Marijuana: Activist to file complaint against DA who won't prosecute Amendment 64 backers?
Update: Yesterday, Boulder DA Stan Garnett declined to act against proponents of Amendment 64 based on a complaint from Kathleen Chippi, a pro-pot activist behind Initiative 70, an A64 alternative that failed to qualify for the ballot; see previous coverage below. But she's not ready to quietly accept this decision. Instead, in a letter to Garnett seen below, she lays the groundwork for a complaint against the DA's office for rejecting her arguments.
As we've noted, Chippi believes Amendment 64's backers were remiss in implying that the measure legalizes marijuana in a broader sense, rather than allowing use and possession of small amounts (one ounce or under) by adults age 21 and over. (She's also critical of media outlets for not drawing this distinction.) Likewise, she believes voters "need clarification that the language in A64 does not repeal the majority of jail-able offenses (felonies) and leaves marijuana in the definitions of the state Controlled Substances Act, which makes all cannabis users subject to lose: employment, unemployment benefits, housing, school grants, government aid, child custody, fire arms and occupational licenses (of which DORA says 75% of workers in Colorado have) and their freedom. The voters also deserve an apology."
In Garnett's view, Chippi's complaints are akin to "good faith policy differences about the legal impact of Amendment 64" that don't warrant criminal prosecution. To that, Chippi suggests that what she sees as Garnett's "pro-legalization stance" rendered the investigation less than objective and inquires about the procedure to file a new complaint, this time against the DA himself.
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute Kathleen Chippi testifying at the State Legislature; Senator Steve King is in the foreground.
Here's her note to Garnett, followed by our previous coverage.
Mr. Garnett,Continue to read our earlier reportage about the complaint against Amendment 64.
I completely disagree with the 'result' from your office on my complaint on the campaign for A64. Especially with the irrefutable comments by author (attorney Steve Fox) on public record:
June 15, 2011 A64 Title Board Hearing 1 hour, 21 minutes, 48 seconds.
Steve Fox: "I mean she made our point better than we have, which is legalization is not what this is.... What we are doing is regulating marijuana. It's a significant legal difference and it would be inaccurate to call it legalization."
For your office to respond with "Under Colorado criminal statues, for prosecution to be pursued, it would be necessary to establish that factually false statements were made during the course of a campaign and that my office would be able to unanimously convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that such statements were made with the requisite mental state," when I have provided more than adequate evidence of the campaigns marketing A64 as full LEGALIZATION and an end to marijuana prohibition, is shameful.
And "Though I understand your disagreements with the statements made by the proponents of Amendment 64, those statements do not warrant criminal prosecution."
Please, Mr. Garnett -- My complaint is not based on me "disagreeing" with the meaning or interpretation of the A64 language.
My complaint is based on what the author and the campaign testified on public record --that their language did NOT legalize marijuana and that saying so would be legally inaccurate and misleading to the voters -- to then spending over a year campaigning that it legalized and ended marijuana prohibition, which is currently putting people in harms way of loss of job, child custody, housing, insurance, occupational licenses (according to DORA 75% of workers in CO affected), gov aid, gun rights and freedom for possession, use and cultivation of marijuana, all while in violation of 1-13-109CRS.
"Rather, your concerns are more akin to good faith policy differences about the legal impact of Amendment 64, competing policy considerations about the wisdom of State legalization while marijuana remains illegal under Federal law and the impact on Colorado's TABOR Amendment."
I appreciate that you admit that excise taxing marijuana remains illegal under TABOR. However -- after researching, your staff would know that the campaign promised 40 million in excise tax revenue in the title and in all marketing -- even when they testified on public record that they knew their language was NOT TABOR compliant and that the excise tax might never come to fruition.
My concerns in this complaint address ONLY what the author, proponents and attorneys said on public record at title board hearings verses what they campaigned to the electorate, not my personal opinions. The campaign KNOWINGLY MISINFORMED the voters. They went on public record saying they knew they were NOT legalizing marijuana and had the word legalization REMOVED from title and then campaigned on LEGALIZATION and an end to marijuana prohibition.
"Differing interpretations of the legal significance of a proposed constitutional amendment are best resolved in free society through open and free debate and free elections."
Again, this was not a debate nor did it involve my personal interpretation of the language but it is clear and concise right out of the authors and proponents mouths on state public record.
The only question at hand is did the author, proponents and the attorneys for A64 say 180 degree conflicting statements on public record at title board verses in public marketing? And my complaint is significant if this misinformation will cause harm (above list of losses possible under A64) to the electorate.
Perhaps your pro-legalization stance has compromised/clouded the investigation of my complaint?
How do I file an official complaint against the DA's office?