Top

blog

Stories

 

Marijuana Amendment 64 backers sue over Blue Book text they say is slanted against them

marijuana photo cropped.JPG
Update:A Denver District Court judge will hear a lawsuit filed by Amendment 64 backers over Blue Book language. The hearing takes place at 1:30 p.m. today in Courtroom 215 of the Denver City-County Building. Continue for more suit details.

Original post, 9:44 a.m. September 10: On Thursday, Amendment 64's Brian Vicente told us he was frustrated by changes made in the voters' Blue Book section about the marijuana initiative but regarded them as fairly minor.

In succeeding days, however, that tune has been rewritten. This morning, the campaign is filing a lawsuit on view below to delay the Blue Book's printing, allegedly because the guide is now heavily weighted toward opponents. How so?

"Basically, this takes the arguments for the amendment down to 206 words," Vicente says, "and the arguments against are 366 words" -- meaning the "against" argument is approximately 75 percent longer than the "for" passage.

"We really don't think this is in any way fair and impartial," he continues. "The state has a constitutional duty to provide voters with a fair and impartial Blue Book" -- and compounding the problem, Vicente believes, is the supposition that "the language was removed by accident."

Thumbnail image for Brian Vicente Sensible.jpg
Brian Vicente.
At first, Vicente thought only two words were removed from a couple of sentences, and a new paragraph was inserted; the later suggested that "significant litigation" could result from passage of the measure, and legislators couldn't be directed to pass an excise tax on marijuana sales. But later, he learned that three sentences in the "for" argument were also removed. They read:

The use of marijuana by adults may be less harmful than the use of alcohol or tobacco, both of which are already legal for adults to use and are regulated by the state. Furthermore, marijuana may be beneficial for individuals with certain debilitating conditions. The consequences of burdening adults with a criminal record for possession of small amounts of marijuana are too severe, and there are better uses for state resources than prosecuting such low-level crimes.

And here's the suit's description of how they were excised:

At the September 5, 2012 public meeting, after a discussion about modifying the first paragraph of the Amendment 64 Arguments For section, Senator Mark Scheffel proposed simplifying the discussion by addressing parts of the paragraph separately. His exact words were, "I'm just trying to divide this so we can tackle this paragraph into two parts." There was then discussion about the first two sentences in the paragraph. A motion was then made by Senator Scheffel, which he began by saying, "So let me clarify Mr. Speaker, I would move that we limit our discussion ending with "state" on page 29, and that it read..." He then proposed striking the words "more logical" and the word "growth" from the first two sentences in the paragraph. The motion passed unanimously....

Unbeknownst to a significant number of the Members of the Legislative Council, Scheffel's motion was interpreted to entirely remove the last three sentences of Argument 1 in addition to modifying the first two sentence of that Argument.

Vicente admits campaign reps like him didn't realize what had happened -- and he insists they weren't alone. "There was a lot of confusion going on in that room, and a significant number of legislators ended up voting for something they didn't understand the true intent of."

Among those who tried to undo the damage was Representative Mark Ferrandino, who asked that the three sentences be restored. But to overrule the unanimous vote on the motion, Ferrandino's request needed twelve votes, and the tally was only eight to five.

From Vicente's perspective, though, the motion wouldn't have passed in the first place, let alone by unanimous vote, if Ferrandino and company had realized they were voting to take out the last three sentences rather than changing two words in previous ones.

Continue reading to see the lawsuit and learn more about the controversy.


My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
xlioilx
xlioilx

Prohi-bigots using dirty tactics and underhanded schemes is nothing new.. they totally planned this scenario out so it's doubtful they will get those words put back into the blue book. Bought and sold by the Chinese investors who need the private prison system to blossom here so they can make trillions of our ignorance.. why have we let these thugs take power? America wake the FVck up before it's too late and they're putting your kid in prison because he drank 2 large soda pops.. before they're arresting us for plain old sugar.. before they regulate Ibuprofen and caffeine as narcotics..  

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

CPR is reporting that the State has agreed to delay printing the Blue Book until Wednesday -- WRONG!  The State represented that it needs to authorize the printing by Wednesday; the proofs were to be sent to the printer today anyway; the State has not agreed to "delay" anything, they simply said that the authorization to print the Blue Book could be made pending the outcome of a hearing Wednesday.

IcePick
IcePick

You go girl, er Brian!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

In hindsight, this was a must-attend hearing; I was remiss.  Mason got blindsided by the Legislative Council in 2006, when they snuck the claim that passage of Amendment 44 would permit the transfer of cannabis to minors into the Blue Book.  It is obvious that the language in the Blue Book is a focal point of political contention, since it is sent to every voter in the State.  The impetus to control what goes into the Blue Book is strong, because a large bloc of careful voters who actually read it (and believe it) are the prize.

IcePick
IcePick

 @RobertChase Robert, how do I get in touch with you?  I'd like you to look at project I'm developing.

IcePick
IcePick

 @RobertChase Man I'm glad they caught this because it certainly looks like the authors of the book are not being fair.  Smells like Fed involvement to me or John Suthers influence.

 

How did Vincente figure this out before they went to print? 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

copatientsandcaregivers@gmail.com

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 @IcePick They are NOT going to print one in EBONICS for your understanding ......

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @IcePick Mason and Brian did not figure it out as it was happening in front of them, much as Mason did not realize in 2006 that the Legislative Council (under Speaker Andrew Romanoff) had approved language stating that passage of Amendment 44 would permit the transfer of cannabis to minors under his nose, although I believe that it has more to do with the perfidy of those in charge of the Legislative Council and the cluelessness of its membership, than any fault of Mason or Brian.  There will be a hearing Wednesday, but I am not sanguine.  The layers who work at the Legislative Council are perfectly pleasant in person, but they serve the Legislative Council, which has no compunction about unfairly prejudicing voters whatsoever.  As in so many instances, it's not entirely that legislators are evil, so much as that they are dizzy, especially now in the off-season.  Mason and Co. have two (Ferrandino & Morse) now willing to testify they didn't realize what they were doing.  Legislators are used to committee meetings and the Legislative Council itself being conducted like a magician performs sleight of hand, and Coloradans are paying no attention to what the good 'ole boys are up to.  The General Assembly has disregarded the Sunshine Law. probably since they passed it, and based on the Legislative Council's performance in 2006 and last Wednesday, it should be regarded as an implacable enemy of reform.

xlioilx
xlioilx

 @Juan_Leg  @IcePick  I think you just want to give icepick a BJ you've been on his dick for every comment saying nothing.. sounds like you're flirting LOL!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 @IcePick  < ----  Believes himself the VOICE representing the african american male .........

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...