Marijuana advocate to Denver City Council: If changes in MMJ ad ban not made, we'll sue

Categories: Marijuana, News

a 100x95 marijuana advertising.jpg
Update below: Last week, our William Breathes noted that a Denver City Council-proposed outdoor medical marijuana advertising ban is up for public discussion tonight -- but advocate Rico Colibri isn't waiting. During the wee hours, he sent an open letter to the council (read it below) threatening to sue if changes to the ordinance's language aren't made.

Thumbnail image for rico colibri.jpg
Rico Colibri.
In the letter, Colibri, president of the Cannabis Alliance for Regulation & Education (CARE), was one of the main proponents behind Initiative 70, one of three MMJ ballot proposals that failed to make the 2012 ballot, expresses concern that the council appears to have mainly consulted with medical marijuana industry groups to the exclusion to organizations, like his, that are devoted to patient advocacy.

Not that Colibri is dead-set against any advertising restrictions: He acknowledges that MMJ sign spinners near schools might be inappropriate. But he's concerned that the broadness of the language "violates equal protections and limits a patients ability to be properly informed about the services offered in a given medical marijuana establishment." He also suggests that the ordinance might outlaw medical marijuana conventions and conferences.

Just as important, he sees no evidence that the presence of medical marijuana advertising has led to an increase in pot use by teenagers -- the demographic councilwoman Debbie Ortega initially set out to protect when initially suggesting that advertising be banned within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and daycare centers.

Colibri concludes with this:

We implore the Denver City Council to reconsider the wording in your current draft to avoid unnecessary litigation which would be both a waste of tax payer dollars and would result in the entire ordinance being struck down in court. Please be advised we have copied in our attorney.... Passage of the ordinance as currently written leaves us no alternative but to file suit.

Update: A short time ago, we reached CARE's Rico Colibri, who was en route to speak with attorney Andrew Reid -- who's handling a challenge to state medical marijuana regulations -- about the Denver City Council's proposed medial marijuana outdoor advertising ban. He adds some detail to the letter to council members on view below.

In Colibri's view, the proposal is "a blatant violation of the First Amendment. You can't target one group of businesses for no compelling reason just because you hate medical marijuana or think sign spinners are inappropriate."

Regarding the latter, Colibri's had such thoughts on occasion -- like one time when he saw a female spinner near a school who looked to be about sixteen years old. "We think medical marijuana businesses need to be good stewards for the communities they're in," he allows.

At the same time, he detects a larger purpose behind the advertising ban, which is supported by the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, among others.

"There's been an attempt at consolidation" of dispensaries, he maintains. "And this is another thing to push out mom-and-pop businesses and reduce the options for patients. It's telling mom and pops, 'You can't even afford to advertise, so you'll have to sell your business.' And it seems like local authorities are cooperating in those efforts."

Outdoor advertising for dispensaries represents "no real threat," Colibri believes, "other than they find it annoying and everyone is sick of medical marijuana at this point."

At the end of the day, though, "these are patients," Colibri goes on. "They're human beings. People keep thinking about it as only businesses and advertising. But everybody's forgotten there are people with debilitating conditions who use this medicine."

One more thing: Colibri says if lawsuits must be filed in this case, he'd like to target each member of the city council individually, as opposed to suing them collectively. As he puts it, "Politicians need to understand they can all get an attorney, and everyone can join in the fun."

Page down to read the proposed ordinance and Colibri's "Notice of Litigation" to Denver City Council members.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

An appeal to all Prohibitionists like DonkeyHotay:


Most of us know 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.  


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? Even if you cannot bear 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 trillions of dollars on this dangerous farce; Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. Do you actually believe you may personally have something to lose If we were to begin basing our drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies?  


Maybe you're a police officer, a prison guard, or a local/national politician. Possibly you're scared of losing employment, overtime pay, the many kickbacks, 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!


jose257 topcommenter

You can start by banning Viagra commercials.



Down with all drug advertising.  You get them off my TV and I'll support this, otherwise this is clearly advantageous only for pharmaceutical companies who sell 'prescription' drugs.


The U.S. comprises 5 percent of the world's population yet uses 60 percent of the world's drugs. The prohibition on these drugs has been waged for 70 years and has cost $1.5 trillion.


Prohibition has cruelly ruined the lives of millions of peaceful and productive citizens while bankrolling the most evil people on the planet. Prohibition has stagnated the normal economy while allowing criminal enterprises to control an untaxed thriving underground economy worth over 300,000 million dollars. By it's emphasis on the eradication of marijuana/hemp we have also been denied the most workable and logical solutions to a number of growing problems, be they medicinal, industrial, chemical, or commercial.


According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save an annual $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues.


Thanks to Prohibition, we now have a far higher percentage of our own citizens locked in cages than any other nation on the whole planet. Apart from the fact that these extra prisoners are not contributing economically to society, it also costs 50,000 dollars per annum to incarcerate them. Additionally, their families often go on government assistance, leaving the average tax payer to pick up the bill. Their kids may also be taken into care, or raised by foster parents—again with our money. Now add to all this: the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition—like police officers, judges and public defenders—and you'll start to get a fair idea of why "Black Thursday" (October 24, 1929) happened during the period of another of our great experiments: Alcohol Prohibition (1919-1933)


* The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. 


* 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population at year-end 2009.


* 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated in federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009—pproximately 1% of US adults.


* Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or parole.


* In 2009, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation,parole, or incarcerated)—Approximately 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.


Chart Of The Day: Federal Drug Prisoners


During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education, etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?


Prohibition causes massive crime and suffering, causes government/police corruption, causes America to have the highest prison population of any country in the history of the planet, causes Americans to lose all their rights and all their true core-values, causes the waste of trillions in taxpayer dollars, causes wars, violence and death (at home and abroad),  perpetuates racism, causes America to be hated by other countries, and funds both criminals and terrorists.


For God's sake wake up! The prisons are bursting, the police are corrupt, most of us are not even safe in our own homes anymore, while the whole country/planet is on the verge of a total social and financial collapse.



So by threatening sign twirlers, everyone bands together, except the self serving pigs at MMIG, to stop it.


BUT.... When police computers are ILLEGALLY linked with the patient CONFIDENTIAL database, mums the word. Some priorities...

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @jose257 You make a good point, Jose -- and I mean that in a totally clean and wholesome way. Thanks for the post.


 @IcePick But I never would have known I have restless leg syndrome if it wasn't for that ad during WifeSwap!!! Now I am restless leg free!!!


 @DonkeyHotay NewsFlash, if you read the article you'd see that the ban is going to be overturned by Rico and Company.  Go Rico!

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @malcolmkyle16 "The U.S. comprises 5 percent of the world's population yet uses 60 percent of the world's drugs." 


Bingo !!


There it is !! -- the ENTIRE crux of the WORLD's drug problem -- the U$A is full of MILLIONS of drug users and abusers who find the only way they can survive the abject unhappiness of their miserable lives is to self-medicate the pain of their meaningless existence.


"The Greatest Country" in the world ... indeed.




 @DonkeyHotay OH SH*T here you are again. I'm running low on insults junior... so ill just end it with you are a f*cking idiot... AND PLEASE leave the kids alone, your last post you were bragging about how hot the kids were leaving the grade school near your mommas house, youre sick junior, really sick. im sure all the common sense bashing youve been up to will win you a DEA partner ribbon for keeping those jerk offs rich and wealthy off the misery they create. and tell your momma i want my $5 back, that blow job was HORRIBLE.



Reports that show Prohibition has failed:


The Global Commission on Drug Policy:


Reports that show alternative approaches of decriminalization and regulation are working:


What we can learn from The Portuguese Decriminalization of All Illicit Drugs:


General report on drug law reform in practice:


Prohibition by Numbers:


Final Report of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy - "Break the Silence and Open A Debate":


Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies:


Transform's outstanding (free) book titled, "After The War On Drugs : Blueprints for Regulation" - provides specific proposals on how various drugs can be regulated in the real world:


DonkeyHotay topcommenter



HipTip: "Free Speech" does NOT apply to Commercial Advertising.


Have you seen or heard any TV or Radio advertising for Cigarettes in the last 40 years?


Grow a brain you stump-stupid stammering stoner.




@DonkeyHotayYou are a prohibitionist! This makes you truly responsible for maintaining the status quo. Prohibition is an absolute scourge - The end!  The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels and terrorists IS.


If you support prohibition then you support bank-rolling criminals and terrorists. There's simply no other logical way of looking at it.


Everybody who supports prohibition needs to understand that there is a human cost associated with this dangerous and failed policy. - Every time they assert their support for it they are condemning thousands more to death.


Every time the ghastly violence of prohibition is falsely blamed on the users, it diminishes the culpability of those who are truly responsible for maintaining the status quo. Prohibition is an absolute scourge -the end!  The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels and terrorists IS.


When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919. 



 @DonkeyHotay  @malcolmkyle16 I agree, it's time we stop wasting precious resources on this insane war on weed and put the cops where they ought to be ... fighting the war on opium.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter



*** Boycott ALL Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Pigs! ***


The Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels DESTROYED the functioning, peaceful, private patient/caregiver Medical Marijuana system in Colorado !!


The Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Pigs LOBBIED AGAINST Patient/Caregiver rights as granted by A20.


It's time to Slaughter the Pigs.







@DonkeyHotayMarijuana's prohibition, like all other similar futile attempts at curbing "man's desire to alter his consciousness", has invariably been rooted in hate, paranoia, racism, misinformation, half-truths, and outright lies. It's your right to disagree, just try to do it factually and with less hate lies. Everyone of us has had enough time to see through, and disregard, the hate and lies we've already heard a million times. They were hate and lies then, they are hate and lies now.


There is no debate: Marijuana is absolutely safer than alcohol, tobacco, or even most, of our over-the-counter "medicines". Prohibition, on the other hand, is a costly nightmare that only enriches criminals and corrupt politicians. Millions of citizens are already using marijuana, legal or not. What many sane people are proposing is to take the criminal aspect out of it and collect revenues from its sale, instead of spending millions of precious tax dollars on doomed-to-failure enforcement.



@DonkeyHotay You're a prohibitionist; If A64 continues prohibition then why don't you support it? 


We can either ask the Tooth Fairy to stop people taking drugs or we can decide to regulate them properly. Prohibition is not regulation, it's a hideous nightmare for all of us and all our families, except of course for the lowest lifeforms amongst us.


If you support prohibition you've helped remove many important civil liberties from those citizens you falsely claim to represent.


If you support prohibition you've helped put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.


If you support prohibition you've helped to escalate Murder, Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.


If you support prohibition you've helped to divert scarce law-enforcement resources away from protecting your fellow citizens from the ever escalating violence against their person or property.


If you support prohibition you've helped overcrowd the courts and prisons, thus making it increasingly impossible to curtail the people who are hurting and terrorizing others.


If you support prohibition you've helped evolve local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, controlling vast swaths of territory with significant social and military resources at their disposal.






 @DonkeyHotay  @malcolmkyle16 Q5 Amendment 64 is an amendment to theColorado constitution concerning marijuana,and, in connection therewith, providing for the regulation of marijuana; permitting a persontwenty-one years of age or older to consume orpossess limited amounts of marijuana;providing for the licensing of cultivationfacilities, product manufacturing facilities,testing facilities, and retail stores; permittinglocal governments to regulate or prohibit such-facilities; requiring the general assembly toenact an excise tax to be levied uponwholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually bysuch tax be credited to the public school capitalconstruction assistance fund; and requiring thegeneral assembly to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and saleof industrial hemp. If the election was today,would you vote or against Amendment 64?

For ......................... .47%

Against................... .38%

Not sure ................. .15%


 @malcolmkyle16 don't bother donkeyboy don't know what hes talking about. just call him an idiot and move on...


 @DonkeyHotay "It's time to Slaughter the Pigs." LOL LOL LOL no no no Its time i get a refund from your momma, even with no teeth that b*tch still cant give head for sh*t.



You're a Prohibitionist and therefore you owe the rest of us answers to the following questions:


#1. Why do you rejoice at the fact that we have all been stripped of our unalienable rights, leaving us totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into our homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary?


#2. Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing substances which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself probably use and approve of, such as alcohol and tobacco?


#3. Do you honestly expect the rest of us to look on passively while you waste another trillion dollars on this ruinously expensive garbage policy?


#4. Why are you waging war on your own family, friends and neighbors?


#5. Why are you so complacent with the fact that our once 'proud and free' nation now has the largest percentage of it's citizenry incarcerated than any other on the entire planet?


#6. Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing hospitals, schools and libraries?


#7. Why do you rejoice at wasting precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free, while additionally, many cases involving murder and rape do not even get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy?


#8. Why are you a supporter of the 'prison industrial complex' to the extent of endangering our nation's children?


#9. Will you graciously applaud when, due to your own incipient and authoritarian approach, even your own child is caged and raped?


* It is estimated that there are over 300,000 instances of prison rape a year. * 196,000 are estimated to happen to men in prison. * 123,000 are estimated to happen to men in county jail. * 40,000 are estimated to be committed against boys in either adult prisons or while in juvenile facilities or lock ups. * 5000 women are estimated to be raped in prison.


#10. And will you also applaud when your own child, due to an unnecessary and counter productive felony conviction, can no longer find employment?


Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault