Marijuana: Amendment 64's opponents want new ad pulled, backers respond

amendment 64 school ad.jpg
Videos below.
This week, the folks behind Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, have been ballyhooing a new ad featuring the endorsement of singer Melissa Etheridge. But act opponents are focused more on another commercial -- a spot highlighting revenues for school construction. They say the spot is false and should be removed from airwaves. See both below.

There's nothing especially controversial about Etheridge's pitch, designed for radio but mated with video images in the clip below. In it, the vocalist frames the conversation around her use of marijuana for medical purposes during her previous fight with cancer.

melissa etheridge amendment 64.jpg
Melissa Etheridge.
She says in part:
"You know, before I needed to use marijuana, I just accepted the laws that treat marijuana users as criminals. But it's funny how a serious illness can give you a new outlook on life.

"I now see that it's wrong to arrest adults for using marijuana. And it's even more wrong to allow gangs and cartels to profit from selling marijuana. Instead, we should allow adults to possess limited amounts of marijuana, and we should regulate marijuana sales in order to generate tax revenues for public school construction and other community needs.

"To me, regulating marijuana is simply the right thing to do. Please vote YES on Amendment 64."

No famous people in the commercial. Instead, it features a graphic showing green dollar signs flowing from Colorado to Mexico, to represent the supposition that cash spent on recreational marijuana in the state winds up in the hands of south-of-the-border drug cartels. Under Amendment 64, however, the clip suggests that annual revenue generated by legal sales could top $100 million by 2017 even as it generates $40 million annually for public school construction.

roger sherman.jpg
Roger Sherman.
That's where things get problematic for Smart Colorado, the No on 64 campaign, which has issued a press release headlined "Amendment 64 Proponents Receive 'F' For Honesty; New Television Ad Should Be Pulled." The person doing the grading in this salvo (read it below in its entirety) is Roger Sherman, the spokesman for Smart Colorado, so this negative mark isn't all that surprising. However, his argument picks at a sore spot for Amendment 64 backers -- a last-minute change in the Blue Book voters guide regarding the proposal.

As we've reported, state Senator John Morse, among others, objected to the provision of the measure that earmarked an excise tax for school construction. So he pushed through the following passage:

This measure requires that the state legislature enact an excise tax. The current Colorado Constitution forbids a member of the state legislature to be bound to vote for or against any bill or measure pending or proposed to the state legislature. Because of this inherent conflict, the excise tax outlined in this measure might not be imposed. Additionally, this issue may result in significant litigation.
Sherman strikes this same chord in a statement about the ad. "The ad states 'If we pass Amendment 64, Colorado businesses would profit and tax revenues would pay for public services and the reconstruction of our schools' and that's just wrong," he maintains. "There is no excise tax for schools. There may never be an excise tax or any tax revenues for schools. Even if the legislature did decide to place the measure on the ballot, voters would have to approve the new tax, and there is no guarantee that would happen, either."

With that in mind, Sherman concludes that "the ad deceives voters and it needs to be pulled."

What does Mason Tvert, one of the main proponents of Amendment 64, think of this demand? Not much, judging by a response he provided to Westword.

Continue to read Mason Tvert's response and see the ads.



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46 comments
Stupid_Stoner
Stupid_Stoner

The A64 scampaigners lie more than Mitt Romney.

 

What's with that?

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

No it should not. These people will have short memories once it passes and they start getting revenue from it.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

What do you call a lesbian gun-club ?.......

Militia Etheridge !

Just a joke in lieu of the photo .

I remember hot teachers in elementary school ..

What were we talking about again ???

carlosperez505
carlosperez505

Monkey and Orson are only protecting their best interest not those of sick people. The want to keep the middle man around for some reason. Hmm I wonder why?

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

So if the Tax part of the Amendment is written into the Amendment and Colorado Voters are going to vote on the WHOLE Amendment in November WHY WHY WHY would we need a second vote to pass the tax section of the Amendment?

 

I get that we passed that stupid TABOR law, but how many times must Voters vote on something before we call the issue voted on? Once, Twice, Three times?

 

And would someone in the press please ask the NO-on-64 folks when we can expect prohibition to start working?

TheSpleen
TheSpleen

No one cares what Roger Sherman "thinks". STFU, asshat.

Samuel Wells
Samuel Wells

Whining prohibitionists suck. Yes on 64!!!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Most opponents of Amendment 64 are worthy only of contempt; some few dupes deserve our pity.

Monkey
Monkey

Melissa can already have medicinal marijuana in Colorado, now and for the last 12 years. It's been behind a counter with stupid packaging for many years too. A64 wont make our kids smarter, it wont make our kids start or stop smoking weed, it wont fund or dismantle cartels. It is a commercialization campaign that wants to monopolize a market that's currently criminalized. Paying for endorsements from a famous cancer patient is deceiving, as if A64 is a MMJ campaign. The reason Melissa claims she didn't care about weed before she got sick is because it's portrayed as a vice stoners use, as others have posted, that's what A64 does too by "re-branding" it.  If we want people to recognize cannabis as medicinal, calling it "recreational" is counter productive. Believe it or not, tobacco is a medicinal plant as well, but we use it to kill ourselves "recreationally". LSD is another useful drug we moved from "therapeutic" to "recreational". The only thing A64 does is make people look more like drunks than patients. A20 has offered better protection from prohibition in Colorado for the last 12 years, A64 is a slap in the face to people who want something better than what we already have.

Mary Montaño
Mary Montaño

No it should not be removed. It's a breath of fresh air of truth, after the monotonous fucking presidential ad's that make one want to blow their brains out, for the sheer amount of them....YES ON 64!!!! HELP OUR SCHOOLS FINANCIAL PITFALLS FROM ASSHOLE RICH THEIVING POLITICIANS!!!!

Ken Tucker
Ken Tucker

I just mute it and watch the hot teacher!

Emily Schneider
Emily Schneider

Keep that ad on the air. It's one of the very few political ads that are truthful. (;

Chriss Hoffman
Chriss Hoffman

Well we certainly can't have the judicial and legal system loose the potential 100 million+ of drug war funds now can we? Go 64!

NO-ON-A64
NO-ON-A64

More lies from the A64 SCAMpaign. That commercial is RACIST too. Funny how A64 is using the same racist arguments from 1937 to try to scare people into voting for it.  "Be afraid, if you don't vote for A64, you will be funneling money to MEXICAN CRIMINALS!" No mention of the fact that Colorado home growers provide WAY MORE marijuana in Colorado than a Mexican drug cartel.

 

VOTE NO ON A64 - The lying liars are lying about the fact that it is "legalization" too!

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

Roger Sherman and Smart Colorado are evil.

 

The chief backer of the opposition to A64 (Smart Colorado) is Mel Sembler. Sembler and his wife, Betty, founded a chain of such institutions under the name Straight, Inc., which at its peak in the ‘80s had 12 clinics in nine states and a track record of extreme abuse.

 

In one of many stories from Straight that have been exposed, a teenage girl testified to being compelled into the program after being caught with an airline bottle of liquor given to her by a friend, and then beaten, raped, locked in a janitor’s closet in pants soiled by urine, feces, and menstrual blood. This punishment was called "Humble Pants"

 

http://www.thenation.com/blog/170007/gop-mogul-behind-drug-rehab-torture-centers-bankrolling-opposition-pot-legalization-colo

orson
orson

 @RobertChase  Most supporters of A64 don't believe in medical marijuana.

orson
orson

 @Monkey   You know A64 is bad law when a freedom fighter like Monkey is against it.  A64 is bad for medical marijuana patients and caregivers.  No self-respecting person that believes in medical marijuana would support this marijuana like alcohol law.  Keep marijuana medical and expand access and rights to medicinal marijuana.

Darryl
Darryl

 @NO-ON-A64

 There is nothing truthful that comes out of Roger Sherman's mouth and to pretend otherwise is being A. uniformed B. an outright liar.

carlosperez505
carlosperez505

No you stop lying and quit working for all the special interest that profit from the prohibition of marijuana. Who has you in their back pocket? Is it the alcohol companies or is it the pharmaceutical companies or the Dea or the rehabilitation centers or the private prisons. Too many profit from the prohibition and we aint going to take it any more.-ON-A64

TheSpleen
TheSpleen

 @orson  @RobertChase Orson, who gives a fuck? A64 is access for EVERYONE, not just patients. Nice try at a red herring, though.

carlosperez505
carlosperez505

Why should people with a card be the only ones to benefit from this wonderful plant? God put it on earth for everyone to enjoy not just a few who are very sick. I'm the real freedom fighter here! Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Give people the chance to enjoy it if they want. Our founding fathers smoked it and came up with the greatest country In the world. Besides it would be easier for sick people to get their medicine by cutting out the middle man. They wouldn't have to see a doctor and waste their hard earned money on a simple visit and a dumb card. If you really care about sick people you'd vote yes on A64. @orson @Monkey

orson
orson

 @RobertChase  You run an "organization" titled the "colorado coalition for patients and caregivers" yet support an amendment that is clearly bad for patients AND caregivers.  Hypocrite!

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

 @Darryl  What would you expect from a bunch that includes Ken Buck and Teen Torture King Mel Sembler?

 

I remember Ken Buck saying medical marijuana was a states rights issue...before "Smart Colorado" offered him money to say the opposite.

Stupid_Stoner
Stupid_Stoner

 @TheSpleen  

 

"everyone" except everyone under 21.

 

"everyone" except those who possess over 1 ounce.

 

"everyone" except those who sell any quantity.

 

You have a funny definition of "everyone".

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @orson  Either you lie, or you have no compunction about talking out your ass -- Amendment 64 has no direct effect on medical cannabis whatsoever!  Only a complete ignoramus could not know that the State shoved patients into a recreational model two-and-a-half years ago.  Because A64 does not address medical cannabis, patients, or caregivers at all, it does not change their legal status or that of MMCs.  Just keep repeating your BS though; you are one more person with an opinion about what you have no understanding.  It wouldn't kill you to read the Amendment, and it might prevent you from making quite such an ass of yourself.

orson
orson

 @TheSpleen   A64 shoves patients into a recreational model.  Nice try though.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @orson  Even NORML's senescent leadership is reconsidering the wisdom of keeping that incompetent its President-for-Life!  St. Pierre is the nitwit who told Dr. Oz it was too easy to get cannabis in California.

orson
orson

 @Darryl  @RobertChase "Prescriptive alcohol was a sham then, and the 'medical' cannabis industry is largely a sham now." - NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre

 

Most supporters of A64 don't believe in medical marijuana.

Stupid_Stoner
Stupid_Stoner

 @orson  I'm a stupid stoner and even I trust Monkey and Kathleen way more than the non-using pretenders RobertChase, IcePick and KevinHunt.

 

 

orson
orson

 @TheSpleen  @Monkey Why, because you are RobertChase and TheSpleen?  Monkey is a stranger to me but is still obviously the only regular commenter on the westword I would ever trust with my rights.  You and robert are short sighted enough to voluntarily sign over your rights and mine without giving it much thought.  Morons.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @orson The vast majority of all patients and caregivers agree with me that cannabis should be legal for all adults.  Amendment 64 is good for patients and their caregivers.  Twit!

carlosperez505
carlosperez505

I was trying to reply to no on a a64. I support this movement with all my heart even though i don't live in Colorado i been trying to keep up with everything about a64. Im a mechanic working for an oil fields company here in New NewMexico. I'm also a veteran of OIF 2 and 5/6. Vote yes on 64 @kevin_hunt @carlosperez505

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