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

Page 3 of 3

Corresponding via e-mail, Tvert offered a statement responding to the commissioners' resolution and the Weaver release, followed by a detailed, point-by-point refutation of the assorted claims.

Here's Tvert's statement:

"We are sorry to hear that Sheriff Weaver and our opponents were able to convince the commissioners to continue using the county's limited law enforcement resources to punish adults who choose to use a substance proven to be less harmful than alcohol, as opposed to focusing them on violent crimes and more dangerous drugs.

"It makes sense that Sheriff Weaver would prefer marijuana be produced and sold by drug cartels and other criminals -- it allows him to continue arresting people, seizing assets, and padding his budget. But it's odd that the commission would want to go along with it. They must realize marijuana is already universally available and in high demand, so we cannot imagine why they'd prefer to keep it in an underground market where it is entirely uncontrolled. They have literally endorsed a system that funnels profits to criminal enterprises instead of legitimate Colorado businesses, and makes marijuana far more accessible to young people. If the goal is to control marijuana, reduce crime, and protect our youth, marijuana should be sold in a tightly regulated market, such as that proposed by Amendment 64."

Tvert's conclusion: "Law enforcement officials pretend to care about eliminating the underground market, but they have made zero progress toward that goal over the past forty years. It has only grown larger over time."

Continue reading to see the Douglas County Sheriff's Office release, Mason Tvert's point-by-point response and the Dougco commissioners resolution.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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