ) as a safer and more effective treatment for their children, we cannot ignore such overwhelming concerns from the medical community,” he wrote in a letter accompanying the veto. “In vetoing this bill, we do so on sole concern that medical efficacy of MMJ to treat ASD has yet to be fully studied by medical professionals and scientific experts entrusted to this role at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.” He has directed state agencies to begin researching the "safety and efficacy of medical marijuana for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder in children."

Congressman Jared Polis, whose gubernatorial campaign has been endorsed by NORML, criticized Hickenlooper for vetoing the bills. "Unfortunately, in the past two days our governor has vetoed three significant pieces of legislation that would have helped Colorado families and businesses," he said in a statement. "I hope to see these thoughtful, bipartisan bills to help Coloradans with autism and grow our economy reintroduced in the next legislative session. If they are, and if I'm governor when that happens, I will gladly sign them into law."

How did you respond to the vetoes? What do you think of Polis's candidacy? Post a comment or email marijuana@westword.com.

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