Marijuana: Activist to file complaint against DA who won't prosecute Amendment 64 backers?
Kathleen Chippi e-mail in support of her complaint against Amendment 64:
All of the signatures for initiative 30 (now Amendment 64) were collected by asking voters if they:
1. wanted "to legalize marijuana?" (often with "like alcohol" at the end)
2. wanted "to end marijuana prohibition?"
3. wanted "to give 40 million to schools?"
4. wanted "to legalize hemp?"
At the 6-15-2011 title board hearing (http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/info_center/audioArchives.html) the author of A64, Steve Fox, A64 attorney Ed Ramie and A64 proponent Mason Tvert argued to have the word "legalization" removed from the title of their Amendment. They insisted at length that they were not legalizing marijuana.
After explanation the Title Board agreed it was not legalization or an end to marijuana prohibition, agreed that saying like alcohol would be confusing and misleading to voters, confirmed that the excise tax might not come to fruition and confirmed that hemp could be banned outright by the General Assembly.
6-15-11 2:02pm - Original Title Board Hearing for "Regulate Marijuana"
Bill Hobbs -- Deputy Sec of State
Dan Dominico -- Attorney Generals Office
Jason Gelender -- Senior Attorney Office of Legal Counsel
Mason Tvert -- Proponent
Steve Fox -- Author of A64, Director of Public Relations Marijuana Policy Project,DC (on behalf of proponent Brian Vicente)
Ed Ramie -- A64 Attorney
minute 50:55 seconds
Mr. Ramie, "I think it would work if we deleted the word, starting on line 1, with legalization."
1 hour, 18 minutes, 11 seconds
Mason Tvert, "This notion of using the term legalization, which is incredibly subjective, in fact is highly debated."
1 hour, 21 minutes, 48 seconds
Steve Fox, A64 author(on behalf of proponent Brian Vicente), "I mean she made our point better than we have, which is legalization is not what this is. She said it clearly and they are going to propose an initiative regarding the legalization of marijuana. What we are doing is regulating marijuana. It's a significant legal difference and it would be inaccurate to call it legalization."
1 hour, 15 minutes, 46 seconds
Mr. Fox, "Tomatoes are legal. You can buy them anywhere. Tomatoes have been legalized. But as you've seen with the medical marijuana system, it is a highly regulated (emphasis added) system by a regulatory agency and that is what we're proposing. I appreciate that you prefer marijuana over legalization because legalization would be truly misleading as a part of the title."
2 hour, 3 minutes, 38 seconds
Mr. Dominico, AG's office "I just wanted to raise the fact that even if this passes, we're not technically permitting a person 21 or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana."
1 hour, 31 minutes, 28 seconds
Mr. Hobbs (about adding "like alcohol" to the title) "I would be troubled by that...strictly speaking there are some deviations. It's similar to alcohol but it is not the same."
"I agree with you that it may be misleading." response from either Gelenger or Dominco.
1 hour, 37minutes, 15 seconds
Mr. Hobbs "For me personally, when I was looking at this, I thought the most important thing, if I am interpreting the measure correctly, is that local governments can prohibit all of these things within their jurisdiction. Um. And I thought that was really a significant thing."
1 hour, 53 minutes, 40 seconds
Mr. Ramie, "It seemed important for us......and then employers may place restrictions on the use of marijuana by employee's. "
Minute 11:30 seconds
Mr. Hobbs, per industrial hemp, "They have to act but it doesn't give them any guidance on what to do so I suppose the General Assembly can enact a law that says there will be no regulation of cultivation, processing or sale of industrial hemp. Is that accurate?"
Mr. Fox, "If that interpretation is there, than yeah, that would be an option for them. Yeah. We would hope the interpretation of this would be a directive that they should affirmatively regulate it . But if they chose to do otherwise, we will be stuck with it."
Title Re-hearing 7-6-2011
Minute 32, 10 seconds
Mr. Ramie, "I'm hearing allot of objection and I can't honestly say that the objections that I'm hearing are completely crazy or off the wall and I know Mr. Hobbs has heard me for many years that the objections are without merit, I really can't say that for these...So lets take the phrase out. And if we want to present the message in campaigning, where we can do that, we'll do it-but we absolutely do not want to have something floating around in the title that could either be characterized as a catch phrase and tilt the argument one way or the other in the official title or have anything in there that can mislead the voters."
Mr. Ramie, "Exactly, and if we're suggesting "in a manner similar to alcohol", if that phrase, and I see how it could, carry the suggestion that we're now wholly legal on all levels, we don't want to suggest that because we're not."
Mr Hobbs, "And I agree with you, it's a good faith argument that they have made here."
10-4-12 KGNU A64 debate with Mason Tvert (http://kgnu.org/morningmag)
Mason claims the amendment will end prohibition and legalize marijuana.
And I will include some news articles but you can literally find that in almost all publications or broadcasts the voters are being misled that A64 wholly legalizes marijuana in Colorado.
"THREE states -- Colorado, Washington and Oregon -- have on their ballots this fall initiatives to legalize marijuana fully,..."
"Mischief-making is a specialty for Mason Tvert, the 30-year-old activist who got marijuana decriminalized in Denver seven years ago and lists "assorted mayhem" in the job description of his official bio. This year, Tvert and his merry pranksters are behind an initiative on the November ballot that would make Colorado the first state where drug's cultivation, sale, possession, and consumption are legal, taxed, and regulated. (Two other states, Oregon and Washington, also have statewide legalization measures on the November ballot. More than a dozen others also have some form of decriminalization in place, but none has ever achieved full legalization.)"
9-25-2012 Sensible Colorado (Led by A64 proponent Brian Vicente) e-mail release:
"Amendment 64, which is on the ballot across Colorado, will end marijuana prohibition for responsible adults."
"The vast majority of Coloradans appear to be ready to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a more responsible system in which it is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol," said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. "By regulating marijuana like alcohol we can better control it, generate much-needed tax revenue, and stop making adults criminals simply for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol."
"This is extremely good news for the the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol which succeeded this year in getting Amendment 64 on the November ballot in Colorado. Their ballot initiative would do exactly what the polling question asked: it would legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21, while regulating and taxing it similar to how alcohol is regulated......While this is only a single poll months out from the election, it is encouraging news. There is a real chance Colorado this year could become the first state to embrace marijuana legalization by approving Amendment 64."
"But in all seriousness, November isn't just a Presidential Election -- three states are voting to fully legalize marijuana. That's right. Not medical marijuana or decriminalizing it. Full legalization could be a reality in Colorado, Oregon and Washington State."
99% of the marketing of A64 over the last year has been done in violation of 1-13-109CRS-Concerning the election offense of making false statements designed to affect the vote. (http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/sl2005a/sl_305.htm)
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 1-13-109, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read
1-13-109. False statements relating to candidates or questions submitted to electors -- penalties -- definitions.
(1) (a) No person shall knowingly make, publish, broadcast, or circulate or cause to be made, published, broadcasted, or circulated in any letter, circular, advertisement, or poster or in any other communication any false statement designed to affect the vote on any issue submitted to the electors at any election or relating to any candidate for election to public office.
(b) Any person who violates any provision of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) commits a class 1 misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S.
2(a) No person shall recklessly make, publish, broadcast, or circulate or cause to be made, published, broadcasted, or circulated in any letter, circular, advertisement, or poster or in any other communication any false statement designed to affect the vote on any issue submitted to the electors at any election or relating to any candidate for election to public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for purposes of this subsection (2), a person acts "recklessly" when he or she acts in conscious disregard of the truth or falsity of the statement made, published, broadcasted, or circulated.
(b) Any person who violates any provision of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) commits a class 2 misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S.
(3) For purposes of this section, "person" means any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons, including a group organized under section 527 of the internal revenue code.
The proponents (Brian Vicente is a licensed, practicing attorney) and the campaign know very well that their language in A64 does not "legalize marijuana (especially not like alcohol), end prohibition, raise 40 million for schools or legalize hemp", yet in every publication or interview in Colorado (or world wide), the proponents and the campaign say they are "legalizing marijuana, ending prohibition, excise taxing marijuana for schools and legalizing hemp."
Misleading the voters to think they are legalizing marijuana, when they are not, has very serious consequences for the residents.
1. 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. To suggest that under Amendment 64 all adult use and cultivation of marijuana is no longer criminalized is not only misleading, but will result in harm to the voters and increased arrests.
2. Beinor-V-ICAO, People-v-Watkins and the Blue Sky rulings seriously compromise the intentions of the Amendment 64 language before it is even voted on. Beinor says medical marijuana is not legalized, but decriminalized possession, is not legal to use and grants no rights do to limits in the language. Watkins says no patient has rights based on Beinor and that federal law trumps our state medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Blue Sky says all marijuana contracts are based on illegal drug activity and are null and void as they are trumped by federal law.
3. Provides no relief for the most affected and arrested adults age 18 - 20. (especially those from disadvantages communities).
4. Amendment 64 contains no proper legal deterrent to federal intervention and the surplus of $40 million via a constitutionally infirm excise tax will not stand in court. The soonest authorized retail sales for adults could be 2014, if at all. Forcing adults to rely on the black market in the interim.
5. Amendment 64 allows towns to ban all marijuana sales, which bolsters the black market, as most of the state has already banned MMJ (over 95 bans statewide). This forces adults in ban areas to rely on illegal sales and risk criminal prosecution.
6. Amendment 64 provides no legal guidance on hemp and merely mandates the general assembly to pass legislation. This still allows the general assembly to ban hemp production.
7. Amendment 64 enshrines "driving while under the influence" (any amount over zero) and "driving while impaired" into our constitution, by deferring to current State DUID limits could prevent MMJ patients and other wise responsible adults who consume cannabis from legally driving."
The people need the campaign to be charged with violation of 1-13-109CRS. And since everyone who says they are voting for A64 say they are "voting for A64 because it either legalizes marijuana, ends prohibition, raises taxes for schools or legalizes hemp", there should be a mandatory correction/retraction made in every media outlet in the state that has mislead the voters.
The TV channels and newspapers are also in violation of 1-13-109CRS--though I understand they are simply believing the campaign and relaying the campaigns marketing w/o doing their own research. I'm sure they are just as confused as the voters -- as why would they (or anyone) think the campaign would lie about what their language does? That would be almost unheard of and in most cases make no sense for campaigns to mis-market their language to voters before the vote. I have researched 1-13-109CRS and from my research, it has been investigated about 2-3 times a year but has not been enforced (which I take to mean there was not evidence of real violation). I vaguely remember a person-hood initiative being removed from the ballot (maybe in the 1990's?) after the campaign had lied to voters saying it would not ban abortion when it would, but I have not found it online.
In this rare case, the campaign was very clear in title board hearings that they were NOT legalizing marijuana. "It's a significant legal difference and it would be inaccurate to call it legalization." Steve Fox, A64 author(on behalf of proponent Brian Vicente), "I mean she made our point better than we have, which is legalization is not what this is."
It's clearly time to enforce 1-13-109CRS.
How can it be acceptable for the voters to go into the polls after a full year of being intentionally misled?
I kindly requests 1-13-109CRS be enforced on the A64 campaign. I request immediate and continual press releases explaining that the language in A64 does not legalize marijuana in Colorado to every media outlet they have been interviewed in to make up for the year of lying with truth -- that A64 decriminalizes possession of one ounce or less, and clarify that only if the property owner or employer allows marijuana possession, use or cultivation will residents not be harmed through loss of employment (with no unemployment check) or loss of housing. Voters also 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. Gag order A64 from misleading the voters further.
Continue to read our previous coverage.