Amendment 64's Brian Vicente on how act might be challenged, why he doubts it will be

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for a cropped brian vicente photo.jpg
Brian Vicente.
The passage of Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, was a big win for attorney Brian Vicente, one of the measure's main proponents.

But amid questions about when and how the proposal will take effect come suggestions that court challenges are inevitable. Vicente disagrees and explains why below.

Vicente characterizes the amendment's approval, by a roughly 53-47 percent margin, as "a very meaningful victory for the people of Colorado. They've taken a positive step forward in establishing a smart marijuana policy in the state. They really recognize that marijuana prohibition has failed. I think people of the state are leaders" for that reason.

us supreme court 2012.jpg
The 2012 U.S. Supreme Court justices.
Nonetheless, media outlets such as National Public Radio have hinted that a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court is likely, since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Vicente doesn't dismiss this prospect, but neither does he regard it as an example of metaphysical certitude.

"There really is no challenge that could occur to the state criminal-law changes that were made" on election night, he allows. "Basically, a state has a right to set their marijuana penalties at any rate they choose, and Colorado has chosen to allow adults 21 and over to possess and grow small amounts privately. So the federal government can't touch that."

Other provisions aren't totally bulletproof, though, as he concedes.

"It is possible the feds could use their scarce resources to try to overturn the will of the voters in terms of Colorado's desire to have state-regulated stores, where marijuana is taxed and strictly controlled like alcohol," he notes. "And if that day comes, we'll be ready to fight to validate the will of the voters -- and we hope our state officials will join us in that battle."

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for john suthers facebook portrait.JPG
John Suthers.
One of the most unlikely pot champions in Colorado government -- Attorney General John Suthers, arguably the most vocal critic of marijuana-policy liberalization among major state officials -- has already confirmed he will do so, despite his personal views. And that makes sense to Vicente. "It's my belief that he would be required to work on behalf of Colorado voters, and on behalf of making this law meaningful, by defending it against federal challenges," he says.

Should the feds decide to take on the retail operations, "they could push for some kind of injunction to prevent any rule-making and regulation-writing from taking place," Vicente concedes. "But while it's possible, I don't think it's likely. I would point to the fact that there are now eighteen states with medical marijuana" -- Massachusetts voters added their home to the list this week. "And there are places like Colorado with hundreds of storefronts currently selling medical marijuana, and the federal government hasn't acted to shut down those stores via a court challenge."

Continue for more of our interview with Brian Vicente about Amendment 64.


My Voice Nation Help
42 comments
SaraBenetowa
SaraBenetowa

Progress lies not in perfecting what is, but in advancing toward what will be. (inspired by and most of the words stolen from Kahlil Gibran)...

 

Free the Herb!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

If Amendment 64 passes, what's to stop someone from buying the maximum amount of marijuana from multiple stores and then driving it out of Colorado?

 

The law, Vicente believes.

 

"It will remain absolutely illegal to transport marijuana out of state after the passage of Amendment 64," he says. "It's currently that way now -- and its passage would untie the hands of law enforcement to focus on interstate issues rather than their current focus, which is arresting over 10,000 Coloradans for personal possession every year. Their focus could be on interstate transfers and arresting the people responsible rather than arresting adults for possessing small amounts of marijuana."

 

The BIG LIE promoted by Lyin' Brian Vicente and Mendacious Mason Tvert.

 

Fact -- 10,000+ Coloradans are NOT arrested for personal possession every year.

 

Fact -- A64's pathetically puny 1 (one) ounce limit is LESS than what current Colorado Statute has decriminalized, 2 (two) ounces. Arrest reduction for personal possession = ZERO

 

Fact -- A64 deliberately EXCLUDES EVERYONE under 21 yrs old from any coverage - they are not allowed a single gram, nor a single plant. Arrest reduction for under 21 = ZERO

 

The grotesque cynicism of excluding the very age demographic that suffers nearly 50% of all marijuana arrests shows just how perversely pro-law enforcement the prohibitionists who wrote and promoted A64 actually are.

 

Fact -- A64 does NOT allow ANY personal sales between consenting adults. Even selling one gram remains a FELONY!  Arrest Reduction for Sales = ZERO

 

Fact -- A64 does NOT allow ANY Public Display or Use. Arrest Reduction = ZERO

 

Fact -- A64 does not repeal or modify a single FELONY Marijuana Crime in Colorado. Arrest Reduction for Marijuana Felonies = ZERO.

 

 

HipTip: If your lawyer lies this much, in public, it's time to find another attorney ... before they get disbarred ... or lead you down the primrose path to the pits of purgatory.

 

 

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Vicente stresses that "we absolutely do not believe the passage of Amendment 64 will make Colorado a hub for interstate distribution. "

 

But it will increase Pot Tourism ??

 

 

 

Barak M Webb
Barak M Webb

They may challenge it, but I would hope that our state elected officials will throw the 10th amendment to the constitution in their faces and tell them that the Constitution does not give them the authority to challenge it since this technically should be a states rights issue.

Connie Megel Long
Connie Megel Long

Nope, as Obama got re-elected. He was the one who backed off the federal government in regards to medical marijana usage. He told the feds if this is what states want its what the states voted in. Obama is just going to tell the feds the same thing in regards to recreational marijuana.

Monkey
Monkey

With MMJ, the feds are kind of stuck, they received allot of objection from the public because of sympathy for the sick. They don't want weed stores, but they don't want the public to view them as armed terrorists against the sick, much like the armed raids in Cali. turned public opinion against them. They learned letters were more civilized and received much less resistance from the public, and continued to use those tactics here in Colorado., which worked extremely well. I fear the "recreational" stores will not pose the same moral threat to the feds as MMJ does, and they might go back to the old days of disregarding public opinion all together and using their full force. If they don't shut it down before it starts, the industry will explode even more than what we saw with the MMJ green rush. Will they let that happen? Will they bring in the military if it does? I kind of think they will do it in court before we can flip from MMJ to MJ, but like the article says, no one is standing in the way of letting the people have, and cultivate, some personal weed, and I really believe that's what the people voted for anyway. Whatever the feds do to the commercial side of things, the voters still got what they want, a little more personal freedom, and as some of you know, that's all I care about.

doctornamtab
doctornamtab

Hopeful article but this is the federal government we're talking about here. We've invaded other countries and killed millions for less than this. OF COURSE they're going to turn it down and they don't even need a reason. They didn't need a reason to invade Iraq.

Tracy Strode
Tracy Strode

I'll blow a big bong hit in their face. Ignorance like this should be completely unacceptable in this day and age, but as we've already been reminded hundreds of times this week, a large portion of our country just wants to stay firmly rooted in the 1940's.

Faycless
Faycless

"Basically, a state has a right to set their marijuana penalties at any rate they choose, and Colorado has chosen to allow adults 21 and over to possess and grow small amounts privately. So the federal government can't touch that."  Yes. They. Can. And. Will.

Wendy Dennie
Wendy Dennie

Let them challenge it....the people have seen the tax revenue that is generated and it will cause the War on Drugs to end at the Federal level. Us people have spoken and we will continue our forward movement, regardless of the naysayers and profiteers of jailing citizens

Ehron Moats
Ehron Moats

don't take our Freedom and our rights away. Let try this first then challenge it if it doesn't work .

Jason Garrison
Jason Garrison

Washington goes in effect before us, so I guess we'll see

Brad Aerts
Brad Aerts

these fucks arent gonna stop the war on drugs...all those probation officers out of work ....yea rigghtt!...look at them like theyre from another planet or something

Lisa Hill
Lisa Hill

What about driving? Has anyone forgotten about that little driving nano thing?

Matt Planteen
Matt Planteen

Doubtful. This would not be a good climate to get into a state's rights fight with two typically democrat-leaning states. Further, I think they'll likely have to quietly reschedule down to a Sched II narcotic, both because of Wash. and Colorado's new stance, and the fact that they now have a very blue state in the NE with MMJ. It would political suicide of the highest order for the DEA to start raiding businesses in Massachusetts. Drug testing for work will still remain, both for government and private jobs.

John Lambert
John Lambert

what about drug testing for work? will that still be something to worry about?

jwright13
jwright13

 @DonkeyHotay Some people aren't happy with anything.  Would you be happier if 64 didn't pass, is that your point?  geez-louise.   Once things have worked out for awhile, maybe the other problems can be worked on.

ccapra
ccapra

 @DonkeyHotay

 No one cares about your worthless dribble.  It passed, you should to on to other items.

mattleising
mattleising

@DonkeyHotay I see you've finally updated your debate to something a little more current. Still way off but I applaud you for figuring out something new to copy and paste. Took you long enough! Now troll on trolly pants!

DonkeyKicker
DonkeyKicker

 @DonkeyHotay STFU, Corey "Nut Job" Donahue - You fled to Mexico - keep your opinions there with you, boy.Or, be a man and come back and do your time.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey 

 

What?

 

You don't think that Puerile Pot Clowns like IcePick and nemopuke15 make sympathetic Poster Punks for the "recreational" marijuana cause?

 

LOL!

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @Faycless So are you saying that the feds are going to bust everyone in Colorado for one ounce and six plants?  Good luck getting a conviction in Colorado for that.  The last time the DOJ pursued a personal possession case was in CA and the judge threw it out saying the govt "is not going to win the war on drugs 2 grams at a time".

 

 

SJSJ
SJSJ

 @Faycless Uh, no they can't and won't.  Wait...are you a lawyer, like Brian, who has been working this issue for years and years and knows it in and out?  If not, stop making yourself look like an ass.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @DonkeyKicker Only a fool would flee to Mexico ... which has an active extradition treaty with the U$A.

 

 

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay  @Monkey What about Puerile Pot Clowns like me that are advocating recreational industrial hemp?  

 

Wanna smoke some of my homegrown Finola?

IZen
IZen

 @SJSJ  @Faycless Google search 'faycless' and you will see that they don't just 'look' like an ass they are the genuine article.

RPF2012
RPF2012

 @DonkeyHotay How do you figure?  More than 1/2 of your state and more than 1/2 of another state in the union agree that the War on Marijuana is a failed philosophy. 

Are you just still bitter because the Amendment did not come out the way you liked? 

 

The person I wanted to be president didn't win, but I'm not bitter.

ccapra
ccapra

 @DonkeyHotay  @orsonIf they're in a dispensary they obviously have a card and are not excluded from getting what they want.  God you guys are so bitter.

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @orson ... too clueless to realize that they are EXCLUDED by A64, along with every other Colorado citizen under 21 yrs old.

Monkey
Monkey

 @DonkeyHotay  Maybe that's a picture of the two most obsessed with you. Those jars on the table are from the (greenest green MMC) in Boulder, they were issued a letter and have since closed. I think Boulder is letting them re-locate but I'm not sure.

IZen
IZen

 @SJSJ  @Faycless OK, that may have been a little harsh, in comparison to some of the trolls out there.  I'll preemptively apologize for my personal attack and for not pushing the discussion in a positive direction :-)

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...