Marijuana: Activist to file complaint against DA who won't prosecute Amendment 64 backers?
Update, 6:07 a.m. November 9: A day before passage of Amendment 64, we noted that activist Kathleen Chippi had filed a complaint against the measure with the Boulder District Attorney's Office, which opened an investigation to determine if actions were justified; see our original coverage below. Now, Chippi is sharing a rundown of her gripes, plus her call for "continual press releases explaining that the language in A64 does not legalize marijuana in Colorado."
She also feels voters deserve an apology.
The gist of Chippi's argument against Amendment 64's proponents is that they misled voters into believing that the proposal legalizes marijuana in a broad sense, rather than simply decriminalizing small amounts for adult use.
Moreover, Chippi, who unsuccessfully pushed her own marijuana-related ballot measure, Initiative 70, earlier this year, believes those behind the act have not fully disclosed the legal risks that remain for those who use and sell marijuana based on a number of court rulings involving medical marijuana patient Jason Beinor and Blue Sky Care Connection dispensary.
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute Kathleen Chippi testifying before a previous Board of Health hearing.
About the former case: Beinor was fired from a street-sweeping job for testing positive on a drug test even though he is a legal MMJ patient -- an action a court upheld. According to a statement provided to Westword this past June by Chippi and fellow activist Rico Collibri, the result is that "patients now have no protections from losing their jobs, unemployment benefits, occupational licenses, fire arms, school grants, government aid, housing, insurance and/or child custody over their use of medical marijuana" -- a scenario that can be extrapolated to the larger public thanks to the approval of Amendment 64.
As for the later case, a judge overseeing a dispute involving Blue Sky ruled that since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, MMJ is an illegal enterprise -- and therefore, all contracts between businesses and individuals are null and void. Chippi presumes that this decision would also apply to recreational marijuana sales and operations.
When contacted for our original post about Chippi's complaints, proponent Mason Tvert sent us an e-mail statement that reads in part:
The Title Board and the campaign mutually agreed to remove the phrase "in a manner similar to alcohol," from the ballot question, as it was deemed to be a "catch phrase," which had been previously ruled by the courts to not be permitted in ballot titles. But Ms. Chippi doesn't seem to appreciate the difference between a ballot title and campaign messaging. Catch phrases are allowed in campaigns. In fact, that's traditionally just about all that campaigns have ever used.According to Boulder District Attorney spokeswoman Catherine Olguin, the DA's office regularly receives complaints about election-related items and has a protocol for determining if sanctions are needed. To her knowledge, no such inquiry in recent memory has led to charges filed by the office.
We stand by everything we have said during this campaign. Our representation of the initiative has been entirely accurate, as have been the facts we have cited in support of it.
Continue to read Chippi's argument for action against Amendment 64.