Marijuana: Amendment 64 opponents dub Tony Ryan, decorated Denver officer, a rent-a-cop
Smart Colorado release:
FRONTLINE ACTIVE DUTY COLORADO LAW ENFORCEMENT OPPOSES AMENDMENT 64Amendment 64 release:
Denver -- The campaign opposing Amendment 64 has issued the following statement from campaign director Roger Sherman:
"Today's endorsement by two out-of-state law enforcement organizations and a pro-pot rent-a-cop pales in comparison to the dozens of county sheriffs, chiefs of police, district attorneys and school resource officers that are publically opposed to Amendment 64. These men and women are on the front line and understand the serious consequences legalization presents to our communities. [See: http://votenoon64.com/endorsements.html for full list of endorsements.]
"Federal law will continue to ban the production, manufacture, transportation and distribution of marijuana in Colorado regardless of the voters' decision on Amendment 64. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that federal law supersedes state law in this area.
"After years of decline, marijuana-use rates among teenagers are rising rapidly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) tells us that, by the time they graduate from high school, 42 percent of teens will have tried marijuana. Those numbers are staggering, and should serve as a wake-up call to all of us."
Amendment 64 would amend the Colorado Constitution and make it legal to grow, transport and sell marijuana for recreational use; make it legal for anyone twenty-one years or older to possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana (about 60 joints and permit opening marijuana retail stores, growing facilities, manufacturing facilities and testing facilities in communities across the state.
Amendment 64 Campaign Demands Apology from No on 64 Leader for Smearing Highly Decorated 36-Year Veteran of Denver Police Department as a "Rent-A-Cop"
Lt. Tony Ryan (Ret.), one of first DPD Medal of Honor recipients, also received DPD Purple Heart for being shot while on duty and Merit Award for his immediate response to Columbine school shooting
DENVER -- The Amendment 64 campaign is calling on Roger Sherman, the head of the No on 64 campaign, to issue a public apology for demeaning the work of a dedicated and highly decorated public servant. In a statement issued yesterday, Sherman inappropriately and disrespectfully referred to Lt. Tony Ryan (Ret.), a 36-year veteran of the Denver Police Department, as a "rent-a-cop." During his service, Lt. Ryan was one of the first Denver Police Department Medal of Honor recipients, as well as a recipient of the DPD Purple Heart after being shot while on duty. He also received a Merit Award for being an immediate responder to the Columbine High School shooting, the Footprinter's Award for his outstanding performance as a Denver police officer, and DPD's Community Service Award.
Statement from Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:
"While this smear is not surprising, given the No on 64 campaign's attempts to mislead the media and the public on every aspect of our initiative and our efforts, we cannot sit by quietly as an honorable and courageous member of law enforcement is treated with such disdain.
"Lt. Ryan should be credited, not discredited, for the fearlessness he has shown in speaking out against the policy of marijuana prohibition. As the No on 64 campaign has unwittingly demonstrated, the larger law enforcement apparatus is not open to a rational discussion about the merits of dedicating massive resources to enforcing marijuana laws. From their perspective, marijuana prohibition is an employment improvement program. As long as they keep arresting people, federal funds keep flowing to their departments. And by spending their limited time going after non-threatening marijuana users, they do not have to spend as much time preventing and investigating more dangerous crimes.
"The pressure to remain silent was evident last year, when Dan Hartman was removed as the head of Colorado's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division after penning a column describing the benefits of a regulated medical marijuana market over an unregulated, underground market in the context of a local ballot initiative. Attorney General John Suthers, the state's chief law enforcement official, referred to this expression of an opinion as 'unethical.' Yet, we have heard nothing from Mr. Suthers over the past few months as sheriffs, drug task force members have proactively voiced their opposition to Amendment 64, despite the fact that their departments financially benefit from maintaining marijuana prohibition.
"Current and former members of law enforcement who have the courage to stand up to a powerful bureaucracy should be praised for advancing the public dialogue, not fired, intimidated or insulted. We hope that Roger Sherman will help move us toward a more tolerant and respectful society by publicly apologizing to Lt. Ryan today."
More from our Marijuana archive: "Amendment 64 camp on law-enforcement support, teachers union opposition."