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Amendment 64: Feds will threaten lawsuit or arrests to stop implementation, predicts DU prof


"I don't necessarily think they're going to sue or swoop in with SWAT teams," Kamin maintains. "They might say, 'Look, we'll pretend you didn't pass Amendment 64. We'll let you keep your medical, because we believe there are people sincerely buying and selling marijuana as medical. But if we see you authorizing retail stores [for recreational use], we're going to come in and shut everything down."

Thumbnail image for eric holder with us justice dept seal in background.jpg
Eric Holder.
Kamin points out that this approach is similar to the one U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder took in 2010 when California pushed Proposition 19, a marijuana proposal that failed at the polls. "Holder said, 'If you pass legalization, we'll consider that war -- and California didn't. Now, that was an easier call to make in California, which is a safe state for Democrats, and Obama's name wasn't on the ballot that election. It was harder to do that in a swing state in an election year" -- the scenario in Colorado. "So we didn't see Justice saber-rattle, and we passed what California didn't."

Another possibility floated by Vicente that would allow Amendment 64 to move forward unencumbered: Now that President Barack Obama is guaranteed a second term, and no longer needs to worry about running for reelection, he might tell Holder to back off or even encourage the rescheduling of marijuana -- currently a Schedule I narcotic that is considered to have no medical use. Kamin, though, is extremely dubious about such a development.

As he puts it, "Every liberal I know has this fantasy: Come January 21 [when Obama begins term two], we're going to see the real, pot-smoking, community-activist president we felt we were getting four years ago. But I think he's an inherently conservative guy -- an incremental changer. I'm pretty skeptical about that."

Still, he does offer at least one ray of light for Amendment 64 supporters.

barack obama on phone in car large.jpg
Barack Obama.
"The other parallel I've been talking about is between legalization and decriminalization of marijuana and marriage equality. Both have been on the ballot, both have been growing year by year, state by state. It's been a real generational change, because young people prefer these policies to their seniors. In both, we feel like we're at or near a tipping point, and President Obama came out and surprised a lot of people by endorsing marriage equality. So there is some hope for people in favor of legalization or decriminalization of marijuana that he has one more like that in him. I still don't see him using his capital going into the fiscal-cliff negotiations on this. But it might mean more of a willingness to let the state experiment."

Even so, some problems are built into Amendment 64's timetable no matter what the federal government does. For one thing, possessing an ounce of marijuana will be decriminalized as soon as Governor John Hickenlooper signs the measure, as he's expected to do within thirty days despite his previous opposition to it. (Hickenlooper is reportedly scheduled to speak to Attorney General Holder in a conference call this afternoon on the subject of A64.) Nonetheless, selling marijuana for recreational purposes remains illegal, and that won't change until regulation that's not expected to be finalized until late 2013 or early 2014.

The resulting "one-year cooling-off period" is "like an awkward adolescence," Kamin says. "It's not the end-state but sort of a stopgap while we figure out what the feds are going to do about the retail shops. It does create this black or gray market where people can grow it themselves -- but we don't think most of it is going to come from that. So I think that's a fair criticism. But the alternative was a gold rush to open shops on January 1, 2013. That would really have been chaotic. We wouldn't have known what was going to happen and what people's legal rights were. So I fully understand why [the proponents] took the middle step."

Yet this delay gives the federal government an opportunity to act. Kamin's prediction on that score?

"I think what will happen is, we'll get a statement from Washington. My guess is they'll say, 'You're not permitted to sell recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington. If you seek full implementation of Amendment 64, we will either sue or arrest.'

"I have no special insights," Kamin emphasizes. "I have no mole in the Justice Department. It's just my sense based on what's gone on in Washington [D.C.] in the last two years in regard to marijuana. It just feels like such an expansion -- to go from serving 100,000 people to serving four or five million -- isn't something they'll stand by and let happen."

Look below to see the 60 Minutes report plus two documents -- a memo by Deputy Attorney General James Cole in regard to the federal approach to medical marijuana dispensaries and the order in the United States v. Arizona.


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217 comments
stevebeast
stevebeast

should work out perfectly we get the possesion of less than an oz now and when the state has to issue the lisence for retail locations in 2014 it will also be an election year.

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

Chippi/donkey:

 

So do you want to borrow my rope, my knife or my gun? Clearly this world is to much for you.

Dandaman
Dandaman

This is ridiculous: Anyone can go pay around  $100 and get a medical license to smoke pot. This ammendment  just stops Doctors from handing these licenses out like candy for a quick buck. 

 

Right now, adults 21 are legally allowed to smoke. Not letting them legally purchase it CREATES a huge and contradicting black market.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

-- Amendment 64 will DESTROY MMJ in Colorado, says local Pot Lawyer --

 

<excerpted letter>

 

Dear Friends, 

 

As you know, on Tuesday, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 which decriminalizes adult possession (to a certain degree) of marijuana and provides for the establishment of MJ retail businesses. 

 

I predict that within a year or so of that program becoming fully operational, the MMJ business as we know it will be virtually extinct. 

 

Why would a person suffer the indignity of going to a doctor, submitting paperwork to the state and be placed on a registry if it was no longer necessary?  I predict they will not.

 

...

 

<end excerpt>

 

 

Reap What Ye Sow, Pot Clowns!!

 

 

Monkey
Monkey

Washington ditched all their pending possession charges. What's up Colorado? If you have one of those pending court appearances, to pay your $100, you might want to remind the judge of the public vote. I realize most of you are under 21, but those of you who are over 21, if there are any, should talk to the DA first and possible postpone your court date to see if Colorado follows the lead of Washington any time soon.

Faedy
Faedy

Westword: Any chance we can cut back on DonkeyHotay's rants, thread hijacking and childish name calling? The guy makes want to not even visit your website. He/she clearly has a bone to pick with marijuana and A64. It's getting old. 

 

Go ahead Donkey, call me names. 

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

The Dam has broken! Colorado and Washington smashed through.

The Medical Marijuana laws in Colorado have lead to a system of beauty. Everyone in Colorado got to see first hand that the only thing special about Marijuana is how we treat it.

 

Let Uncle Sam take us to court. I would LOVE to see them try and defend the Prohibition of Marijuana to the American people.

 

On top of the election night wins, the Federal Courts are already looking at Moving Marijuana from Schedule 1 to a lower drug Schedule and the Supreme Court is looking at 2 different drug dog cases. All of this at once? The dam has broken. Let Freedom Ring!

 

Educate, Legalize, Regulate, Tax.

 

Yes We Cannabis!

Kevins_Mom
Kevins_Mom

@stevebeast Unfortunately the state does not have to issue any licenses.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @nemopunk15 So now you -- Michael Lemon -- are a confessed drug criminal / user who also possesses firearms ?

 

Noted.

orson
orson

 @KathleenChippi  Wow...good article I missed...now that's journalism!  Another bad law and sadly the voters are going to find out the hard way.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  -- Yep, stupid stoners in Washington just FUCKED THEMSELVES with a 5 ng/ml per se DUI-m limit.

 

Which means that nearly ALL regular users -- including medical patients -- will become CRIMINALS if they ever drive a vehicle.

 

Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups!

 

 

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  --- FYI: James Bowman was the Chris Bartkowicz of Oregon.

 

He was a media whore, who went to the PRESS last spring with stories of how he was going to double his crop size from 200 plants in 2011 to over 400 plants for this season.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Dandaman "Anyone can go pay around  $100 and get a medical license to smoke pot. This ammendment  just stops Doctors from handing these licenses out like candy for a quick buck. "

 

Do you even think before you spew?

 

How does A64 "stop Doctors from handing these licenses out like candy for a quick buck" ?

 

Current Physican referral prices are running between $35 - $60, with many dispensaries offering to reimburse the cost entirely if you designate them as your primary center.

Dandaman
Dandaman

 @DonkeyHotay 

 

     Exactly, it would make it unnecessary to pay a "pot doc" money for a license. What is your point???

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey  ... A64 provides no retroactive amnesty.

 

None.

mattleising
mattleising topcommenter

@Faedy I'm with you Faedy. I'm just going to probably stick to the Denver Post and other local sources if info till you all can clean this problem up

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Faedy  ... So tell us who -- exactly -- is forcing you to read my posts?

 

[[[ cue crickets chirping ]]]

Monkey
Monkey

 @nemopunk15 I do enjoy your enthusiastic cheerleading, even if you don't know what you're cheering for. It's cute you think "uncle sam" would "take us to court" and "defend prohibition", as if a jury of "American people" would decide, even after reading this story. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @nemopunk15 " the Federal Courts are already looking at Moving Marijuana from Schedule 1 to a lower drug Schedule"

 

That will be the END of ALL amateur "medical" marijuana in the U$A.

 

That will also derail ALL recreational marijuana initiatives.

 

How many CSA Scheduled Drugs -- of any category -- are legally available for recreational use?

 

Hint: the answer is less than one, but not greater than zero.

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

At least you spelled it correctly this time. Other than that your assumptions are no more correct than your rants.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay Chris was compliant with state law.  Apparently there was a 400 plant limit in OR but there was no plant limit in CO. 

 

Dandaman
Dandaman

 @DonkeyHotay Obviously, you don't think at all. 

 

If a person doesn't have to go to the doc for for a referral, why would docs need to refer anybody?

 

Please use your brain. Then Type.

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Dandaman 

 

HipTip: "Pot Docs" don't hand out licenses, never did, never will.

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @mattleising  You're lying again, Matt.

 

You know the MAIN reason you visit WW is to read my posts. You don't even read the fabulous articles by Michael Roberts, you immediately page down to the comment section, and without any willpower or self-control jump directly to MY comments, reading each and every one of them.

 

OCD much?

 

 

Faedy
Faedy

 @DonkeyHotay No one. But I don't have to visit this site anymore and read the BS you hatefully spew. I can't figure out what your problem is, but you clearly love the attention. 

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

 @Monkey Thanks, and you're a dick.

Watch and see what happens. The harder the Federal Government tries to stamp out Colorado and Washington's voter approved Legalization efforts the more they will have to answer questions in the press. I don't have a crystal ball, so like everyone else i can only guess at the future, but the past is pretty clear. Marijuana prohibition only exists today because most folks are kept in the dark. Big reactions and threats lead to lots of press and questions. 

 

A week ago Marijuana was in the press some. Today Marijuana legalization is a topic in every news cast around the globe.

What do you think a big federal reaction might do to that? And how does what you know about Marijuana effect this whole mess?

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @nemopunk15  "No"

 

So you are a drug criminal / user in possession of a firearm.

 

Who's forcing you to read, much less reply to, my posts if you dislike them so much?

 

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay No. I jokingly suggested you kill yourself and save the westword the trouble of banning you like most of the other Colorado Marijuana news pages have.  Surprise Surprise you took it as another que to spam and troll.

 

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  Yep ... over 100 plants = Minimum 5 year Federal Prison sentence ... within 1000 feet of a school = DOUBLE the 5, now 10 years Minimum ... with drug felony priors = DOUBLE the 10, now 20 years MINIMUM Fed Prison time.

 

Going on Television and bragging about the $100s of thousands you're making growing pot = priceless.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

I agree it was the media that got them all but I met Chris after he was busted....he had patients with elevated plant counts and the feds said they didn't acknowledge any number over 6--so that was where this piece of misinformation that he had double the paperwork permitted came from...and if I remember correctly he had 140ish?   with clones included.......

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi 

 

Bartkowicz wasn't anywhere close to compliant with State law, he had more than 2x the number of plants that his patient/papers allowed.

 

There is a 96 plant / grower limit in Oregon, but multiple growers can share the same property.

 

Bowman's problem -- like Barktowicz's -- was his willingness to appear in the media, and brag -- taunt the feds -- with specifics about the size of his grow.

 

Given that the DEA had to drive past DOZENS of visible large 96 plant outdoor grows to get to Bowman's place, grows they have ignored year after year, -- in a Valley that has 100s of massive outdoor grows -- everyone in the industry knows that it was his media visibility and self-promotion  -- like Doctor Reefer -- that drew the ire and heat from the DEA.

 

That and the fact that he had a prior Federal cultivation conviction / prison time on his record.

 

The personality disorders suffered by Chris "living the dream" Bartkowicz, Pierre "Doctor Reefer" Werner and James "look at me" Bowman are quite similar ... and quite self-destructive. 

 

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/01/dr_reefer_pierre_werner_raided.php

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Dandaman -- If marijuana use is a harmless activity, then why declare it a Public Health and Safety hazard and DENY EVERYONE under 21 years old any legal access to it as A64 does?

 

Is Jazz restricted to only those over 21 years old?

 

Are you limited by law  to possessing no more than 1 (one) Jazz record?

 

 

Dandaman
Dandaman

 @DonkeyHotay ^^Spoken like a true loser.^^^^^^

 

What you don't understand is that A64 [WHICH ALREADY PASSED BTW] legitimizes any Medical need of Marijuana. 

 

So now, adults 21 can go purchase it legally and anyone under 21 that NEEDS it can go to their PCP for medicinal use. 

 

Anyways, your arguments/useless rants  are irrelevant and outdated.

 

You can now use your worthless time against some other harmless activity. Such as: JAZZ; it's the devil's music, I hear.

 

I I I I I I I I I                                                                               I I I I I I I 

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ {Insert your pointless "last word" below} \/\/\/\/\/\/\/

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Dandaman "Again, If a person doesn't have to go to the doc for for a referral, why would docs need to refer anybody?"

 

You didn't read the Amendment, did you retard?

 

A64 excludes EVERYONE under 21 yrs old!

 

So EVERYONE under 21 yrs old will need to continue the "medical" marijuana charade in order to legally obtain, possess and use marijuana.

 

You = Epic Fail!

 

 

Dandaman
Dandaman

Again, If a person doesn't have to go to the doc for for a referral, why would docs need to refer anybody?

 

As you said before, "A64 would destroy MMJ."

 

There would be no need for MMJ.

 

 This is wayyy to easy. Educate yourself;  Learn how to debate. Maybe you wont get so angry when everybody walks all over you like they have on here. Good luck with that. :)

 

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Dandaman You ain't the sharpest tool in the shed, are you boy?

 

With fewer patients obtaining Physician Referrals, the Docs will be LOWERING their prices to compete for the dwindling customer base, and being less discerning -- as if they ever were -- in their examinations.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Dandaman  B'bye loser ... don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Dandaman
Dandaman

 @DonkeyHotay And that's all you have? Wow, that was easy... 

 

HipTip: You lost! Kinda like Charlie Sheen. Nice Job and Goodnight. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Faedy  " I'll just take my web traffic elsewhere."

 

You need any traffic cops to help you with that load?

 

LOL!

 

You sound like a fool who won't visit the library anymore, because there is a book on a shelf in a section that he doesn't like.

 

You can always take your "traffic" to the empty wastelands that are the other Village Voice internet sites.

Faedy
Faedy

 @DonkeyHotay  Fair enough, I'll just take my web traffic elsewhere. I'm sure no one will care. I hope you get to wherever you're going with your anti-A64 rants.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  @nemopunk15  @Monkey 

 

And nemopuke's blind fluffing would also imply that Washington has BROKEN THROUGH with its 5 ng/ml DUI-m standard! ... now other States and the Feds will follow the message sent by The People and implement the 5 ng/ml Per Se DUI standard NATIONWIDE !!

 

Won't that be cool!

 

 

 

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @nemopunk15  @Monkey punk15--we don't need a crystal ball as the US Supreme Court has ruled already---commerce is federally preempted.  So when they sue us in federal court and we lose..........consider this--the feds don't acknowledge a single difference between MMJ and MJ--so MMJ will fall nationwide.....over language that didn't even legalize......then you can thank Brian, Mason and Betty. 

Monkey
Monkey

 @nemopunk15  I agree, no one knows. In my humble opinion, I think the feds will throw up an injunction, claiming States can refuse to enforce federal law, but they can't regulate and license people to break federal law. The dispute will revolve around commercial sales and production, insinuating Colorado is free to stop using resources to penalize people for possession, but we can't start using resources to enforce regulations that directly violate federal law. This technic will get some opposition from the people, but will be viewed as a compromise by most. The feds still get to feel in control, the State still gets to claim "legalization" and the people get to walk away without a ticket for the possession of 6 plants and/or an ounce. Next time we should shoot for legalization instead of commercialization, the feds would become completely impotent at that point.

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