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Marijuana: Mason Tvert hopes AG John Suthers isn't hyping MMJ ban, his office says he's not

Thumbnail image for john suthers head shot cropped.JPG
John Suthers.
The continuing war of words between marijuana advocate Mason Tvert and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers shows no signs of ebbing.

The latest? Tvert hopes Suthers isn't implicitly campaigning for a medical marijuana ban in Eagle County at an event slated for this evening.

As we reported on October 31, Suthers reviewed a letter written by former Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division head Dan Hartman that took what most observers perceived as a pro-MMJ industry stance. Suthers, a well-known critic of the current retail system, determined that the letter wasn't illegal, but it was unethical.

This assertion stunned Tvert, among the main proponents of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012. After all, he maintained that Suthers had actively campaigned against a marijuana initiative in 2006, writing op-eds in support of opponents. For that reason, he demanded that Suthers sign an ethics pledge promising not to speak out against Regulate.

In response, Suthers spokesman Mike Saccone wrote the following via e-mail:

"We understand why the legalization proponents are attempting to garner press through a publicity stunt. But what their press release and pledge overlook is a critical distinction between the Attorney General and the source of the column at issue. The Attorney General is a statewide elected official with broad responsibilities versus the head of the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, a civil servant whose job it is to be a neutral regulator of an industry. The Attorney General believes that it is problematic for a regulator to be choosing sides in a local election that affects a business that he and his agency collect fees from and oversee.

"The legalization proponents are free to disagree with the Attorney General. But their complaint glosses over the difference between two public officials in very different circumstances."

Cut to this evening, when Suthers is scheduled to take part in a panel discussion entitled "How do you feel about the impact of medical marijuana on youth?" at the Eagle County Building just weeks before a January 3 election that could impose a ban on the Town of Eagle's sole dispensary.

Tvert doesn't see the timing as coincidental. "With a local ballot measure just around the corner, we hope Attorney General Suthers will remain 'ethical' during tonight's forum and refrain from taking a position on how that community ought to handle medical marijuana businesses," he writes via e-mail. "He should also keep an eye on the local law enforcement officer sitting next to him" -- Eagle County Undersheriff Mike McWilliam, another scheduled panelist -- "to ensure the unelected civil servant doesn't engage in any behavior the Attorney General believes is 'unethical.'"

To that, Saccone stresses that Suthers is not campaigning in favor of the ban in his appearance this evening. Rather, he simply accepted the invitation of the sponsoring group, the Eagle Valley High School Devils Against Drinking and Drugs, to discuss an issue of importance to citizens across the state. He also suggests that Tvert is once again trying to garner publicity by attacking perfectly ethical actions by the attorney general.

For additional details about tonight's event, phone Sara Cross, EVHS Outreach and Prevention Coordinator at 970-328-5969.

Click here to follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.

More from our Marijuana archive: "John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General, thinks medical marijuana dispensaries suck -- and here's why."


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4 comments
malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

Why should anybody be surprised at Prohibition's innate ability to corrupt entire government agencies?

It's more than fairly evident, and especially to those of us whose survival doesn't depend on the continuation of Prohibition, that even if we could afford to put Narcs on every single corner, it is extremely likely that at least half of them would very soon become dealers themselves. So it begs the question: Why on God's green earth do we continue as a nation to foolishly shoot ourselves in both feet? 

An appeal to all Prohibitionists:

Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, 'no matter what.' So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these 'at present' illegal drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only by those poor deluded wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown. 

Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself  to be a poison in the veins of our once so proud & free nation? Do you actually think you may have something to lose If we were to start basing drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies? 

Maybe you're a police officer, a prison guard or a local politician. Possibly you're scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, the many kick-backs and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks? 

Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem. 

Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."  - Thomas Jefferson

Guest
Guest

We had an opportunity to replace Suthers with a man that supported the voters, the patients and the business owners.  That man, Stan Garnett, would not be taking us down the "silly path".

Why are politics important?  This is why. If anyone in the MMJ comminuty did not vote, then this is the devil you elected.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Suthers has consistently lied and distorted the Law with regard to cannabis for the purpose of shoring up Prohibition and prohibitionists.  His little jaunt to Eagle is all about scapegoating cannabis for parents' failure to parent and students' failure to learn -- this is indeed the opening of the prohibitionists' campaign to stoke the fears of parents and defeat Initiative 30.  Stating that its purpose was to keep cannabis out of the hands of minors will not stop Suthers & Co. from decrying it on the grounds that it would increase minors' access (because they do not argue from evidence).

Suthers had no business objecting to the objective and even-handed asssessment Hartman offered to Ft. Collins' voters about the effect of their (illegal) ban, but he might want to consider investigating the extremely cozey relationship said to exist between regulator(s) and the MMIG, including allegations of the trading of sexual favors for unknown consideration.  Suthers does have responsibility for and the legal duty to police the MMED; he should stay in Denver and do his job!

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

The Eagle County Regional airport used to be one of the best locations to smuggle weed in and out of.  TSA security was only on part time so you could just walk right through....  Guess times are changing, or changing back to the OG smuggling days for Eagle.  Onward Eagle, The Smugglers Blues!

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