Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division's Dan Hartman reassigned in favor of Laura Harris

Dan Hartman.
Update below: Last week's reports from industry sources that Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division director Dan Hartman would be leaving his post have now been confirmed. However, Hartman's not out of a job. He's been reassigned within the Department of Revenue, with another Revenue veteran, Laura Harris, taking over for him at MMED.

Here's the skinny from Department of Revenue spokesman Mark Couch, via voicemail.

laura harris.jpg
Laura Harris.
"Laura Harris, who is currently the director of the Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division, will be assuming the duties of Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division director effective on November 14," he said. "Don Burmania, who is currently the director of the Division of Racing Events, will move to be the director of the Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division on that day. And Dan Hartman will move from the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division to be the director of the Division of Racing Events."

Why the shifts? Couch had previously answered questions about Hartman's rumored departure with a prepared statement that discussed new leadership: executive director Barbara Brohl and Division of Enforcement director George Thomson. Following such changes at the top, he said, "there is generally a desire to review the organizational structure and determine if additional movement would be appropriate in order to create cross-training opportunities and bench strength."

This explanation is unlikely to satisfy Hartman supporters. Expect speculation that the real motivation for these shifts was the sense that he had grown too cozy with the medical marijuana industry he was charged with regulating, as demonstrated by letters published in cities considering MMJ retail bans in today's election. Those documents found Hartman quietly lobbying to reject such measures, because prohibiting the dispensary model would leave such communities in an essentially unregulated environment.

We've made an interview request with Couch in the hope that he can elaborate on the statement above now that the changes have been finalized. When he gets back to us, we'll update this post. In the meantime, here's a bio of Harris from a June 2010 page for an event called the Sociable City Forum:

Laura has been employed with the Colorado Department of Revenue since 1983. She has been with the Liquor Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue since 1989, and was appointed as Division Director in September 2007. She began her career with the division as an investigator, specializing in Trade Practices regulation and complex financial investigations. In 2002, she moved into liquor licensing, and became Licensing Director in 2004. Laura also spent the last two years managing the tobacco enforcement program, and has acquired a specialty in state tobacco enforcement. Given her 18 years of experience in all aspects of alcohol beverage regulation, Laura is intimate with the regulatory issues facing the state of Colorado.

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, is a Colorado Certified Peace Officer, and Certified Fraud Examiner.

Page down for our update.


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Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

how can a federally trained person (thereby openly against and admits there is no such thing as medical marijuana) run the regulation of MMJ, conflict of interest much? PS every single piece of recorded information as well as revenue collected in any way shape or form completely violates the 5th amendment and is highly unconstitutional (see Leary v. US, 383 F.2d 851 (1967); McCarthyv. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34, 40, 69 L. Ed. 158, 45 S. Ct. 16 (1924); Steinorv. Minn. life ins co., 85 P.3d 135, *2004 Colo. LEXIS 106; Griffinv. California, 380 U.S. 609, 614, 14 L. Ed. 2d 106, 85 S. Ct. 1229 (1965); Leary v. US, 544 F.2d 1266 (1977); and solidified by Sibley v. Obama, F.2d 2011 WESTLAW 4342719.)

Codreamn716
Codreamn716

What "letters", what documents???? ???  It was one letter, approved by the department, and posted in several newspapers...how is this Hartman quietly lobbying??Are you for real? Where is the real story????

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"bench strength"

Yeah ... that's the ticket!

Cal Med Mary-Jane
Cal Med Mary-Jane

Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee states in his letter to Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske that, "There is no evidence that marijuana has the same addictive qualities or damaging consequences as these harder drugs and it should not be treated as such." He goes on to explain how drug convictions for non-violent possession "crimes" have high costs - almost $7.6 billion per year is estimated to be spent on marijuana arrests and prosecutions. He also states that the damage to ruining someone's life with an unnecessary conviction is an unreasonable cost to our society, dooming these people to "second-class citizenship". He mentions the "disastrous racial disparities" in the criminal justice system, reporting that African-Americans and Latinos are much more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. http://bit.ly/vn51Ai

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

With all due respect for our shared understanding and purpose, what does this have to do with the subject at hand?

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

We can see right through this Barbara.  Why don't you admit the truth?  At least Dan didn't lose hit employment.  

Justin George
Justin George

We all know there is something wrong in America these days. If you asked what it was you would get a hundred different answers. But every once in a while something rolls around that puts it on display, such as this incident. Hartman was put in charge of regulating medical marijuana. He saw something that he believed did not have the patients' care at heart and he spoke up. But because he did not act like the ''puppet-in-office'' his superiors had wanted him to be, he is being replaced by someone more pliable. Logically as one working closely with medical marijuana and regulation in particular he is well qualified to make observations. Would we have preferred that he had kept silent as he saw something potentially harmful being done? Citizens would say NO. However our government clearly says Yes. 

I think this is where we're SUPPOSE to step in and be upset. If we aren't upset, then we become one of those small things wrong with America these days. What's just one more complacent nod at an unjust and compassionless society right? Who cares if the government shifts pawns from office to office until they've silenced the voices that would speak up? I do.

Send in the Pot Clowns
Send in the Pot Clowns

Cry me a river! Danny boy was not an advocate for patients. If there was anything behind him coming out against the ban in FoCo it was GREED, pure and simple. Greed for the dispensaries, and greed for his position and all the other regulators and inspectors that the POT CLOWNS employ. Bans are bad for business -- these yahoos don't care any whit about patients.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting post, Justin. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child or grandchild thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.   If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let's put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. Let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.  

   The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. We can email our Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Ele... to discuss HR 2306.

And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

So who would Jesus want thrown in jail with sexual predators?

SWWJWTIJWSP ?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

What is being obscured in the uproar is that the General Assembly chose to write laws which purported to supplant the constitutional responsibility of the "state health agency" for the "medical use of marijuana" with that of the DOR, which has responsibility for regulating alcohol and gambling.  The State is pretending to substitute the General Assembly's marijuana distribution scheme for the Constitution's caregivers, but it has at least paid lip service to patients' constitutional right to medicine -- Suthers' pretense that Hartman did anything inappropriate should be treated with the contempt it deserves!  If the State wants to pretend that it respects patients' constitutional rights, it cannot simultaneously stand by and allow illegal local referenda to ban MMCs to proceed without even a whimper, because otherwise the whole prohibitionist apparatus will continue to cut off patients' access to medicine, but this is Suthers' plan.  Suthers' obsessive opposition to cannabis ignores our Constitution and the enactments of the General Assembly alike -- the People have elected to fill the office of the chief law enforcement officer with Colorado's chief scofflaw.

People like Suthers, the North Metro Drug Task Force, and the DEA prey upon society like a pack of rabid animals; their effect is incalculably worse than that of all drug abuse (with the exception of tobacco use, which is killing 435,000 Americans every year).

Robert ChaseColorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers(720) 213-6497

No
No

High Caregiver,

Your post is offensive.  

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Sorry 'No' I try to keep it civilized, but someone has to keep it offensive in the face of these pot clowns. 

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

'Chick with Dick' that's exactly the queen we need in charge of the Colorado Pot Circus.  

Dudesgirls80
Dudesgirls80

Mmj=one big mindfuck,cuthroat,greedy,backstabbing buisness.

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