Marijuana: Amendment 64 supported, attacked by religious leaders in ongoing endorsement war

reverend leon emerson.jpg
Reverend Emerson.
As we've been reporting, the proponents and opponents of Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, have been engaging in PR-generating endorsement wars. Now, in the wake of separate groups of doctors either championing or decrying the measure, religious leaders representing each campaign are sharing their feelings, pro and con -- including the Reverend Leon Emerson, seen here. Are these battles slowing the momentum of the initiative? No, insists one of the main figures behind Amendment 64, despite a recent poll showing support dipping below 50 percent.

At 10:30 a.m. Smart Colorado, the No on 64 campaign, staged an event at Agape Christian Church in Five Points. The main speaker was Emerson, the leader of New Faith Christian Church and CEO of the Colorado Council for Urban Youth Development, with support from Reverend Ray Chavez of New Hope Ministries, and Butch Montoya, a former Denver Manager of Safety and ex-9News executive who now serves as the director of H.S. Power & Light Ministries and the Latino Faith Initiative.

Their message, according to No on 64 spokeswoman Laura Chapin? The Greater Metropolitan Denver Ministerial Alliance, an organization representing between sixty and seventy churches, is coming out against Amendment 64.

"This is a big deal," Chapin says, since "the Denver Ministerial Alliance is one of the biggest and most impactful faith organizations in the city and the state."

In a quote provided to Westword, Emerson said, "The pastors are united in saying no to Amendment 64. As pastors, this is wrong for our community and wrong for our children. It sends the wrong message."

rabbi steven foster.jpg
Rabbi Foster.
Not to be outdone, the Amendment 64 is ballyhooing religious endorsements of its own from more than two dozen members of the clergy (see the complete list below), including Rabbi Steven Foster of Temple Emmanuel. In a statement, Foster says, "I am supporting Amendment 64 because, as clergy, we have the responsibility to talk about what policies serve our community best. You do not have to use marijuana -- or even approve of marijuana -- to see that our current laws are not working."

Foster's positive words aren't the only ones Amendment 64 backers have collected of late. Also in the act's corner is singer Melissa Etheridge and former Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, both of whom have recorded advertisements touting the measure. But their comments have been countered by Governor John Hickenlooper, who said he doesn't want Colorado known as a pot haven, and, more recently, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, joined by a slew of high-profile law enforcers, and Denver mayor Michael Hancock.

Indeed, the powers that be seem to be lining up against Amendment 64 -- although the campaign's Brian Vicente doesn't see it that way. "We had the state's largest labor union" -- the United Food and Commercial Workers -- "endorse last week. So we've been rolling out endorsements as well. And at the end of the day, we think voters will decide to move forward with Amendment 64 rather than perpetuating the failed policy of marijuana prohibition."

Continue to read more about the Amendment 64 endorsement wars.


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29 comments
Stupid_Stoner
Stupid_Stoner

Mormon doctrine allows and condones lying.

 

Are the A64 proponents all Mormons?

 

 

IcePick
IcePick

The Jews have a much better handle on this, they specifically allow doctors to break the "law" when it is in the best interest of the patient.  Damn that new testament!

 

Apollos
Apollos

Last time I checked Jesus Christ recommended you preach tolerance and unconditional love for your neighbor. If your neighbor is doing no physical harm or direct mental harm there is no need for anger. People can get themselves worked up over what other people do all the time but that is not the path. I think you should heed your blind conviction especially if its for reason of profit. Those who walk the path of the righteous will always be cared for by the lord while those who dig holes and set traps in the path will be rewarded by a trap from the lord.

Den420ver
Den420ver

Question all who don't support A-64! Money, Greed, and No human compassion for their fellow Americans! So sad and disgusting!

jefflucas1976
jefflucas1976

[9] Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology The Sufficiency of the Scripture #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people. This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life. Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome. In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

jefflucas1976
jefflucas1976

There is a certain contrasting quality between judgments within the world view of  the proponents of the war on cannabis and Christian theology.      The "everything is toxic" philosophy embraced by the  ONDCP toxicologists and controlling offices such as the FDA and DEA  is the exact opposite of sound Christian theology [1,2], and  the corollary truths built upon it are not Biblically founded, and can be proven to be Biblically incorrect. -And if it's not Theologically true, if it's not true in the Bible, than it isn't true at all [3].       No Bible believing Christian can accept any "toxicology" studies or reports from the ONDCP in good conscience, when they consider the axioms that were used to build their studies. Do Christians adhere to "scientific" theories about big bang and evolution? No, and we can also reject the observations of the ONDCP about cannabis on similar grounds when all things are considered in a clear systematic theology. One must "Test The Evidences" that come from outside Scripture.      Scripture, tradition, and reason imply that all things are good, and that substance (such as foods and drinks) only becomes toxic in it's misuse, that is, in the uses that are not in order with the purposes God created them [4]. The Scripture's warnings against these philosophies are traditionally viewed as warnings about the Gnostics of the second century. It was a blending of Jewish, Greek, or Eastern  philosophy with Christianity. These Gnostic errors are widespread, they appear century after century, and shows itself in many forms of religion, not merely in distorted forms of Christianity. In life application today, we can see that same Gnostic germ resurface in our society in the influence of modernism and postmodernism.       The war against cannabis is a frightening illustration, in that it is successful in stifling Evangelism within the local Church, and not many Leaders recognize what's going on, despite the fact that it devastates the lives of millions in perdition. This ascetic teaching is unnatural, contrary to the constitution of the world as that has been arranged by a holy and wise Creator, and it is also subversive of Christian liberty. Nothing can be esteemed common or unclean without throwing a reproach upon the Creator. [5] To further discover the long term consequences of these unnatural teachings, we can observe the characterizations and acts employed in the war on pot have a resemblance to the warnings in Scripture regarding the signs of false teachers (which are directly linked to signs of the coming Rapture of Christ's church). The war on cannabis shares at least 2 key qualities as the Gnostics. In the presence of the negative implications of statements such as "there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, " and, "everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances. ", the Christian should be reminded that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons [6]; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! [7]. The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60's, is  evidences of the "fleshly indulgence", or antinomian development that results from these ascetic teachings.  [8,9,10]    To summarize; The Christian world view and the ONDCP world view can be sharply contrasted. In the ONDCP world view, the Truth is "everything is toxic" and application is "just say no". In the Christian world view, the Truth is "God's creation is good" and application is "be ye sober". The Scripture provides us a sharper, more accurate understanding and response to the subjects of cannabis use in society than the secular drug use prevention community. And as Biblical passages are weighed and discovered as this more accurate Truth, it should bear witness that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is Truth. We should lend thought to this greater spiritual Truth for which the Bible is compiled as evidence of; That Christ made atonement covering and salvation for our souls. "For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that he world through him might be saved. God publicly displayed him as the mercy seat accessible through faith, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but by grace are you saved through faith, and it's not of yourselves, it is a gift from God. For whosoever believes in Him will not perish. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

The Denver Ministerial Alliance supports the continued criminalization of our society and the racist War on Americans -- these rabid animals are not fit to walk our streets, much less presume to offer spiritual guidance to others.  What filth!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @orsonYou are one of the very few medical cannabis patients prepared to deny cannabis to others.  You have enjoyed the access to cannabis that activists won, but you support the continued criminalization of non-patients who grow a few cannabis plants in their home.  You are worse than a prohibitionist!

 

 

Robert Chase

Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers

copatientsandcaregivers@gmail.com

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @reneedenver Opposition within the cannabis-using community is more a matter of abysmal ignorance of politics and the Law, which has been the chief impediment to our progress all along

Monkey
Monkey

 @reneedenverI question those who support A64. The insignificant amount of human compassion A64 offers is to mis-direct you from the real motive, money and greed. This is a commercialization campaign designed to monopolize a market that's currently criminalized. Follow the money, Washington has the best chance of passing, no one can grow their own and they received $4,000,000 in funding. Colorado is split because residents can grow a little bit, receiving $830,000 in funding. Oregon is most likely to fail, where they allow everyone to grow weed without limitations and received only $32,000 in funding. This is not about legalization, it's about control, money and greed.

IcePick
IcePick

 @RobertChase Yea but the NCAA supports the good people trying to overturn this nonsense.  

 

YES ON A64!

Stupid_Stoner
Stupid_Stoner

 @RobertChase  

 

I now understand why you've been called a dilettante.

 

I'm a stupid stoner and even I know that A64 is a continuation of criminalization against the vast majority of marijuana users and growers.

 

Monkey
Monkey

 @RobertChase  No one in Colorado is a non-patient. We are all eligible for MMJ. I don't believe "orson" wants to deny cannabis for anyone, he wants everyone to use it medicinally instead of abuse it "recreationally". We already have better laws than A64, won by voters. You don't like HB1284/1043, but A64, that follows in their footsteps, is good? You are a contradiction, and have disgraced patients and caregivers with your coalition in support of such a corporate Amendment.

factsOrGtfo
factsOrGtfo

 @Monkey  @reneedenver I like how you think I should think like you and you are just so high and mighty.  If you have ever sipped a beer your point is well pointless.  Guess what other substance was "recommented" by doctors during its prohibition?  Thats right smarty pants it was booze.

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Monkey  @reneedenver You do not state that you oppose I502; we must infer that -- I object to its bizarre inclusion of a DUID per se standard and penalties and would vote against it on those grounds.  Amendment 64 does not create any new crimes or penalties and modestly dimishes criminal liability for cannabis, so I support it.  You, on the other hand, are apparently far more concerned about "corporate control" and "control, money, and greed" than you are about ending Prohibition!  Go campaign for the end of corporate greed -- you could not be any less effectual in that than your advocacy here, supposedly in favor of legalization.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 

That's twice you have cited Allen St. Pierre and ineffectual NORML -- thanks for proving you are an idiot!  As I already pointed out, NORML's Board of Directors is considering dumping him, which is long overdue.  We reject St. Pierre and the DEA's characterization, of course.  I have told you repeatedly that Amendment 64 has no legal effect on patients, caregivers, or MMCs; I specifically told you that they are not mentioned in Amendment 64, but you have failed to respond.  It is clear that you have never read the Amendment and have no idea what you are talking about.  There is no basis in fact for your claim that the justification of the recreational use of cannabis hurts the case that it has medical utility -- by the way, in Colorado, we settled that twelve years ago:  irrespective of rampant recreational use of cannabis then, the People instituted Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitution.  You "can make generalizations" -- that's all you can do, because you have not even read the Amendment; if you had, and had the slightest inkling about how to argue, you would have cited specific provisions with which you disagree.  I just explained to Monkey (again) that the electorate does not consider all use medical -- you ignored that again too.  There is no prospect for being able to legalize cannabis for all adults on the basis that it should be an over-the-counter medicine -- however reasonable that might seem to you, if you would raise your gaze from your navel, you might notice how extremely marginal such a view is.

 

Amendment 64 is good for every patient, every caregiver, every resident of Colorado, and every citizen of the United States, because it declares some use of cannabis legal.  You and everyone else incapable of understanding that any legaliization of cannabis represents forward progress are a dead weight hindering the politicization of the cannabis-community with your idiocies.  Read the Amendment.

 

Vote Yes on Amendment 64!

orson
orson

 @RobertChase  You can try to justify your support of A64 all you want but it doesn't change the fact that the amendment is bad for medical marijuana, and bad for patients.  I can make generalizations too Robert.   Most supporters of A64 do not believe in medical marijuana.  I base this generalization off of the many dispensary owners, red card holders, and marijuana activists that have expressed support for A64 and also have made statements that they see marijuana as a recreational drug and not as a medicine. The most memorable quote I used the other day from NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre and A64 proponent.... "Prescriptive alcohol was a sham then, and the 'medical' cannabis industry is largely a sham now."  --- Do you know who agrees with NORML's position that medical marijuana is a sham?  The freaking DEA.  Marijuana is medicine and should not be re-branded like alcohol as a recreational drug.  Expand access and rights to medical marijuana and quit this "pure bullshit" that is recreational marijuana.  A64 proponents insisting their use of marijuana is recreational are hindering progress with MEDICAL marijuana and helping the DEA justify their opposition to marijuana use.  Marijuana is a psychoactive herbal medicine and it should be as available to people as other herbal medicines are.  It should be treated like a medicine and marketed like a medicine, not like recreational alcohol.  Open MEDICAL marijuana up to everyone for any medical condition and make as available as psychoactive st john's wort.  Treat it like the medicine it is, not like a vice like alcohol.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@Monkey

"No one in Colorado is a non-patient." -- pure bullshit on its face!  You mean to insinuate that anyone who wants to be a patient can be, which ignores what Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitiution says, ignores the practical reality that doctors do in fact deny recommendations to patients, ignores the cost of getting a recommendation and paying for cannabis in our over-regulated system that forces cannabis to be grown indoor under lights at great expense, and finally, completely ignores the political reality that many voters might not approve giving doctor's total discretion in the recommendation of cannabis.  Initiative 65 proposed allowing doctors that discretion, but its proponents did not file it with the Secretary of State's office, and it is far from clear what its political prospects would have been had it made the ballot.  Dr. Mellamede and others characterize all use as medical -- I do not disagree, but it is absolutely ludicrous to imagine that most non-cannabis users accept that; they do not.

 

I have explained the essence of the Amendment here over and over again -- the fact that proponents tried to use the GA's MMJ distribution scheme as a model is objectionable, but it is not substantive:  I do not believe that the retail system contemplated by the Amendment would be set up, BUT, it certainly would be preferable to no retail sales at all!  What is most objectionable about the State's MMJ regime is that the GA ignored and violated the Constitution to set it up --  many of the charges leveled against it are simply hysterical.  The State system also endangers those who work within it by unnecessarily exposing them to Federal jeopardy, though the Feds have not moved against the system.  No opponent of the Amendment has made a coherent case against it overall, because declaring that the (limited) personal use and cultivation of some cannabis shall no longer be illegal far outweighs what can reasonably be criticized in it -- that did not begin to daunt its opponents, who invented one lie after another to attack it, and operate at the level of insinuation, as you do.

orson
orson

 @Monkey  Exactly!  Marijuana is medicine, keep it medical.  Don't re-brand marijuana like alcohol.  Vote NO on A64!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @reneedenver I know that you're on the right side; that my comment above addresses you as well as Monkey is just due to a stupidity of Livefyre and my failure to edit out your name..

Den420ver
Den420ver

@ monkey, you're grasping.@Mr. Robert Chase. My comment was for A-64. But I do not believe in a 5 nanograms, zero tolerance bill.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @orson You are addressing someone who testified against both HB11-1261 and SB12-117 every time there was a public hearing on them before committees of the General Assembly.  I do not remember an "Orson" that testified -- where were you?  When we testify against King's garbage next year, where will you be?

orson
orson

 @RobertChase  A64 is the battering ram for steve king's bill.  A64 is permission to treat medical marijuana patients like recreational alcohol users. Have a nice day.

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