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Marijuana activists ask John Suthers to take ethics pledge after Dan Hartman criticism

john suthers head shot cropped.JPG
John Suthers.
At noon today, Mason Tvert and other Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act backers will stage an event at Attorney General John Suthers's office. Why? Suthers feels a letter by (outgoing?) Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division head Dan Hartman published in places mulling MMJ retail-sales bans was unethical, even though Suthers himself has spoken out on the subject. Which is why proponents want Suthers to sign an ethics pledge.

As we've reported, multiple medical marijuana industry sources say Hartman's last day at MMED was Friday -- a claim that prompted the Department of Revenue, which oversees the division, to tease changes likely to be announced this week. Among the possible reasons cited for his departure was a Hartman letter published in newspapers like Steamboat Today that took a pro-MMJ stance in towns that will vote on prohibiting dispensaries. An excerpt reads: "If your community bans commercial medical marijuana businesses... you will only remove the regulated medical marijuana distribution model from your community."

mason tvert photograph.jpg
Mason Tvert.
According to the Associated Press, Suthers reviewed the letter at the request of Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, whose jurisdiction includes Palisade, one of the burgs that will decide on an MMJ ban. Suthers determined that the letter wasn't illegal, but it was unethical.

This claim leaves Tvert agog. Suthers "determined that a state employee's actions were unethical when he has engaged in these actions several times with regard to the same subject. He was the number one opponent of the 2006 marijuana initiative. He wrote op-eds on behalf of the opposition campaign, he appeared at press conferences, he was quoted several times in the news saying he was going to be part of a large coalition to defeat this measure, he appeared in debates opposing it. And all of these things are far more severe than writing a letter explaining his belief about what a measure might do, which is all Dan Hartman did. And Hartman simply addressed questions and provided educated answers on the subject, whereas the Attorney General provided only exaggerations and propaganda to suit his purpose of defeating the measure."

dan hartman.JPG
Dan Hartman.
Tvert feels that "if the head of MMED had spoken out in favor of the ban, I believe the Attorney General would have had no problem with it." Nonetheless, "if John Suthers believes it's unethical for a state official to engage in campaigning or speaking out against a ballot initiative, we expect him to abide by that determination and refrain from encouraging voters to oppose the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol initiative next year."

To that end, Tvert and company will present Suthers with a statement that reads: "I, John Suthers, will behave ethically during the 2012 election season, and will refrain from encouraging voters to oppose the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol."

How likely is it that Suthers will sign such a pledge? Tvert defers on that question, although he says "I would like to think that the top legal official in our entire state would have no problem swearing to remain ethical based on his own public standard."

The chances of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol making the November 2012 ballot continue to grow. Right now, Tvert estimates that 95,000 signatures have been collected -- over the 86,000 required, and only about 50,000 away from the 145,000 target set in the hope of guaranteeing enough valid signatures to be blessed by the Secretary of State's office.

Should the measure be placed before voters, Suthers will likely be tempted to weigh in. But would that be ethical?

Page down to read the Regulate press release about today's event at the AG's office, 1525 Sherman Street. It includes examples of Suthers sharing his views on marijuana, including an op-ed published in the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News.



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42 comments
Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

if you guys were smart (mason etc) you would strategically do these protests to help them have issues in my federal suit against them (case # 11-cv-2578-pab) here in colorado. My prescheduling conference meeting is dec 19th at 10am in denver.my suit has already survived two dismissal attempts and will go to trial unless they settle with me!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Ethical people don't violate Federal Drug laws on a daily basis ... for personal pecuniary gain.

HTH.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

When John Suthers pouts, things get done. When marijuana is legalized in 2012, don't give him a chance to benefit from this positive change. Vote this negative force out!

RockyMissouri
RockyMissouri

I only wish I was a resident of your beautiful state .....and could help with my vote..!

Suthers Sucks
Suthers Sucks

Suthers sucks and we need to vote him out in the next election!!!

LarryQ5
LarryQ5

Asking Mr.Struthers to be ethical would be like asking Jeffery Dahmer to go on a diet.

Ethics Police
Ethics Police

Haha! What a joke! Maybe Mason can take a pledge to stop lying about his initiative and stop calling it legalization when it is really more regulations. Steve Fox of MPP, author of the Colo. init. said at their Title Board hearing that "It would be inaccurate to call this legalization." Yet all of Mason's petitioners and marketing materials call their init. "legalization." Why did Mason argue against having the word legalization in the ballot title because it would be misleading to voters and then start a campaign to mislead voters by fraudulently calling it legalization?

I think Mason needs to stand up and take an ethics pledge to stop misleading voters. He has no credibility at all.

Read more here:http://www.legalize2012.com/mp...

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Marijuana is not like alcohol and should not be regulated as such.  Marijuana is like tomatoes and when marijuana is as free to possess, grow, and distribute as tomatoes, then it will be legal.  The first thing that needs to happen is to abolish the pot dispensaries, throw the pot clowns out of office, and burn the regulations and all the pot cards and paperwork at the CDPHE and DOR, only then will there be a hope of real legalization without regulations.  Happy Halloweed everyone, vote to close the dispensaries where possible and lets get on with some serious pot smoking and have fun regulation free!

Monkey
Monkey

Good, Suthers is an idiot, give him a taste of his own medicine. It probably wont do anything except piss him off and thats just fine. Great way to bring this guy, that should have never been elected, into the spotlight again. How could he possibly protect you if he morally objects to you, big conflict of interests.

Sampson
Sampson

Ethical people don't violate speeding laws on a daily basis... for personal pecuniary gain...RIGHT???

If a law is unjust - you have a DUTY to break it. Speeding laws are just. Outlawing a plant that is less dangerous than water, and most foods is UNJUST.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Suthers was just re-elected last November to another 4 year term -- by a huge margin -- defeating the pro-Marijuana Democrat DA Stan Garnett of Boulder.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Perhaps he can now join fellow former enforcement goon Matt Cook as a high-priced flip-flopping lobbyist.

They can name their firm -- Men who formerly had Badges and Guns!

Guest
Guest

Why is Laura Kriho, the person behind these attacks on Mason, the owner of a website that links to anti-semetic new world order conspiracy theories? In a recent CTI press release, she linked several times to her website, http://www.levellers.org.The page featured a swastika image that links to Bilderberg.org, a conspiracy theory website. Googling "Bilderberg jews" reveals the type of hate groups who are interested in the Bilderberg Group. She also makes a point of bringing up Soros and Zimmerman in her press release, both of whom are Jewish. Denounce Laura Kriho and her racist conspiracy theories. Don't let her hide behind the "out of state interests" veil any longer. This type of hate has no place in the year 2011, and certainly not in the medical cannabis industry.

Guest
Guest

LOL @ETHICS POLICE...keep up the fight against marijuana legalization efforts MORON. Stoners against marijuana strikes again.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Suthers and Tvert are really both doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing as attorneys.  It's easy for us in the public to point fingers at our law makers, defenders, and leaders no matter what side they're on..... What really needs to happen is for the general public to be honest with themselves, and stop following the lead of these increment steps forward and increment steps back with cannabis prohibition / legalization because we're only achieving a stand still or gaining an inch and loosing 2 inches.  The unregulated medical cannabis revolution of 2009 was the closest that we've been to real legalization.  Since then, with the regulations, and the divide between the medical cannabis crowd and the legalization crowd, the freedoms of cannabis have only been chopped away at and made a mockery of on all sides.  The lawyers on both sides love this mess, that's why they're in the spot light constantly, it's their territory, their language.

A new flavor of cannabis revolution is what I am calling for, REAL LEGALIZATION.  Medical marijuana only furthers prohibition today.  If it were really legal, Suthers and Tvert wouldn't still be having pissing competitions because the case would be closed, it would be legal, like driving 65 in the 65, you ain't doing nothing wrong. 

Guest
Guest

tomatoes get you fucked up? damn... i been missin out

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Exactly!

That's what I told one of their petition circulators who was running around the Pearl St Mall every day shouting "Sign the petition to REGULATE marijuana like alcohol!".

Why would anyone want to REGULATE marijuana just like alcohol -- given that alcohol kills 10's of thousands every year, and has caused untold additional pain and suffering upon society while marijuana "hasn't killed anyone, ever" according to proponents?

He had no answer, then admitted it wasn't the wisest campaign strategy, that he was just the messenger.

What next? ... a campaign to "Regulate Caffeine like Cocaine !!"

Idiots.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Correct. Ethical people don't willfully, deliberately and continually violate FELONY laws for personal financial gain.

Ipso facto.

Monkey
Monkey

Damn, you got balls. I'm a big fan even thought you scare me.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

this is ridiculous accusations and even slander, she has many jewish friends and unlike you, i dont think she sees race or ethnic qualities just personal qualities and her opinion

Nick
Nick

Laura is a good person. Ive met with her before and talked to her at length, I highly doubt she is a "racist" but even if she is, arent we all allowed to have an opinion? Thats basicly what racism is, one persons opinion of another person or group of people.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

No they don't get me messed up but neither does weed. Both make me high in the true sense like being Irae .....

Sampson
Sampson

Dig a little deeper there Ms. Heehaw...

The campaign name means - "Let's set up a system that is more closely like that of the current liquor laws", i.e. no video tracking of the plant from seed-to-sale, allowing only adults to purchase, and over all regulations that are a lot less restrictive then the current mmj system, which could best be described as a system that "regulates marijuana like a schedule 1 drug".

Guest
Guest

the part I don't comprehend is the part where you don't make any sense. so, how does one grow in a federal felony. is that some sort of new growing equipment? maybe, the next time you try to insult someone's intelligence you should proof read your statement.

Lies Lies Lies
Lies Lies Lies

And I think your Kristen Thompson... :) No one listen to a word this person has to say. She will be going away very soon.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Damn boy, you ain't the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?

Let's review -- ALL marijuana cultivation in a Federal FELONY, even one (1) plant. 

What part don't you comprehend?

Sampson
Sampson

While you may think I am ignorant, I think you lack basic reading comprehension skills.

I said "There are no Federal laws for cannabis that mandates felony until a grow has 100 plants"

See that word "mandates"???

HTH DA

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Your legal ignorance is showing again, stoner.

Cultivation (manufacture), Sales and Distribution of Marijuana is a Federal Felony in ANY amount.

The 100 plant threshold you refer to is when a 5 year MINIMUM mandatory sentence applies.

Under 100 plants -- even one -- is still a Federal Felony, with possible prison sentences up to 20 years.

Sampson
Sampson

@Donkey_Hotay:disqus Possession of under 8oz in Colorado is a misdemeanor. There are no Federal laws for cannabis that mandates felony until a grow has 100 plants. A HUGE majority of the dispensaries grow under this #. Furthermore, if the State said its OK to grow more entrapment by estoppel becomes a relevant defense...

Quit being such an ass.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"Dig a little deeper there Ms. Heehaw..."

"...  your [sic] nothing but a troll."

Priceless !

Sampson
Sampson

Oh... personal attacks... what a come back...

Come back to these boards when you learn a little civility. Otherwise - your nothing but a troll.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Stay ignorant, stoner ... its what you do best.

Sampson
Sampson

Do you see autoclubs or trucking firms lobbying to remove taxes for roads?

Do you see PDs and FDs lobbying to remove taxes on schools?

HTH DA

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You see any automobile clubs or trucking unions lobbying for and begging the Government to "Regulate and Tax" their vehicles ?

Clueless stoners = political imbeciles

Sampson
Sampson

@Donkey_Hotay:disqus Yeah, why the hell would anyone support a tax on gas for roads, or a property tax for PD, Fire protection, and schools???.

HTH DA

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Only an idiot would invite the Government to "Regulate and Tax" anything they actually cared about.

Here's a hint -- LEGALIZE it like OREGANO !!

HTH.

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