Marijuana: Activist Rico Colibri on creating Amendment 64 Shadow Task Force

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To counter these drawbacks, Colibri and Chippi conceived a Shadow Task Force to be made up of individuals with marijuana expertise, including consumers and what he refers to as "civil rights representatives" -- Latinos and African Americans who've been among the groups most impacted by law enforcement crackdowns on cannabis over the years. He doesn't believe Latino task force members such as Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar and the Colorado Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice's Charles Garcia, not to mention assorted law enforcement reps, are speaking for such groups.

"It's like having the government in the deep South contemplate civil rights in the '50s," he says. "It's not the best way to get a full perspective on the issue."

To provide what's missing, the Shadow Task Force -- which will likely consist of 24 members, to echo the size of the Hickenlooper-sanctioned version -- intends to create a website where information and recommendations can be shared in real time, as well as a white paper that can be provided to receptive members of the governor's task force, legislators in the general assembly and more. They'll also be monitoring developments on the medical marijuana front. Take a 2 p.m. meeting of the A64 regulatory work group at the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division's 445 Sherman Street offices. Colibri says representatives of the Cannabis Business Alliance and the Medical Marijuana Industry Group are expected to make presentations there -- and members of the Shadow Task Force will be on hand to take notes on proposals with an eye toward moving developments in what they see as a positive direction.

Time is of the essence, Colibri stresses. "These guys have thirty days to make important recommendations to the general assembly," he says. "We don't have time to play anymore."

The press conference announcing the launch of the Shadow Task Force gets underway at 1:15 p.m. at Lincoln Park, across the street from the State Capitol.

Continue to read the press release for today's event, dubbed the "Marijuana State of the State."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts