Marijuana: War of words, claims of nausea over criticism of free-joint rally

Yesterday's free-joint giveaway on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall, staged by opponents of marijuana tax measure Proposition AA, didn't include Vice President Joe Biden, who'd been invited by co-organizer Rob Corry to take part in between tours of areas devastated by recent flooding.

The Biden angle, and the latest rally, has earned criticism from the Yes on Prop AA campaign, to which Corry has fired back with, among other things, a claim of nausea.

Corry previewed yesterday's rally in a Q&A that we supplemented with a reaction to the Biden invite from Joe Megyesy, communications director with the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which supports the passage of Proposition AA; the initiative calls for a 15 percent excise tax and a sales tax of 10-15 percent on recreational cannabis sales.

In a statement, Megyesy wrote:
The No on AA campaign should be ashamed of itself for trying to capitalize upon a tragedy in order to advance their own political beliefs. We can debate the merits of a free joint giveaway, but I think we should all be in agreement that making light of people's suffering, as if a little marijuana can make it better, is inappropriate. The sad irony is that they are attempting to defeat a measure that will provide tens of millions of dollars annually for public school construction. This is money that could benefit some of the communities hit hard by the recent flooding.
After yesterday's rally, Corry fired back in a letter to Megyesy that he shared with Westword; see it below. In the missive, Corry seized on Megyesy's use of the word "debate," revealing that "I have been requesting a debate from your organization with no answer other than anti-Amendment 64 lobbyist Mike Elliott, who said 'yes,' then 'no.'" Corry goes on to say that Megyesy's statement "nearly made me re-qualify for the Medical Marijuana Registry due to symptoms of severe nausea." He goes on to interpret the criticism of the Biden outreach as an assertion that "marijuana cannot help people" -- and, presumably, flood victims -- "relieve symptoms of stress," and points out that he joined Yes on Prop AA chairman Brian Vicente in submitting a "formal petition to the State of Colorado to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list of debilitating medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana.

"I am not sure if you've witnessed the flood damage first hand, but I have, and had the honor [Monday] of looking into the eyes of suffering flood victims on the Pearl Street Mall and feeling their utter gratitude for marijuana and its healing properties," he maintains, adding, "This is why we legalized in the first place."

Here's the Corry letter to Megyesy.

Rob Corry Letter to Joe Megyesy

More from our Marijuana archive: "Photos: Free joint giveaway on Pearl Street Mall a mellow event."

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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