Amendment 64: Attorney General/marijuana critic John Suthers would defend it in court


In early 2010, Suthers actively lobbied the state legislature against HB 1284, which blessed the creation of a dispensary system. In a letter to members of the Colorado General Assembly, he wrote:
john suthers facebook portrait.JPG
John Suthers's Facebook portrait.
I believe the objective of the legislature in passing medical marijuana legislation should be to implement Amendment 20 and the intent of the voters who passed it. To embrace commercial dispensaries or clinics as a means of distributing marijuana would go far beyond the intent of the voters. In my opinion, it would constitute de facto legalization. But the voters rejected legalization of the drug by a 60/40 margin in 2006. I strongly believe the voters should have a say if the state is going to go beyond the parameters of Amendment 20.
He echoed these thoughts in a March 2010 interview with Westword. "If the legislature wants to take action statutorily, they can. I think most legislators understand that in approving dispensaries, they'd be taking a leap forward legislatively beyond what Amendment 20 says. And that's their right. They could legalize marijuana in Colorado if they wanted to. But I'd say 90 percent of the e-mails and communication that comes into this office are on the anti-expansion side, with people saying, 'This isn't what I voted for.' And they're right. This isn't what they voted for."

He also noted the following about his concern regarding marijuana use in general, especially as it pertains to young people:

"A lot of people say, 'He's just a dinosaur drug warrior,' But I care about future generations, and somebody's got to have their eye on the ball. I've listened to all the debates in the legislature about school dropout rates and so forth, with people trying to understand why it's happening. But has anybody stopped to think the problem is too many kids are coming to school high? That's why we have the dropout rates we do, along with poor parenting -- and this is only going to exacerbate the problem.

"Ten years from now, when members of the legislature look at these rates and see that there hasn't been an improvement -- that they've actually gotten worse -- they'll say, 'We sure made a mistake ten years ago.' That's why somebody ought to point out now that these things have consequences. And I'm perfectly willing to do that."

In the years since then, Suthers has continued to play a similar role. This past May, for instance, he weighed in on a Drugfree.org survey suggesting that teen pot use has been rising throughout the country. "Given the path Colorado has gone down -- creating a marijuana industry far beyond what the voters approved in Amendment 20 -- this growth in teenage marijuana use and the diminished perception of risk are highly predictable," he said in a statement. "I would encourage Colorado policymakers to consider the trajectory we are on as they consider future marijuana laws and policies."

Not the words of a man likely to relish defending Amendment 64. But such a scenario is hardly beyond the realm of possibility.

Here's the Amendment 64 statement, followed by the referenced court case.

The following statement is to be attributed to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers in reaction to yesterday's passage by Colorado voters of Amendment 64.

"Despite my strongly held belief that the 'legalization' of marijuana on a state level is very bad public policy, voters can be assured that the Attorney General's Office will move forward in assisting the pertinent executive branch agencies to implement this new provision in the Colorado Constitution.

"Coloradans should be cognizant of two caveats, however. First the ability of the federal government to criminally sanction possession, use and distribution of marijuana, even if grown, distributed and used in a single state, was recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Raich (545 US.1,2005). Therefore, absent action by Congress, Coloradans should not expect to see successful legal challenges to the ability of the federal government to enforce its marijuana laws in Colorado. Accordingly, I call upon the United States Department of Justice to make known its intentions regarding prosecution of activities sanctioned by Amendment 64 (particularly large wholesale grow operations) as soon as possible in order to assist state regulators and the citizens of Colorado in making decisions about the implementation of Amendment 64.

"Secondly, the proponents of Amendment 64 told voters that it imposed a surtax of up to 15 percent on marijuana sale that would result in up to $40 million each year going to K-12 schools in the state. In fact Amendment 64 did not comply with required language under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and no such tax will be imposed. Instead it will be up to the Colorado Legislature whether to refer such a tax to the voters and up to the voters of Colorado whether to actually impose the tax. Therefore, such revenue is speculative and will not be forthcoming when Amendment 64 begins to be implemented."

Gonzales v Raich

More from our Marijuana archive: "John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General, thinks medical marijuana dispensaries suck -- and here's why."


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105 comments
Lisa Hill
Lisa Hill

You are right Kat.....Before you guys move here, just know it is very expensive and very crowded....

Monkey
Monkey

Will judges stop issuing search warrants to police that say, I smelled weed or I suspect weed? Or will they now need more? Like perhaps, I smelled what could be more than an ounce, or I observed a pipe that could be used for more than an ounce. I don't know what will happen, but one thing is for sure, all of us, including cops, will become more creative than ever.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

...Donkey--LMFAO " wait until the impotence of A64 sinks in, and "10,000+" citizens still get arrested for Marijuana Crimes in Colorado next year."

 

the reality is A64 gave the state and the feds over a year to shred the language before anything happens--and this is where WHAT the language says MEANS EVERYTHING--in the federal courts.   All we can do is hope MMJ isn't killed along with it, nationwide, because the feds win on federal preemption of recreational pot--always.........

StillMM2
StillMM2

The best part of this process has been DonkeyHotay's tears of impotent rage

Fook
Fook

"But has anybody stopped to think the problem is too many kids are coming to school high? That's why we have the dropout rates we do, along with poor parenting -- and this is only going to exacerbate the problem." - Suthers

 

lolling on so many fronts here.  Did you ever stop to think that it's because "Melrose Place" has reruns during the day? See, I can come up with random correlations too.

 

Also, it's still not legal for minors.  Those that do it currently, do it illegally, and that won't change.  Those that want it now can get it easily, and will continue to get it easily going forward.  That also will effect no change.

 

People are starting to become immune to the "But our Children!" scare tactics. We're on to the "Reefer Madness" propaganda, dude.  Kids smoked pot in Suthers day, they smoked pot in Jesse Helms day, they smoked pot in Abraham Lincoln's day, they smoked pot in Jesus's day.  This has to do with Suthers being an ignorant old fart, not that pot is destroying our children.

 

 

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

Hey Donkey! Even Suthers gets it!

 

A-64 passed!  Get over it! Colorado voted in a way you don't agree with. That happens in America!

 

And Westword, we all realize Donkey creates lots of troll traffic, the rest of us all promise to visit just as much after you do a troll exposed bit.

Bill Black
Bill Black

I did in fact email this bag of worthless shit. Should I post it so others can use it? Let me know. I should ... email it like ... 10,000 copies so the bag of shit understands how pissed off peeps are.

DonkeyRevealed
DonkeyRevealed

BTW, DonkeyHotay's real name is Seth Brigham (the crazy guy from Boulder City Council meetings).  He lost his mind a few months ago, which explains the lack of posts during that period. 

Bill Black
Bill Black

Office of the Attorney General POS John Suthers = attorney.general@state.co.us

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey ... the creatives with the badges and guns usually win that competition.

 

 

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi 

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice. 

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. 

You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill; 

 

I will choose A-sixty-four

I will choose Free Will. 

 

http://youtu.be/rXiP-7wWics

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @StillMM2 The best was the election night coverage from the donkey.  

 

A64= EPIC FAIL!!   Ha Ha Ha 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @StillMM2  ... wait until the impotence of A64 sinks in, and "10,000+" citizens still get arrested for Marijuana Crimes in Colorado next year.

 

A64 = Epic Fail!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Fook This from the clueless clown who didn't even READ A64 before he voted on it, and was so embarrassed by his public comment illustrating the depths of his ignorance that he was forced to deleted it!

 

Typical Stoner.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @nemopunk15 yeah Suthers gets it all right--since the language in A64 sucks....and doesn't legalize pot......Suthers will have no problem losing the case cause the language doesn't legalize--and --he was given no tools to defend it as legalization.  However the FEDS will probably include MMJ in thier lawsuit and in the process of shutting down A64--A20 and all mmj nationwide will fall along with it....sad day for everyone....too bad everyone is so high they have no clue. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @kevin_hunt 

 

A64 = a continuation of Criminal Prohibition against Marijuana Users and Growers in Colorado.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @kevin_hunt

 

"So much poison in power, the principles get left out

So much mind on the matter, the spirit gets forgotten about

Like a righteous inspiration overlooked in haste

Like a teardrop in the ocean, a diamond in the waste

Some world-views are spacious

And some are merely spaced"

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @kevin_hunt

"Someone set a bad example

Made surrender seem all right

The act of a noble warrior

Who lost the will to fight"

 

"No hero in your tragedy

No daring in your escape

No salutes for your surrender

Nothing noble in your fate

Christ, what have you done?"

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @kevin_hunt

"He's not afraid of your judgment

He knows of horrors worse than your Hell

He's a little bit afraid of dying

But he's a lot more afraid of your lying"

 

"And the knowledge that they fear is a weapon to be used against them..."

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @kevin_hunt LOL....A64 offers free will?  JHC I hope you all wake up soon......maybe when the 3 am no knock happens there will be an epiphany?

 

"You know we've told you before

But you didn't hear us then

So you still question why

No! You didn't listen again

You didn't listen again"

 

"I know that

This is the way for me to go

You'll be there

When you know

What I know

And I know..."

StillMM2
StillMM2

 @DonkeyHotay  Yes yes yes.  It's very important and the sky is falling.  And yet despite your endless daily rage fests on Westword and elsewhere, you lost.  probably due to your winning personality and persuasive rhetoric.  Pro tip:  "OMG UR STUPID AND SHOULD DIE LOTS AND I AM REAL TOUGH ON THE INTERNETS" does not tend to persuade the undecided voter. 

Fook
Fook

 @DonkeyHotay ? Deleted what?  lol ...  all right dude, you've finally exhausted my patience for your trolling and nonsense.  And Orson... he doesn't really have a "refusal to be silenced" so much as he's just a troll baiting people with nonsense for a reaction.  Thankfully, majority rules, so one dipshit like Donkey doesn't matter.

orson
orson

 @DonkeyHotay  My patience has worn thin with the hypocritical, delusional A64-supporters.  I admire your refusal to be silenced and sympathize with your rage towards towards these imbeciles.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay cut cut cut and paste.

 

I love you donkey.  Let's have a 3 way with James Bond.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay No, I can't sing like Gary Lee.  I can play "The Body Electric" on drums, though.  

 

Not to mislead anybody; I won't pretend to match Neil Peart's level of talent

 

Chi-Chi is less cruel than being forced to eat Chi Chi's

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi-Chi's

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  "Unfortunately Kevin only knows the 2 most played RUSH songs on the radio."

 

Not true, since 1980 I have listened to everything on the  self-titled album to everything on Power Windows a thousand times.  

 

Anything after Power Windows is lame.

 

I can play "Limelight" on the guitar...can you?

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @michael.roberts  @kevin_hunt I need to give credit to the band RUSH and Neil Peart .  Unfortunately Kevin only knows the 2 most played RUSH songs on the radio......but their library of lyrics is amazing.......

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  

Today's Aaron Sawyer, He gets high on you, 

 

And the space he invades He gets by on you. 

Jeedi
Jeedi

 @DonkeyHotay  @StillMM2 A64 is not a fraud!  That is like saying that the majority of people in CO are a fraud.  The fraud comes from the federal government and their unreasonable fight against legalization.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @StillMM2 "Pay attention.  I don;t care."

 

... that Colorado Lost? ... or there will be NO reductions in Arrests for Marijuana Crimes? ... or that you're ignorant?

 

 

StillMM2
StillMM2

 @DonkeyHotay Pay attention.  I don;t care.  I mostly only care that you are just continuing to rage.  If we are very lucky it will end in a debilitating stroke anbd clean up the signal to noise around here.  Stay Internet tough guy.  it's what you do best (since you clearly are not employed or social)

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @StillMM2 

 

Colorado LOST.

 

A64 is a FRAUD that will NOT reduce a single arrest for Marijuana Crimes in Colorado.

 

Stay ignorant, it's what you do best.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Fook  "Deleted what?"

 

You punked yourself.

 

Tell us again why Marijuana is so Harmful and Dangerous that in the interests of Public HEALTH and SAFETY as A64 declares -- NO ADULT under 21 years old shall be allowed to have ANY LEGAL ACCESS to it?

 

 

Jeedi
Jeedi

 @DonkeyHotay  @orson Your comments show that you are highly xenophobic.  I would guess you are a general hater.  In the future, when more people grow up, human beings will not be disrespected because of their age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation,  drug use...

orson
orson

 @DonkeyHotay  "towards towards" -- Ugh...I'm so pissed about A64 I'm stammering.  lol. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @orson 

 

Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do.

 

That's why they're called ... Stupid Stoners!

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