Marijuana: Amendment 64 blasted by Douglas County sheriff, Mason Tvert responds

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The resolution, signed by commission chair Jack Hilbert, employs the typical "whereas" format for such documents -- and most of the clauses that follow this word suggest disaster should the majority of Coloradans allow adults to possess and use small amounts of cannabis. The commissioners argue that the amendment "fails to protect the health, safety and welfare of Colorado citizens" because it lacks standards against "harmful contaminants and disease," "conflicts with federal law and jeopardizes federally funded projects because drug-free workplace requirements may not be met," and "suggests that Colorado is on tract [sic] to become a primary source of supply for high-grade marijuana throughout the country."

In addition, the commissioners pick up a theme struck by Governor John Hickenlooper in his 64-opposition statement: They believe the initiative "would harm Colorado's image as a healthy place to live, work and raise a family."

Still, these assertions are low-key in comparison with those made by Sheriff Weaver, whose statement cites "harmful consequences" that will likely come to pass should Amendment 64 win approval. According to him, "Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere. I think our entire state will pay the price."

Weaver's office reenforces this conclusion via twenty bullet points grouped under three headings: "It's Bad For Our Kids," "It's Bad For Our Community" and "It's Against the Law." Most of them include links, many of them from Healthy and Drug Free Colorado, a website affiliated with the Colorado Drug Investigators Association, which recently released a worst-case-scenario study of mold at marijuana grows that our William Breathes dubbed "clown science."

In addition, there's one link to Smart Colorado, the official No on 64 campaign, and lots of Denver Post articles, a number of them fairly long in the tooth. For instance, the claim that there are more dispensaries in Denver than Starbucks, liquor stores or public schools is based on a 2010 article whose MMC numbers are now notably out of date.

Still, most of the the nightmare scenarios are speculative -- like generically credited police predictions that the passage of Amendment 64 will result in more burglaries, robberies, illegal pot rings and homicides.

What's 64 backer Tvert got to say about that?

Continue to read Tvert's response, and to see arguments against Amendment 64 from the Douglas County sheriff and commissioners.
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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