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Marijuana: Law enforcers join legislators in asking feds to back off Amendment 64

Thumbnail image for tony ryan cropped.jpg
Tony Ryan.
Eighteen legislators have signed a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to respect voters in Washington and Colorado, a majority of whom opted for marijuana reform exemplified by the latter's Amendment 64. Today, members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) followed suit, delivering their own letter to Holder; see it below. We asked retired Denver cop Tony Ryan, who signed the letter, to weigh in on its message, and that sent by those who supported A64.

tony ryan and leonard frieling.jpg
Tony Ryan, left, with fellow marijuana reformer Leonard Frieling.
As you'll recall, Ryan, who now makes his home in South Dakota, is a 36-year Denver Police Department veteran. He earned a slew of awards during his years on the force, including the DPD Medal of Honor, the Merit Award (for being a first responder to the Columbine High School shooting), the Community Service Award and the Footprinter's Award. In addition, he was given the department's Purple Heart after being shot in the line of duty. But once he spoke out in favor of Amendment 64 at a September LEAP event at the State Capitol, Roger Sherman, director of Smart Colorado, the No on 64 campaign, dismissed him as a "pro-pot rent-a-cop" -- a description described by A64 proponent Mason Tvert as a smear.

Today, Ryan shrugs off this alleged insult as "less significant that it was to start with, which was pretty insignificant in my book. When people start making that kind of noise, it's usually because they're losing the battle."

Following this dust-up, Ryan went on to star in an Amendment 64 TV ad that aired frequently in the run-up to the election. Here it is:

The subsequent victory of Amendment 64 was especially satisfying for Ryan.

"I'm proud of the people of Colorado," he notes. "They stood up and said, 'Let's do something real with the problem of drugs. Let's stand up and do something different' -- and that's what they did with marijuana."

Despite the vote, however, a potential shadow hangs over implementation of the measure. Amendment 64's text contradicts with federal drug policy, and while experts believe there's little the Obama administration can do to undermine the decision to remove criminal penalties for adult possession of an ounce or less of cannabis, many fear the feds will act to prevent the establishment of a retail sales system. Hence, the LEAP letter to Holder, which offers him "an invitation to help return our profession to the principles that made us enter law enforcement in the first place," by concentrating on serious/violent crime and allowing Colorado and Washington to set their own marijuana policies.

This soft-sell approach is reiterated by Ryan

Continue to read more of our interview with Tony Ryan and to see the LEAP letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.


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44 comments
melekalikimaka
melekalikimaka

What a well thought out and respectful letter, the body provides Mr Holder with plenty of food for thought. Just the signatures alone and their many years of service in law enforcement should give Holder a feast of logic difficult to ignore.

Eric Peterson
Eric Peterson

Fuck the police. Somebody smarter than me said that.

Ann Hartman
Ann Hartman

Seriously - what about the whole "states' rights" thing I've heard so much about?

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

You mean DonkeyHotay's most viewed site. Westword is a troll factory

Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson

They should honor it. Don't they have more important "crime" to fight?

Drew Schaefer
Drew Schaefer

I think the nexus, regarding whether Holder goes 'Gestapo' or 'Dutch' on enforcement, unfortunately, lies in that connection between tobacco and alcohol lobbyists. Means: if Lobbyists for Tobacco (a rumour I heard was that 'Big Cig' has already registered hundreds of trademarks for 'marijuana cigarette brands' (!!)) are in favour, then Holder may not attack us in Colorado. If Big Cig is against... watch out! Either way, I'm guessing Big Booze isn't in favour of this form of 'competition'.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Hey all . I'm posting here for the lack of a better place .

I'm sure we have all noticed & MISSED Robert Chase in these blogs over the past month or so .

I am not alone when stating I have picked up on a great deal of info received via his blogs. His mainstay has enlightened many !

Anyawy, he has been absent while searching for a new home. If anyone has any ideas, please email me & I'll pass it along to Robert in hopes of getting him back in here quickly before Hotay takes these blogs over for good !

Intelligent variety !

juan_leg@yahoo.com

Robbie Ratay
Robbie Ratay

It's the will of the people.. back the fuck off!!

Mar Marcia
Mar Marcia

Umm just surrender your drivers license and it will all be good.

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

Charles- Can't the state under the Colorado Open Records act with hold that information legally to protect the free flow of opinions?

Drew Fuelling
Drew Fuelling

Burn one for julie as you help her cross the street

Monkey
Monkey

I do not mean to disrespect this retired officer in any way, he wants things to change and so do I. When alcohol prohibition ended state by state, did they regulate the sale and manufacturing of it, or did they just stop enforcing federal laws? I also wonder how many man hours police gained from the so-called end of prohibition, if any. It would seem that after regulations, police spend more time dealing with alcohol related crimes than they did during prohibition. I don't think any police officer out there today would claim alcohol regulations free up their time to fight real crime. I'm glad local cops can't write tickets anymore for 1oz/6plants, but wont they still be spending time verifying those amounts, and conducting investigations of suspects who might be over that amount? I know it has decreased the penalties for some here in Colorado, but I'm curios to see if A64 will increases or decreases police time related to marijuana crimes.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Who don´t we ask our government about the convesation, that should have been recorded according to Colorado Open Records Act, between the federal government and the Governor about the implementation on A64. Please for the sake of journilism, Westword, find some real reporters. Colorado just passed legalized marijuana wouldn´t any reporter worth his or her salt want to hear the conversation between the governor and the feds? Or is that just real journilism that I am thinking of, the Denver Westword only is in the black becasue of cannabis advertisments, why would they want to report the truth it hurts their bottom line.

Tracy Strode
Tracy Strode

Can we get a pool going for how long the Feds and the rest of the nation will remain in the stone age, blindingly convincing themselves that a plant that grows naturally from the ground is deserving of ALL the resources that get WASTED every single day from the joke known as the war on drugs?

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Who don´t we ask our government about the convesation, that should have been recorded according to Colorado Open Records Act, between the federal government and the Governor about the implementation on A64.  Please for the sake of journilism, Westword, find some real reporters.  Colorado just passed legalized marijuana wouldn´t any reporter worth his or her salt want to hear the conversation between the governor and the feds?  Or is that just real journilism that I am thinking of, the Denver Westword only is in the black becasue of cannabis advertisments, why would they want to report the truth it hurts their bottom line.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Pathetic Pandering from A64's Rent-a-Whore.

 

A64 does NOT legalize marijuana, even the Authors admit that fact.

 

A64 will NOT REDUCE a SINGLE ARREST for Marijuana Crimes in Colorado.

 

A64 = an Epic FRAUD.

 

Monkey
Monkey

After some research, I found this. "While the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating beverages, it did not outlaw the possession or consumption of alcohol in the United States." So even during prohibition, personal use and possession was not illegal. A64 on the other hand is actually worse for marijuana users than alcohol users during prohibition, I find that funny, especially when so many refer to it as ending marijuana prohibition.

DonkeyKicker
DonkeyKicker

 @CoreyDonahue Corey - Have you sexually assaulted anyone, or beast, down in Mexico, yet? Or is that just a "when I am in Colorado" thing for ya???

DonkeyKicker
DonkeyKicker

 @DonkeyHotay You are the fraud, Corey "Nut job" Donahue, aka DonkeyHotay (Say Don Quixote).You wracked up six+ criminal charges in Colorado, in one year, and then fled like a coward to another country.Now, as a coward hiding in a far off land, you seem to feel it your duty to chime in on the affairs of Colorado. Haha.... hahahaha.... You are one delusional puppy....

anons1234
anons1234

@DonkeyHotay

 

baby steps donkeyhotay.. baby steps..

 

Of course A64 people want full legalization.. but the problem is.. that will never pass.

MJ legalization needs to be eased into. (there is still a lot of fear in the public)

 

What you are trying to do is equivalent to trying to go to the moon without a rocket ship....trying to cross a harsh river without a bridge...

 

It won't work, we need to build a foundation that legitimizes cannabis..

So with this being said, you are very counter productive to the "full cannabis legalization" movement that you are preaching about. 

 

Full legalization comes after a successful 64 implementation.

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey 

 

Ignorant Retards -- aka Stupid Stoners -- actually Modified the Colorado Constitution to RESTRICT and DENY rights to citizens, marijuana users and growers via A64.

 

Using the Constitution to EXCLUDE and DENY citizens rights!

 

Stalin is laughing in his grave.

 

Fucking retards DESERVE to suffer the just deserts of their own Depraved Imbecilities.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

 @DonkeyKicker Down in Mexico it´s call a punta verga, that´s Spánish for Nut Tap.  Hijo de siete vergas

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

 @DonkeyKicker  @DonkeyHotay I can´t comment on Colorado affairs?  I know more about what I am talking about then you do you moron, where is your Open record request to the Governor for the conversation between him and the feds?  You are a moron and the bet you can do is be a hatter on line.  Good Job, I am sure DonkeyKicker will go down in history as someone who struggled for freedom and not someone who sides with the state on every issue, like a good slave.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @DonkeyKicker  says the ignorant fuckwit who claims I'm Corey Donahue.

 

You = Epic Fail!

 

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @anons1234  @DonkeyHotay

 

So why did the SCAMpaign collect signatures and market their language as "Legalizing like alcohol" and "ending marijuana prohibition"?  They PROMISED EVERYTHING and PEOPLE NOT ONLY SIGNED, they passed it--with thousands of pro pot people like me voting no--everyone knew the state was ready for REAL LEGALIZATION and they gave us decrim possession of less than an ounce.  sad day. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @anons1234  "..but the problem is.. that will never pass."

 @anons1234  "It won't work"

 

Surrender Early, Surrender Often -- it's the Slackers' Credo

 

So marijuana proponents are lying when they claim that 50% of Americans support LEGALIZATION of marijuana, eh?

 

 

DonkeyKicker
DonkeyKicker

 @CoreyDonahue  @DonkeyHotay Yeah, if you knew what you were talking about, why prey tell, do you have some many criminal convictions? And, tellingly, most of those convictions are by juries of your peers.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  @anons1234 

 

Without the Blatant and Abject LIES, A64 would NOT have passed.

 

A64 = almost as embarrassing as Colorado's Amendment 2

 

 

 

HoikosLogos
HoikosLogos

 @DonkeyHotay  @ASawyersMom  @ccapra Also, you didn't respond to ASawyersMom's point, which is - 2 oz is still as decriminalized as it was, only now 1oz is legal.  What is denied because of A64?  How is it not a step in the right direction?  Please answer these questions without the childish fanaticism.  Fanatics see no moderation.  I sure hope you're the 15ish year-old I thought you were in the post above and not the 29-year-old people are saying you are.  If you are the 29-year-old, enjoy your irrelevance.

HoikosLogos
HoikosLogos

 Oh, I see, you're a pissed off little kid.  That makes much more sense, given your immaturity and the self-righteous, self-important garbage you keep spewing.  Age restrictions aren't "arbitrary" when you consider the sensitivity of brain development to interference by drugs prior to age 21 relative to after 21.  Stop being such a little bitch and let the adults do the talking and the toking.  If you're smarter than you're currently making yourself (and the legalization movement) look, one day you'll realize that you don't know shit about shit and you may as well respect others. @DonkeyHotay  @ASawyersMom  @ccapra 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @ASawyersMom  @ccapra 

 

What ignorant fuckwit would -- via citizens initiative -- request HALF of what was already granted by the Legislature?

 

And then deliberately exclude and deny 50% of those arrested for marijuana offenses from ANY protection via arbitrary age restrictions that even the Legislature did not apply ??

 

You = fucking idiot.

ASawyersMom
ASawyersMom

 @DonkeyHotay  @ccapraAnd how did that change?  One ounce is now legal, no fines and the 2nd is still decriminalized.  You're arguements are very poor and the excessiveness of them pretty well makes you a certified loon.

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @ccapra  "Meanwhile, the rest of us will move on and watch the dominoes fall."

 

Your "dominoes" are falling ... backwards!

 

Colorado had already decriminalized 2 (two) ounces of marijuana -- for EVERYONE without arbitrary age discrimination.

 

You baby-stepping retards surrendered TOTAL CONTROL of marijuana to Big Government Regulators and the insatiable Dept. of Revenue ... all for a pathetic ounce for SOME citizens, leaving the rest to suffer under all existing State Criminal Laws against marijuana.

 

 

 

 

ccapra
ccapra

 @DonkeyHotay  People tried your way and it didn't work or in your words "not even close".  So since the passage of this it's opened up talk througout the country and put legalization in the most positive light.  So, I mean be bitter and whine, complain and threaten lawsuits about what it doesn't do and how it's not perfect....for YOU.  Meanwhile, the rest of us will move on and watch the dominoes fall.  And I'll wonder then, what you'll complain about?  I'm sure you'll find something.  Life's way too short for you to be that angry.

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