Amendment 64: Manager of Safety predicts law enforcement "turmoil" if it passes

Thumb, Alex Martinez.jpeg
Alex Martinez
Alex Martinez, Denver's Manager of Safety, does not want to weigh in on the policy debates around Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which has only added to the national attention Colorado is getting this election.

But, he tells us, one thing is clear: If it passes, there's likely to be a lot of chaos for officials charged with enforcing an amendment that would regulate recreational marijuana and thus contradict federal law.

Last week, we sat down with Martinez on the eve of his one-year anniversary with the city's Department of Safety, which has civilian authority over Denver's police, fire and sheriff departments. Among other things, he discussed police brutality with us, offering his take on how the city has handled various high-profile misconduct cases.

Alex Martinez in his office.JPG
Sam Levin
Alex Martinez in his office last week.
But we also had a chance to ask him about Amendment 64, which would make small amounts of marijuana legal for adults in Colorado, a state where medicinal marijuana dispensaries have already clashed with federal law enforcement.

Many of Martinez's colleagues have come out in opposition of Amendment 64 for a variety of reasons. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said it would have a negative impact on youth and Governor John Hickenlooper compared teen pot use to underage drinking. Opponents have also said they don't want Denver to be known as a mecca for pot, though Denver Police Chief Robert White once called the city a marijuana "capital."

When asked about the prospects of Amendment 64 passing, Martinez declined to share his personal opinion. "I'm reluctant to go there...because I'm a representative of the mayor.... The mayor is the elected official here, and the mayor has taken the position he has and talked about that position, and I just wouldn't want to say anything that is in any way taken as different from that."

But from a basic law enforcement standpoint, what does he think about questions of how the passage of Amendment 64 would play out, given that marijuana would be legal here but remain illegal on a national level?

On that matter, Martinez, a former Colorado Supreme Court justice, offered some insight.

"I would say that it's hard to imagine all of the spins of problems that would be created and how they should be handled," he noted, "Because...there will be conflicting laws. There will be conflicting obligations of law enforcement officials. There will be sort of a need for a lot of regulation and an opportunity for a lot of regulation, which would be a real challenge, and the potential that that falls short and then falls from state to local hands. Yeah, there will be a lot of turmoil, there's no question about that."

He continued, "I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Quite frankly, that's what the police department does best -- deal with turmoil. So I guess I'm not concerned at an alarm-level. But does it have a tremendous impact?... It would be tremendous change, and so will that be very unsettling and cause a lot of difficulties? Of course."

Continue for more of the Manager of Safety's insight on the challenges of enforcing Amendment 64.


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40 comments
IcePick
IcePick

Who is Donkey Hotay? 

 

Here's the answer:

 

Donkey Hotay  [ Show all posts ]

Email:asawyer@us.ibm.com

Real Name:Aaron (Sawyer)

Posts: 1,396

Registered: 12/19/2005 06:25PM

Last Activity: 11/28/2007 05:38PM 

 

And to see proof that this is the same Donkey Hotay, here are the highlights:

1) he works at IBM, who has a plant in Boulder on Diagonal Blvd

2) he is a rockies fan

3) he writes like a lawyer 

 

Read his posts for yourself, you will quickly see that Aaron Sawyer IS Donkey Hotay. 

 

Profile:

http://forums.macresource.com/profile.php?1,404 

 

Forum Posts in the "  'Friendly' Political Ranting" section:

http://forums.macresource.com/search.php?1,author=404,match_type=USER_ID 

 

Here are posts from another forum by Aaron "the idiot Donkey Hotay" Sawyer:http://tinyurl.com/cldyphk

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

"Martinez declined to share his personal opinion. "I'm reluctant to go there...because I'm a representative of the mayor.... The mayor is the elected official here, and the mayor has taken the position he has and talked about that position, and I just wouldn't want to say anything that is in any way taken as different from that.""

 

What more needs to be said?  Martinez is (at least mostly) a go-along, get-along kind of a guy, whose most radical proposal so far is to reform Denver's Civil Service Commission.  The DPD is so corrupt and has so many criminals ensconced within it (even the new Deputy Chief, who committed perjury in Federal Court -- immediately before being promoted) that it was deemed necessary to throw a former Supreme Court Justice into the breach to whitewash its crimes!  There is no evidence that Martinez is doing anything to address the criminality rife within the Department and its administration.

Trent Dozier
Trent Dozier

I would say amazing...but the Westword is kinda a stoner mag

TheSpleen
TheSpleen

Good. Moving this discussion to the federal level, backed with the voice of the people, is exactly where this should be heading. There may be some chaos in the short term just as there was when alcohol prohibition was repealed but it will settle out quickly and everyone will get back to the business of business, which is just as it should be.

 

All hail Colorado Cannabis. The Mile High State leads the way!

Wendy Dennie
Wendy Dennie

Yes on 64. Time for CO to make history and do whats right

Squi Rrel
Squi Rrel

I'm no longer a resident of colorado... but if I were, I would vote "yes" on 64. Thank you for asking my opinion.

mmjfreedomusa
mmjfreedomusa

BIGOTRY is not just for skin! Opponents have also said they don't want Denver to be known as a mecca for pot.  A MECCA for ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT MOOCHES IF O.K. HELL..O? How dare you use the derogatory term pot in reference to my marijuana community? YOU ARE UNCONSTITUTIONALLY PERPETUATING OPPRESSION AND DISCRIMINATION of a medically disadvantaged minority and marijuana community!  BIGOTS! 

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

Fuck the Feds.

The TEA PARTY should be 100% supportive of Colorado voters after they vote to legalize dope.

 

Is it legal to tar & feather John Walsh and ride out of town on a rail? I hope so.

Rachel K. Gillette
Rachel K. Gillette

Yes, on behalf of the entire family including the 65+ year old parents.

Clifford Goose Adams
Clifford Goose Adams

Though I don't agree with drug usage I voted yes on 64, the state could use the tax revenue.

IZen
IZen

It should be fairly obvious from the subtext which side Denver's Manager of Safety comes down on.

 

I guess I can't blame him for not wanting to contradict the mayor, but I like how he stopped just short.

Corbins_Dad
Corbins_Dad

This is why I will vote YES, prohibition has never worked on any substance on this earth. Please research what Portugal did in 2001 and PLEASE research their results after they did their thing with "the drug war"

Monkey
Monkey

"like when there's reasonable suspicion or when there's probable cause...because there was and then there isn't on the same issues."

This will be the most important issue to me if A64 passes. It will be interesting to see how police justify the smell or sight of marijuana as probable cause, when 1oz is considered legal by the masses. Will the police consider weed legal, freeing up time to fight crime, or will they consider an ounce legal, therefor spending the same amount of time harassing people who smell like weed, but letting them leave without a ticket if they weigh less than an ounce. People are going to have a hard time allowing police officers in there home without a warrant because they smell weed or see a pipe on my coffee table after voting for A64, because they think they're voting to legalize weed and end prohibition. Maybe instead of legalizing the sale of weed, they should have legalized weed, which would have included the smell and sight of it, preventing actual arrests, not just pretending to reduce arrests. I know I'm keeping my doctors note regardless of what "wins" on tuesday. I'm used to being allowed a certain amount of an illegal substance, at first I thought MMJ was legal, then I payed attention and realized it's not. While I do appreciate the privileges I'm allowed, I was hoping for something better this time around. I suspect A64 supporters will feel the same way if it passes. At first the rose colored glasses will deceive you, then reality will set in and you will live with what you got, hope for something better, and pity the people who don't know any better.

Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy

Yes...there will be no more problems then any other time. This is a ridiculous assumption on the safety manager's part...maybe he should spark one up to ease the tension...lol.

Sean Bracken
Sean Bracken

Get ready for turmoil... I am confident my birth state is going to vote for personal freedom and not government control over their bodies.

Tim Tindle
Tim Tindle

I wish the law was written better. I voted against it. The DUI potential, the federal interference, the vague wording, I regret that it was so shoddy. I would vote to decriminalize industrial hemp, that was the only good thing about it.

Kevins_Mom
Kevins_Mom

This is why I will vote NO, there is enough pot and problems in Colorado.

Jamie Hillyer
Jamie Hillyer

He says "..the police will need more training..they wont know what to do if this passes..." I dunno what the police will do when weed is legal....maybe catch some criminals

Craig C Thomas
Craig C Thomas

YES! YES! YES! And then shoot our middle finger to the govt. back in DC...

Fred Kaplan
Fred Kaplan

The politicians need to get off their fat taxpayer supported butts and deal with these situations BEFORE they are problems.

orson
orson

 @IcePick   You're spamming the westword with this "who is donkey" crap again!!  .....just add this guy to the list along with the other people presumed to be donkey hotay...

 

James?, Greg? in Wyoming, some lady? in Wyoming, Corey Donahue, Robert Chase, Rico Colibri, Seth Brigham, Jim Gerhardt, Ken Buck, Roger Sherman, Kathleen Chippi, Laura Kriho, and now some guy named Aaron or Adam. 

 

The only thing you are proving here is that you, IcePick, are a troll, and that donkey hotay owns you.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @davebarnes "Fuck the Feds" ... that's what Chris Bartkowicz and Doctor Reefer said ... 

 

Since when would the Teabaggers or Libertarians support the BigGovernment Regulation, Huge New Taxes fiasco that is A64 ?

 

 

IZen
IZen

 @Monkey Like MMJ, we all understand that passage of this amendment is but a small battle in the movement towards prohibition repeal.  We also know that only the feds can reschedule it or remove it from the DEA's authority to persecute and prosecute marijuana related activities. 

 

You still don't provide a compelling argument that things will somehow get worse for the average smoker or Colorado citizen.  Also, don't think your red card doesn't make you a lot better off than smokers in most other states.  Lower prices and less paranoia are probably the benefits my licensed pot smoking friends site most.

 

The point is you don't stop walking just because your next step won't be your last.  Don't work to hinder any progress because some of those that are closest to your opinion, big picture wise, don't agree with you on every detail.  You are like Cartman or the 2009 House GOP, if you can't have it just the way you want, you take your toys and run home.

IZen
IZen

 @Kevins_Mom It's your right to vote no and perpetuate the problems inherent in our current system. 

 

Just know that by treating all 'illicit drugs' with the same level of disdain you might also be undermining your credibility in Kevin's mind.  He might figure if he is seeing no harm to himself or his friends from smoking pot, which I guarantee he can get right now if he's over 14, then maybe your warnings about the dangers of methamphetamine and heroin are also overstated.  That is if you even understand the difference and have specifically warned against these potentially deadly and highly addictive psycho-active chemicals. 

 

Maybe he'll just play the choking game or huff some brake fluid since you have provided such an uninformed education on intoxication and substance abuse.

Monkey
Monkey

 @IZen We stopped walking down the path to legalization with HB1284/1043. A64 is continuing down that wrong path, getting farther from legalization instead of closer. I realize people will eat shit if you sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top, but we wont be able to walk down any path if we're all full of shit.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

 @IZen  "Kevin's Mom" is really "Donkey Hotay" who is against amendment 64 because they seem to think they can get a better law passed that does not have any restrictions at all on marijuana.

Monkey
Monkey

 @IZenWe disagree, but anyone who can respectively disagree, deserves respect. I'm all for a regulated commercial manufacturing and retail industry. I'm not in favor of regulating the people, that suppresses the people and kills the free market. If it passes, I'll spend more time looking for benefits than bitching, I believe in working with what you got. Good luck, but if it fails, we're still pretty well off with A20, better in my opinion.

IZen
IZen

 @Monkey  @IZen I have read ALL of your posts for the last few months and respectfully disagree. 

 

I understand the additional regulations and limitations imposed by Colorado House Bill 11-1043, and how they may have crimped the style of some pioneers in MMJ field, but I don't ever see recreational use legalized nationally without assuring the reluctant that this will be done with some oversight and control.   Right now NO marijuana is legal on the federal level and some image of adherence to the medical premiss of MMJ seems to be the intent.  Obviously A64 will remove the need to distinguish medical need and licensing and ratchet up the standoff with the Feds but it has to start somewhere.

 

I also understand that Colorado House Bill 10-1284 allows individual municipalities to ban retail dispensing of medical marijuana and imposes more regulation and fees.  I don't think forcing dispensaries into unwelcoming communities is going to help general support for ending prohibition.

 

I know how much you hate this analogy but I'm going there anyway:  There are still counties in this country that don't allow ANY alcohol sales, and I'm OK with that.  In most of these locations residents have the option of driving over the county line to buy liquor, stop or don't start drinking, move someplace else, or brew their own beer.

 

On the fees and regulations, I'm sorry but no business is immune and industries that some perceive to have possible side-effects or societal consequences are going to draw more and louder calls for oversight.  How this oversight is administered and funded will be an ongoing argument but it's not just going away.

 

 

IZen
IZen

 @kevin_huntYea, but I ignore that and respond to the text in the post for the benifit of those that don't follow closely enough to know the Westword comment shills.  They make great foils regardless of their true identities.

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