Amendment 64: Business organizations ask feds to clamp down on Colorado marijuana measure


The arguments from this group are noteworthy because, unlike some of the criticisms and concerns around the policy in the weeks since its passage, this call to the federal government directly asks for agencies to supersede the change to law that voters approved on election day.

A64 Watch Party, Denver.jpeg
Photo by Brandon Marshall
Election night watch party for Amendment 64.
In the plea to Holder, the coalition notes that in 2010, his office took a "firm and aggressive position opposing California's Proposition 19," a cannabis measure with similarities to A64. In that letter, also included below, Holder wrote that the Department of Justice remained committed to enforcing federal laws against marijuana use regardless of the passage of this or similar measures. Specifically, the letter noted that the department would "vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organisations that possess, manufacture, or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law."

The reason why the current uncertainty around enforcement is hurtful to businesses, the letter argues, is the potential for conflicts once the law officially goes into effect with employees of companies then legally possessing and consuming marijuana.

The letter asks the DOJ for clarity by the end of the year.

Sandra Hagen Solin, who heads the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, the public policy arm of several chambers of commerce and economic development corporations, says federal enforcement seems like the best way to clarify discrepancies.

"We understand the will of the voters. Despite the will of the voters, business is still left with uncertainty," she says. "But we're also left with increased costs for business."

Solin says she expects that insurance rates and workers' compensation costs will rise if A64 is implemented and the feds decide to stay out of the way.

"There's just a host of concerns beyond our own liability," she says. "Federal law makes it very clear that the use of marijuana is illegal, and we believe that makes it very clear that consequently, we won't have impaired individuals and employees coming to work sites. That provides us some assurance that our employees will be productive and be clear of mind."

She adds, "The business community respects what the voters have done.... We ask that they respect how business has to work within the confines of Amendment 64.... It's a two-way street."

Whatever happens, she says, the coalition will seek solutions to the problems they foresee -- whether the federal government chooses enforcement or not.

"We recognize that the voters have spoken...and that there's a strong possibility that the feds won't enforce the law," she says, adding, "There's just so much gray.... We have to work through each one of these questions to determine what our appropriate answer should be."

Continue for the full letters, including lists of all the supporting organizations.

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68 comments
aaron.duran83
aaron.duran83

I like how they blatantly ignore the fact that the economic recovery of the state is concurrent with medical cannabis coming into the picture. I personally am a living example of how this industry is helping to stimulate the economy as a double degree double major out of CU in 2006 whom couldn't find employment for in my field, or any other, for over two years. The reasons were ranging from lack of experience to being overqualified and were none-the-less bullshit justifications.

In April as a patient I was recruited into the industry by my current caregiver and have been able to see the benefits of this product not only on an economic basis but on a health and wellness one as well. The MMJ industry has breathed life back into businesses outside of the profession, like contractors, plumbers, electricians, growhands, retail etc.) Outside of that the tax revenue that's been generated is astronomical and allows the government to create more jobs too, by having more money available for government funded projects from parks to roadways.

It's resistance like that referred to in the business coalitions plea to the CSA that drives people to be less compliant with the rules at hand, because they feel that their liberties are at risk of being taken away. Hence, if they feel that the businesses and government are openly taking away our freedom of choice then the opposition that comes with the territory is amplified greatly.

This phenomena is not only exclusive to the MJ community but also to the businesses at large whom feel that it is their right to stigmatize and discriminate against public opinion in the pursuit of their own greedy interests. Rather than to work with the community they would rather resist its inevitablity and fight tooth and nail to the bitter end. Naturally that battle is going to cost money that would have been better used to stimulate the economy but what greedy corporate entities believe that their opinions outweigh that of the public. 

Until some sort of an agreement is to be worked out, this costly battle will continue, but with what result? is the question at hand.

Rico Garcia
Rico Garcia

Because they haven't read the amendment or the Beinor ruling. Their concerns are baseless.

the420rev
the420rev

like i said earlier, who gives a crap what they think, they are old bigoted minorities these days, AND WE NEVER ELECTED THEM TO REPRESENT US, so please be a good new reporter and ask the politicians we elected BY THE MAJORITY what they think, good day 

Joe Ponce de Carrano
Joe Ponce de Carrano

Look at these cowards...poor corporate Ameruka. They don't like what they can't control. Individual Rights prevail!!

Latifah Abdul'laah
Latifah Abdul'laah

They want to suppress 64, but not list themselves because the potheads would put them out of business lol...cowards for not showing us who they are.

Stacey Rogers
Stacey Rogers

(font="sarcasm")Thank you Colorado businesses for trying to use your power to override what the state voters chose. (/font) I really wish businesses and goverment would stay out of MY private life!

Zach Adams
Zach Adams

WTF this is getting old I would rather see the kids smoke pot than drink. I think we should make drinking illegal and keep pot legal.

bigfoot6696
bigfoot6696

I want a list of these businesses so i can publicy boycott them too bad none of them will want this to be known as they would instantly lose 51% of the potential customers....... i find that potheads generally work harder then your typical drink like a fish alternatives..........

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

A64 Section 6 a and d--clearly grants the employer the right to continue to drug test and fire employes over a failed tests--which shows that the "business community" has also not even read A64--DA--They are the ones who got RIGHTS granted under 64--not the pot smokers.  They preserved the right to FIRE employee's over marijuana use, yes, even use away from work, enshrined into our constitution.

And the Beinor ruling is the current law of the land on this issue---employee's lawfully fired over marijuana use (MMJ or MJ) will NOT receive unemployment compensation for their lawful firing over the use of illegal drugs--be it on the job or on a Friday night party away from work. 

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"There's just a host of concerns beyond our own liability," she says. "Federal law makes it very clear that the use of marijuana is illegal, and we believe that makes it very clear that consequently, we won't have impaired individuals and employees coming to work sites. That provides us some assurance that our employees will be productive and be clear of mind."

Umm...no, it doesn't. They could be abusing prescription drugs. They could be abusing alcohol. They could be chugging cough syrup. You don't even check for those on a pee test. It's highly likely anyone who's enjoying pot in the future will be someone who's enjoying it now. You're a sorry, paranoid piece of excrement.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

"The business community respects what the voters have done.... We ask that they respect how business has to work within the confines of Amendment 64.... It's a two-way street."A64 was written for the business community. (d) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PROHIBIT A PERSON, EMPLOYER, SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, DETENTION FACILITY, CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER ENTITY WHO OCCUPIES, OWNS OR CONTROLS A PROPERTY FROM PROHIBITING OR OTHERWISE REGULATING THE POSSESSION, CONSUMPTION, USE, DISPLAY, TRANSFER, DISTRIBUTION, SALE, TRANSPORTATION, OR GROWING OF MARIJUANA ON OR IN THAT PROPERTYSo how is this news?  HOW ABOUT THIS FOR NEWS.  THE GOVERNORS OFFICE HAS OVER 100 RECORDS RELATING TO THE PASSAGE OF A64.  $320 TO SEE WHAT´S BEHIND THE SCREEN.  WILL THE WESTWORD PRACTICE JOURNILISM OR KEEP THE DOCUMENT SECRET?  http://es.scribd.com/doc/115636575/CORA-Letter-Corey-Donahue-Passage-of-Amendement-64-1

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

There's no effing uncertainty with regard to employment. You can FIRE anyone who doesn't pass your pee test. A64 makes that crystal clear. If you could fire patients, you can CERTAINLY fire potheads.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

So, let me get this straight. I'd assumed on the face that these were NATIONAL organizations. "Business" people in Colorado are going to the feds to ask them to do the OPPOSITE of the will of THE PEOPLE? I want business names, so I know who these cretins are!

There's also some confusion on the part of these asshats in regard to "direct conflict." A direct conflict would be where Colorado FORCES someone to violate federal law. I haven't seen any such thing. These are paranoid sore losers who had no case when they opposed A64, and already lost.

iWannaTalkToSampson
iWannaTalkToSampson

These associations and businesses have no place forcing their opinions and views on a majority of the Colorado people who voted in favor of this Amendment. Just as the amendment allows those who wish not to participate at both a personal and local level in the future of Colorado Marijuana, we should choose not to participate in these organizations if they are determined to trump the will of the majority of their fellow state citizens.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Between the "local option" allowing cities and counties to BAN recreational pot shops, and the Fed ability to bring FELONY Criminal charges against anyone foolish and greedy enough to open a retail pot shop, the chances of seeing any retail pot shops under A64 are about ZERO!

A64 = Epic Fail, written by lying idiots, for fools and tools too stupid to read, much less comprehend what it proposed.

nemopunk15
nemopunk15

The same fear-mongers that claimed the sky would fall if we allowed Medical Marijuana are back at it again, only now the Pro Marijuana folks have 4 years of great Data showing that retail Marijuana causes 0 problems. 

Educate, Legalize, Regulate, Tax. 

Yes We Cannabis!

marlarobbinson
marlarobbinson

@aaron.duran83 I don't think this is about liberties as it is self-serving interest. It's their motives I question, not their concern. In other words, the more these business attempt to bicker and wail about the dangers of marijuana the more free press they receive. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@aaron.duran83 "I like how they blatantly ignore the fact that the economic recovery of the state is concurrent with medical cannabis coming into the picture"

Absurd delusional nonsense!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Rico Colibri  ... perhaps they can't believe that Stupid Stoners would be so chickenshit and self-destructive as to DENY THEMSELVES any actual rights to use marijuana in the very amendment that the supposedly pro-pot stoners promoted via A64?

bigfoot6696
bigfoot6696

@KathleenChippi Drug test policies need to me modified. The current tests are complete garbage they need to test blood levels for thc not some ignorant 30 day metabolite pee test. Busines's need to get the testing to see if someone is actually high or they are going to have exeptionally high turnover rates ............Welcome to legal weed 101 adapt, die, or go out of business.....................  

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@KathleenChippi Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kathleen. We're going to feature them in an upcoming Comment of the Day. Appreciate you weighing in.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  ... that's EXACTLY what stupid stoners wanted, that's EXACTLY what they proposed via A64, that's EXACTLY what they voted for in A64 !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  ... so you'd deny citizens and businesses the right to petition their Federal government for redress, and request enforcement of EXISTING Federal Law ... laws supported by the majority of U$ Citizens?

Fascinating.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

**** Boycott MMIG Pigs ****

**** Boycott Vicente & Associates ****

**** Boycott NORML ****

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@iWannaTalkToSampson ... the Majority of Coloradans wanted to Deny Equal Rights to Homosexuals via the bigoted and hateful Colorado Amendment 2

 ... the Majority in Southern States wanted to maintain Racial Segregation in spite of Federal Laws to the contrary 

... the Majority of the U$A via the Federal Government wants to maintain Federal Enforcement against Marijuana and other Drugs.

Obey the Majority!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@aaron.duran83 "This coming from a person whose SN is a bad pun as best. You need to elaborate on why you think this before your opinion would even matter to me in the slightest. Albeit you still wouldn't get a rise out of me because you seem to be a superficial and antithetical in the way that a child is. Thank you for exercising your right to freedom of speech, but next time why don't you take some time to think before you post the non-sense that you splatter all over this page."

Typical idiot stoner -- just makes up whatever bullshit his bong-soaked brain can conjure and assumes everyone else is as stoned and stupid as they are and ignorant enough to believe such nonsense.

@aaron.duran83 "Outside of that the tax revenue that's been generated is astronomical and allows the government to create more jobs too"

LOL! 

The TOTAL sales tax revenue collected from medical marijuana at its peak when Boulder County had over 100 dispensaries was LESS than 1/2 of 1% of total sales tax collected -- one half of one percent !!

Government jobs? ... LOL! ... the State MMED doesn't even collect enough fees from all the dispensaries in the state to keep their Agents employed in the industry ... they had to lay-off and reassign so many agents due to financial shortages that they now have more Official Vehicles than they have agents to drive them!

The City of Boulder has repeatedly complained that the enforcement program COSTS MORE to operate than the licensing fees generated by dispensaries.

The REGULATIONS that ignorant dopers begged for have resulted in the FORCED closing of 500+ dispensaries statewide since the peak circa. 2010.500+ dispensary owners now broke and bankrupt, THOUSANDS of underqualified stoner Employees laid off and back on unemployment and food stamps, sucking the public tit dry once again.

Only completely clueless stoners would continue to claim that marijuana is a huge financial windfall for everyone involved, including Government tax coffers.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@bigfoot6696 @KathleenChippi  "Business's need to get the testing to see if someone is actually high or they are going to have exeptionally high turnover rates"-

-I didn't see that requirement in A64. 

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay I chose an employer who chooses not to trifle in this BS. As far as "wage slave," I prefer the term "serf." It's more accurate.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay See how I didn't pretend to deny them any rights. I'm calling them out for being losers in their local "democracy" and attempting to get a federal rule-making agency to overturn it (here.) That's why I pointed out that they're a COLORADO organization, and not a NATIONAL one. I'm calling them out, not denying them anything.

orson
orson

@DonkeyHotay @iWannaTalkToSampson  A christian sent me this video a while back.  The video promotes a fear that christians will be outbred and that the USA will change because muslims will eventually rule the country, and ultimately the world.  The "call to action" is for christians to start breeding.  It's interesting because the US laws and policies are determined by the views of the majority of the voters, and the laws evolve with the culture of the majority.  The way US government is designed it allows for the majority to set the rules for the minority of the population, and has the potential for a lot of discriminating laws. 

Muslim Demographics Is A Call To Action Now

%s

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... only idiots and fools would beg Big Government to REGULATE and TAX anything they actually cared about.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Go ahead and ignore "one place." Reminding you for the sake of everyone else that I did not vote for A64 because of OTHER aspects. (It urges taxation and legislation, which I'm against.)

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay True. I worded it wrongly. They're asking the feds to enforce agency rules over the will of the people of their state. That said, they're obviously also against the law which the Colorado federal delegation will be supporting.

I will disagree with you on one point though--the votes aren't pathetic as the number of states (as with medical) continue to nullify. There is space in nullification where people in those states can ignore federal laws at their own peril, knowing that certain aspects of them cannot be enforced by the feds anyway (such as small home-grows.) That's the one place where A64 was a solid win.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... there is no "overturning" anything. Federal Criminal Law against Marijuana existed before A64, and still exists after A64. If you don't like that, then change FEDERAL law.

Pathetic local votes that conflict with existing Federal Law are as meaningless as if some City in Colorado decided to vote against existing State laws.

orson
orson

@DonkeyHotay  Yep...but established Fundamental Human Rights laws have not stopped the majority from passing and enforcing laws based on bigotry and ignorance.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@orson  ... which is why Fundamental Human Rights are established in the U$ Constitution ... and some State Constitutions ... to protect the Minority from the Tyranny, Bigotry and Ignorance of the Majority du jour.

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