Marijuana legalization debate preview: Meet the advocates who'll be hashing it out

kush.jpg
Free me.
It's fitting that Wednesday night's debate between Colorado cannabis activists has been dubbed "Round One."

The event is being advertised as a "lively and friendly" debate -- but if it's as impassioned and fiery as the comments on our marijuana blogs have been, it might be closer to a royal rumble.

While most of the groups agree that legalization is the ultimate goal, there's heavy disagreement on how to get there. Last month, attorneys Brian Vicente and Mason Tvert submitted ballot language. That prompted outcry from other groups, including the Cannabis Therapy Institute, about being left out of discussions. Blog posts about the perceived exclusion (like the ones accessible here and here) garnered hundreds of passionate takes from people on both side.

Editor's note/update: Tvert strongly disagrees with the assertion that CTI and other groups were left out of discussions about the initiatives with which he's involved. Get his take on the controversy in the May 24 post "Marijuana legalization: Mason Tvert touts initiative process openness, seeks more input." He also stresses that the initiatives were the work of advocates representing a broad coalition of interested parties, not just him and Vicente.

To hash things out and (hopefully) reach some common ground, Legalize2012.com has organized the Great Legalization Debate of 2012 Wednesday night at Casselmans, 2620 Walnut Street. Speakers representing five of the leading proposals will discuss why their approach is the best for Colorado. And while everyone interviewed told Mile Highs and Lows they were open to discussion, they were also sure their plan took the right approach.

Westword editor Patricia Calhoun will referee/moderate the event, which is free and open to the public. She usually prefers a cold beer to a bong -- but by the end of the evening, she may be eager for both.

Great Legalization Debates of 2012 -- Round One
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22
Casselman's Bar and Venue
2620 Walnut St. in Denver

Page down for speaker profiles and summaries of their proposals.


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78 comments
Colorado Native
Colorado Native

@5531419a009e2aad9df8091a3bf24fe9:disqus ..... You were told on stage by at this event by Paul.... you are TERRIBLE.... YOU ARE HURTING THE PEOPLE IN COLORADO!!!!

STOP HURTING US~~~~  ARE YOU DEAF???????????????????????????????????????

BTW: Lighting a joint in public is illegal and stupid.... you did it though...on camera.... what a frakin joke....

A Better Way
A Better Way

Most consumers would rather go to the store than grow their own. Most of the talkers seem to be home growers, I dont think they represent the majority of consumers. The model should address the four steps of the product cycle, bearing in mind that to design a model you must first understand the product, the process and the culture. Fail to address any of the steps in the cycle or misunderstand the product/process/culture and you will not produce a model that society can feel safe about. They outnumber you 4-1 so I think you should address their needs.

Dov
Dov

This is pathetic. I mean really people you can't agree on black or white how on earth will anything ever get passed? Obviously not too many people have learned from past mistakes as the fighting just continues. But what really pisses me off is how many of you so called activist/advocates have made matters worse for us patients on "our behalf". Well you've done enough damage, stop acting on our behalf until you can get your acts together! Un-believable!

A Better Way
A Better Way

Has anyone ever proposed a business model as a solution? This medical thing really limits the participants in any business designed to meet just their needs. Full legalization, safe access to anyone of age, thats where you find the money, jobs, taxes and opportunity. Invest the man in the success of this industry or you will have snoopy ticket writing petty tyrants forever. All of these proposals sound like people asking for what they want. I dont care what pot smokers want, I care about what society needs, which right now is jobs and taxes. As consumers, we represent no more than 20%, that small of a minority should not get what it wants, however it should get what it needs, and that is safe access for anyone of age. Meet their needs and society's need for "safety" and you create a win/win.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Hello everyone, if you have suggestions on Colorado's legalization proposal please post your suggestions  at http://www.legalize2012.com/ or to any of the groups in this article  and we will look at them.  However, Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente did not write their initiative, Steve Fox a Washington DC lobbyist wrote it, so talk to Steve Fox if you want Mason and Brian to know you opinions.  But with me and everyone else we are Coloradans and we are very accessible and  excited about getting other peoples Ideas . But if you do think of something that you would like to see submit it to one of the groups and I am sure they will look at you proposal and talk to you about it. 

Treat it like tomatoes
Treat it like tomatoes

When someone comes up with a simple legalization bill, I will vote for it.  These are not legalization.  Legalization in CO in 2012 is already looking like Prop 19 in Cali.  As a patient, I want marijuana to be treated like tomatoes, nothing more, nothing less.  It's a plant.  Good luck prohibiting it.  EVER.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

a true debate needs all sides, i hope mason, vicente and some one from DPA shows up!

Sammy (Englewood)
Sammy (Englewood)

If this comment thread is a preview of what the debate will be like, I will be at home doing something useful with that time, like smoking a joint and washing my hair.   Thanks for acting like irrational psychos operating under the false assumption that you are somehow intelligent enough to forgo not being a self-absorbed and egotistical narcissist prick when you are in the public eye, here on the Westword site.  It's like this isn't even about legalization to you.  You're basically masturbating.  And those of us who are just pot smokers with regular joe shmoe jobs and kids to raise are your defenseless jizz rags.  You're fucking it up for all of us and turning people off (I repeat: YOU ARE TURNING PEOPLE OFF). 

But at least you're having fun going back and forth here without even bothering to bring up the issue at hand - MAKING IT SO I CAN USE MARIJUANA AS A RESPONSIBLE WITHOUT FEAR. But at least you get to get off, right?

Let me be not the first nor the last to say that you're not -- you're not ACTUALLY that intelligent And of course, if you were, it would occur to you to carry yourself very differently for the sake of the cause.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

Way to over hype this one Westword; will tomorrow's headline read "Marijuana Legalization Bloodbath at Casselman's."  But it is nice to see you doing something for the industry after all the money you have made off of us.  

GetReal
GetReal

Why is this event being held at a bar?  Think of the message you all are sending. 

Also, more progress might be made if alcohol is left out of the mix.  Studies show alcohol enhances aggression and directly contributes to violence.  Cannabis does neither. 

I vote to put things back to where they were when alcohol was illegal and cannabis was not!  That's something worth striving for!

WTF!
WTF!

There is no credibility to this event.

The host, CTI, is now a known anti-Semitic organization that employs people who have greatly harmed patients in Colorado.

Why is Corey Donahue there with a proposal? Who does he represent besides himself? He has no NPO, he has no members, and his proposal is outright lunatic (i.e. Life sentences for a cop who suggests roadside tests for mj).

What a sad, sad joke. I just wonder how much more damage the CTI gang is going to inflict on the patients in Colorado before this is all over.

Dan Pope
Dan Pope

I know as a fact that both Brian and Mason spent a great deal of time and effort drafting their initiatives.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Talk to Kathleen Chippi she has a very similar suggestion to what you want maybe you can let her know and she can propose something you would like.

Mister_E
Mister_E

if we are fighting eye for an eye tooth for a tooth, we are all going to be blind and toothless!

I can't even understand half of the words used above, master.... what? so I guess I'm the stupid hillbilly here, yeehaw, lol.

Honestly, we need the banter back and forth, at least we see some people come alive, whether its to chime up and yell at eachother or to offer one or 2 good points.

Bottom line,I would love to use my marijuana and grow it for my patients and my former dispensary without fear, however, when you have your children, freedom, family members and livelyhood taken from you, as I did, and your life being threatened w decades of years in prison as I am, then you 2 will appreciate all the passion, whether it be self serving or whatever, at least it's something to spark the debate and fuel some kind of fire, whether it be your comments on how self absorbed everyone is, or how we can stop having a pissing match. I appreciate fighting to keep mmj patients and caregivers out of prison, maybe we can be a loud voice before my trial 9/26 in Ft. Collins, lets flex our muscles and send DA's, senators, representatives letters to stop the mean spirited heavy handed prosecution of mmj patients, caregivers, cultivators, dispensary owners. Especially in Fort Collins, (sorry, a little self serving, but what the heck, lol)

WTF!
WTF!

Why? Its not a debate when you have participants like Chippi saying

Kathleen Chippi in reply to Enough CTI

"I’m sick of you f’ing know nothings–I’m starting to believe your cops infiltrating to cause problems.No matter because enough people appreciate and respect CTI and ACT and other local groups that this will be prop 19 all over again, and we will help kill it with smiles on our faces."

If they do not get what they want they have already promised to "KILL IT WITH SMILES ON OUR FACES."Where is there room for debate with this attitude? There isn't.

LAURA - The swastika being on your levellers.org website....why did you take it down immediately after it was exposed? How long have you been an anti-semite?

WTF!
WTF!

Why? Its not a debate when you have participants like Chippi saying

Kathleen Chippi in reply to Enough CTI

"I’m sick of you f’ing know nothings–I’m starting to believe your cops infiltrating to cause problems.

No matter because enough people appreciate and respect CTI and ACT and other local groups that this will be prop 19 all over again, and we will help kill it with smiles on our faces."If they do not get what they want they have already promised to "KILL IT WITH SMILES ON OUR FACES."Where is there room for debate with this attitude? There isn't.LAURA - The swastika being on your levellers.org website....why did you take it down immediately after it was exposed? How long have you been an anti-semite?

WTF!
WTF!

Legalize2012.com is owned by Laura Khiro..... the same person who runs CTI....http://www.whois.net/whois/leg...

So, pray tell William, how is CTI/Laura not the event organizer?

Doesn't it bother anyone else that CTI hosted this event then stacked the debate with its people (Laura, Chippi, and Corey)

Like I said earlier this event, and CTI, lacks any shred of credibility...

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Oh and you do understand you say this event has no credibility on the comment section of the Westword who's staff does a wonderful job of covering this very important issue and will be moderating the debate, so are you saying that the Westword has no creditability?

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Not Lunatic. Crazy, Crazy for Justice. Thank you for debating the points I look forward to you future input.  Also lets go to the jails and see if I would represent any of the prisoners locked away or if they would support my amnesty proposal, I have a feeling they might. And its a30 year sentence for a cop who attempts to steal your blood, "It will be a felonycriminal offense with no less than 30 years to be severed to propose or requestor take a blood test of persons suspected of driving under the influence ofcannabis."

"It's a life sentence for any law enforcement agencyor its representatives to enter premises WITHOUT A VALID WARRANT in search ofevidence for a criminal matter." 

These are just further protections and clarifications of our constitutional rights if a law enforcement officer does not want to go to jail then don't violate the constitution. I don't think that's too much to ask. 

JoJo
JoJo

You sir, are the only one that lacks credibility. Afraid of losing your job as the guy who oversees pee tests?

Mister_E
Mister_E

sooo, im confused, wtf, are you for or against mmj patients? Is it the "advocates" you are angry at? coreydonahue, your pro mmj patients as well? If both are pro mmj, then why the bickering? even if your not pro mmj, Im as passionate as the next and still feel everyone's entitled to their opinion, however, none of us should be locked up or persecuted for it.

Maybe I should keep reading, however, im really just confused at the angry counter productive measuring up thats starting.

Was it really a "swaztika" or the buddist or hindu sign that the nazi's flipped to represent the opposite of peace? just being a optimist, as I have a hard time believing any steady attacks of negativity shot  as it seems a strong effort to provide disinformation at the different people who are putting themselves out their to try and do something, I appreciate their efforts as i do all advocates. I realize that some have their own interests in mind, regardless of the motivations, I expect we will all get it right sooner than later.

God help those who get in our way once we do all stop fighting amongst ourselves and unite! We will be an umoveable force that will be able to stand up against the tyranny of the DOR and any other corrupt politicians and enforcement divisions, maybe even one day the FEDS.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

I will give you an easy way out to save some face as the article was written about the debate of a legalization initiative, what is WTF's version of what legalization should be?  Do you have any or are you just a troll?

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Submit language for legalization and you too WTF! can participate, but remember this is the big leagues so, pray tell WTF! could you handle debating a proposed constitutional amendment or does your mental capacity only allow you to troll other hard work on teh internet behind a made up name? 

Good an ya Will I think you more then deserve to get stoned on the couch at you job and it would be an honor to burn one down with you. 

Sean Swanson
Sean Swanson

But honestly, Donahue...don't you think these outrageous ideas you propose (30 year min sentence for cops) will only make people think you are a loon?  It may make sense, but you got to think like the average joe.

joe mama
joe mama

i think you may be on to something.

joe mama
joe mama

i think you are no to something

WTF!
WTF!

Credible:1. Capable of being believed; plausible. See Synonyms at plausible.2. Worthy of confidence; reliable.How does CTI, or Donahue fit this definition?Anyone who links to anti-Semitic websites has no credibility in my, and most others, eyes.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

You can consider your self the King of Spain for all I care, 1 oz and 6 plants is not legalization.  And to say it is is to lie and do a disservice Colorado and to your ancestors.  

Dan Pope
Dan Pope

Well, speaking as a fifth generation Coloradoan who has volunteered countless hours to this cause and has never been paid for any of it and certainly considers himself to be pro-cannabis, I provided my share of input.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Jibber Jabber on Colorado Native.  What pro-cannabis or pro-constitution Coloradan starts a proposed amendment to OUR constitution with, "for the more efficient use of law enforcement resources?

And don't worry I played Oregon Trail as a kid I know I can forge a river if no bridges are available, which I bet a lot of families did to make it to Colorado and they and their families would be the true natives of the wonderful state and not someone pretending to be one on the Internets. 

PS.  Why are you a joke?  Oh that's right because you do not understand what is being debated, If I may quote from Walter, "Your like a child who wonders in to the middle of a movie and wants to know whats going on."

Colorado Native
Colorado Native

@CoreyDonahue:disqus: Your comments insulting members of the real mmj community have been forwarded to everyone, and organizations (and not just mmj .orgs) I can possibly think of.

I'd counter your arguments but they are just outright lies.

Good luck crossing the river when you get to it. You will find no bridges.

PS: Why are you making a joke out of legalization in 2012? No one will help you with your initiative. So why are you carrying on? Oh that's right "You (I) want to make history"...

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

I get off, because they are paid, by monied interest from California, New York and Washington DC, to file a re-criminalization initiative and I don't care how long they have been devoted to re-criminalizing cannabis I am trying to re-legalize it. 

And you have no answer to my question, what pro-cannabis or real Coloradan starts an amendment to OUR constitution with, "For the more efficient use of Law Enforcement Resources?

Much anger and confusion in you I sense, so I will take it easy on you and try to use small words, I do not want an out of state re-criminalization initiative in Colorado's Constitution.  I hope you can understand that much.  1 oz and 6 plants is not legalization. 

Colorado Native
Colorado Native

@CoreyDonahue:disqus  - You are an insulting little know nothing little punk. Where do you think you can get off insulting people who have devoted years to a cause?

Tell us, what happened at your last job - specifically, why did do get fired?

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Hahaha, another troll with a serious Oedipus and penis envy complex, the lady doth protest to much, me thinks. 

And your comment does nothing to rebuke my Bullshit comment.  If Tweedelde and Tweedeldumb really spent so much time writing it then why did Steve Fox fly all the way out from Washington DC to defend this in front of the Title Board?  And I though that their initiative was complied from input from pro-cannabis sources in Colorado, which begs the question what pro-cannabis or real Coloradan starts an amendment to OUR constitution with, "For the more effecent use of Law Enforcement Resources?"

Colorado Native
Colorado Native

@CoreyDonahue:disqus  Dan Pope was the Outreach Coordinator for Sensible Colorado for many years.

You live in your mom's basement.

As someone said before, quit using the people of Colorado as your jizz rag.

PS: If you ever dare try to shoot a load on me I WILL cut your little dick off Lorana Bobbett style...

Mister_E
Mister_E

1st thing to do to protect us from the feds? Have all of our advocates join forces on at least one important topic, Contact our senators and representatives and ask, implore, beg them to get behind HB1983 to provide federal protection for mmj patients. I have been speaking to MMD owners in FT. Collins, they are clueless about this HB. How can we bridge the gap between the patients, mmds and caregivers?any ideas or is it happening as I'm clueless, because I spend all day and night looking for updated articles, blogs and information that could not only help my case, but others as well. Where do we go for the one stop shop for mmj info?

Mister_E
Mister_E

Well,CoreyD that is very fair, why wtf are u so mad at Corey and the rest? I think that its a very reasonable gesture to say that any initiative is not perfect, that to me, shows humility and saying that Corey is up for suggestions and or help to add to the plethora of great ideas, is a great sign of good faith. Wtf lets all brainstorm on how we can help Corey and the others with a spirited intelligent debate. Even if it is anti mmj, maybe it will give us pro mmj/pro constitution people something to think about and vice versa. I wish you all the best of luck with the debate, I feel any discussions about this topic is helpful as it is the great freedom of ours to voice our opinions. I wish I had the balls to get up there and debate, however, I'm so passionate, I feel counter productive cuz I always sound angry when I debate, sometimes to me, it is easier to take someone out back to duke it out, than to use brains to win, so I'll leave the debating to those with more tact, poise and witty comments. Again Good luck and God bless.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Mister_E, whoever WTF! is, they are sewing discord on purpose.  I am very much pro-mmj and even more so pro-constitution.  I have submitted what I want to see as my version of of Colorado's legalization constitutional amendment and there is a article in the Westword that has the language of my whole initiative. Please, after reading if you have any feed back let me know. Tomorrow I will debate other very passionate people about this initiative.  But what I wrote is what I would like to see as an initiative it's not perfect but it can be changed and if you have an idea please come to the debate or just drop me a line because you are right we will be an unbeatable force. As for WTF,  I enjoy my bickering it is a much needed break from writing my debate points. But if you have some points you would like to bring up I think that would be a much better use of my time.  And to get you started what do you think we should do to protect Coloradans from the feds when we legalize next year? 

Sean Swanson
Sean Swanson

@WTF!  the only thing you are successfully doing is causing problems stopping us from trying to fix a huge problem (the illegality of cannabis).  instead of your bitching and moaning put something positive up.  who cares if this event is sponsored by someone who is herself apart of?  the bigger picture is that there is a such an event and it is open to the public. 

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

So you will be debating a legalization initiative?  Or will you just be trolling?

WTF!
WTF!

If its the "big leagues" why are you there?

You have established advocacy group, no members, no one had ever given you donations, you likely live in your mom's basement, and you just started your mmj ass-clown routine, what, two months ago?

Like I said this event lacks any credibility. 

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

My organization is called Crazy for Justice so I think my loonicy is well established.  But like I said this was and initiative I proposed and if it were purely up to me this is what legalization would look like but it's not so I am more then willing to debate and discuss my points and if you Sean or anyone else has a suggestion please, please, please say it because that's what's great about this process we as Coloradans can write it so if through the debate the people of Colorado decide my suggestions are a little to extreme then we can change it.  Unlike the national drug policy groups initiative, my initiative was written by a Coloradan and can change, what you read was a very rough draft and and my hope is it will spark debate and in the end that's what this is about. 

Sean what would you suggest to protect the citizens and cannabis users?  Because as you know the state tried this year tried to make a DUIMMJ and their method of testing was through an unconstitutional and unscientific blood draw. So to protect cannabis users under my initiative from this unconstitutional invasion i proposed a 30 year min for law enforcement who violated peoples constitutional rights but what do you think we should do to protect ourselves? We write our constitution and we can grant ourselves as much protection as we would like? 

Concerned for US
Concerned for US

you might look into that Zionist agenda your defend there.  No-not anti semite, anti fascist.  Just so happens Zionism has fascist qualities to it that thinking, credible people can discern from truth, justice, and religion.  Hide behind your corporate fascists in the name of defending religion and go to hell

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