Marijuana: Denver DA Mitch Morrissey joins law enforcers denouncing Amendment 64
As we noted in a post yesterday about more than 300 doctors urging approval of Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, shortly after a state organization of pediatricians denounced it, those for and against the measure are engaging in the equivalent of endorsement wars. Today's salvo? Denver DA Mitch Morrissey will join other law enforcement officials to say why they think the measure should be rejected.
Laura Chapin, spokeswoman for Smart Colorado, the No on 64 campaign, offered us a preview of the event, which takes place on the State Capitol steps at noon today; get full details below.
According to Chapin, Morrissey and his fellow speakers -- Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson, Broomfield Chief of Police Thomas Deland, and Vicki Ferrari, boardmember of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association (and former American Gladiators contestant) -- have expressed their antipathy for Amendment 64 in the past, as has Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hillkey, appearing at a separate event in Palisade, on the Western Slope.
"I know they've been speaking out against it with groups and their peers for a while now," Chapin says. "But this is sort of their first major media event."
As such, she continues, "they'll be able to show that people who are actually on the front lines of Colorado law enforcement, people who are current officers from across the state, are opposed to this. And they'll be highlighting not just the traditional concerns about marijuana law, but they're also going to go after what opponents are saying about providing money for schools, which Amendment 64 won't."
The school-funding carrot is certainly one of the act's prime selling points. In yesterday's post, Betty Aldworth, spokeswoman for the campaign, stressed that the measure "will also benefit Colorado children, with $40 million in tax revenue put into school capital construction."
However, Chapin points out that the excise tax written into Amendment 64 and earmarked for this purpose "won't automatically do that." Instead, legislators would have to pass a law directing money to this purpose. For that reason, she goes on, "they're relying on a hypothetical. They're counting on the idea that the legislature will magically do what they want them to do, and as someone who's worked with the legislature for a long time, I can tell you that's frequently not the case."
Continue to read more of our interview with Smart Colorado's Laura Chapin and get details about today's anti-Amendment 64 event.