Amendment 64: Warnings from U.S. Attorney, State Patrol, CU boss as measure becomes law

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John Walsh.
Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper quietly signed Amendment 64. But the reaction from major players who oppose the new pot law has been considerably louder. U.S. Attorney John Walsh and the Colorado State Patrol both issued terse warnings calculated to harsh the buzzes of celebrants. And a prior message from CU president Bruce Benson is even more negative, claiming that A64 may cost the university a billion dollars.

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Eric Holder.
Walsh is among the most closely watched amendment observers. After all, he represents the Justice Department, whose overseer, Attorney General Eric Holder, could attempt to block the retail provisions of the measure. Before yesterday, though, his sole comments on the act's passage were three sentences released after voters approved it in November. That statement reads:
The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.
Then, a few hours after Hickenlooper's office unveiled a proclamation making Amendment 64 legal, Walsh broke his silence, albeit in a manner that expands on his previous remarks in only minor ways. The new comment reads:
The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington state. The Department's responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 10th in Colorado, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses.
If this language sounds familiar, it should. Around 90 percent of the text duplicates lines from a statement released by Jenny Durkan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, just before Washington state's marijuana-related Initiative 502 became law on December 6.

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Colonel James Wolfinbarger.
Also weighing in after the signing was the Colorado State Patrol, whose chief, Colonel James Wolfinbarger, apparently anticipates a rash of stoned drivers hitting the road now that Amendment 64 has been enshrined in the state constitution. Hence, the following release, issued under the subject line "Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana is Still Illegal." Here it is:
As Amendment 64 is added to The Colorado Constitution by proclamation of Governor Hickenlooper, The Colorado State Patrol would like to remind motorists that if you chose to consume marijuana and make the decision to drive that you are taking a huge risk.

"Drivers must realize that if you are stopped by law enforcement officials and it is determined that your ability to operate a motor vehicle has been affected to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol or both, you may be arrested and subjected to prosecution under Colorado's DUI/DUID laws," said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "It is imperative that everyone takes responsibility for public safety when driving on Colorado's highways."

Make a choice to designate a sober driver prior to celebrating this holiday season.

Still, these statements are restrained in comparison to one CU's Benson unleashed a short time before A64 became official.

Continue to read about Bruce Benson and his Amendment 64 statement.



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47 comments
ldantiques
ldantiques

xerox owns denver parking violations... your not paying denver, your paying xerox

mmjfreedomusa
mmjfreedomusa

THANK YOU Governor Hickenlooper! Frugal and Honorable TOO! Now PLEASE, consider defending and upgrading the second class marijuana's community above ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS aka CRIMIGRANTS!

beautypeakwebdesign
beautypeakwebdesign

Ok, so the DOJ follows last month's veiled threats with... more veiled threats. If these clowns actually intend to shut WA and CO's legalization down, why don't they just do it instead of acting like bit characters from a Godfather movie? And don't tell me they just started thinking about what to do the day after the election - anyone capable of following poll numbers could have seen months ago that at least one state was going to legalize this year. Either they realize it would be a bad move politically to fight this, or that they would lose in court if it came to that, so they are trying to keep looking tough while they figure out who gets to carry the white flag.

TebowRules
TebowRules

Where the same warnings for substances from the liquor industry and pharmaceutical industry ?   Their products are exactly the same as marihuana in causing similar problems and issues, both individually and societally.  This shows what the big money generated by those two industries buys in our nation -  silence about the consequences of use of their products on people and society even from authority figures who should have more intelligence and wisdom.

ColoradoCannabisMarket
ColoradoCannabisMarket

Interesting how the University is negative towards democracy. What are they really teaching there?

Joey Buhrer
Joey Buhrer

In fairness, I think the State Patrol's statement (at least what is quoted in the article) is not a freak-out. They're just making a good point: driving under the influence is still illegal under state law and (more importantly) dangerous. No hyperbole there, they don't seem super alarmist. And they shouldn't be...I don't think many people are interested in getting super baked and driving around. And if they do, they're breaking the law and (more importantly) responsible conduct expected of any citizen.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time. GOOD JOB WILL INSTEAD OF DEMANDING THE PHONE CALL BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND NIXONLOOPER, YOU GOT A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE! YOU MICHAEL ROBERS ARE A FUCKING DISCRACE AS A REPORTER. NO WORRIES THOUGH YOU WORK FOR THE WESTWORD THEY DON´T HAVE REAL REPORTERS!

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.GOOD JOB WILL INSTEAD OF DEMANDING THE PHONE CALL BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND NIXONLOOPER, YOU GOT A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE!YOU MICHAEL ROBERS ARE A FUCKING DISCRACE AS A REPORTER. NO WORRIES THOUGH YOU WORK FOR THE WESTWORD THEY DON´T HAVE REAL REPORTERS!

coloradommjpatient
coloradommjpatient

About Walsh:

They guy who flew in 55 pounds and got caught in Boulder received a $10k fine and 2 years probation. The Feds did not prosecute.

THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT INDIVIDUALS. I know Donkey, but Barkowitz was the exception. 

coloradommjpatient
coloradommjpatient

And there it is. We ALREADY have a DUID law on the books. Why do we need another one?

ccapra
ccapra

Is there a large contingency of people in Colorado who will now decide to drive with THC in their system that have not already done so?  I'm not sure the Colonel's fear.

Ryan Faulkner
Ryan Faulkner

Who cares what the state and government officials do. They are crooked and will always scam us. Even if the government I mean American cartel leagalizes it they will still screw the American people.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged."

Don't do the Crime if you can't do the Time.

Jeff Digi Lange
Jeff Digi Lange

Ohh so it's legal but still illegal makes sense....wtf

Brandon Richard Whalen
Brandon Richard Whalen

They're all old shriv's with nothing better to do but impose their will and point of view on people.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Since when does the opinion of the punks at the Princeton Review count for anything?

...as for Bruce Benson...

"More than two-thirds of those who participate are not CU students."

No, the CU students are the ones killing themselves chugging hard liquor.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Walsh doesn't matter. He would have to individually find us and arrest us. That's not going to happen. They're busy looking for people growing and selling their way to fame and fortune.

As for the CHP, nothing's gonna change, except perhaps the potheads will now have access to better pot. Anyone who thought potheads were being deprived of pot is under the influence of undue faith in prohibtion.

Barak M Webb
Barak M Webb

10th Amendment to the US Constitution: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. I see nothing in the constitution that gives Congress the power to ban MJ, so therefore it is a States right, and this state and exercised it's right. Federal gvt needs to get out of our personal lives. Any state employee speaking out against this should be fired as they are supposed to be defending the state and federal constitutions.

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson

Because its new change and they have closed minds, maybe they should burn one down and free their minds. The people have spoken!! Now do your job and serve the people like you promised even if your caged government mind can't wrap around new laws.

Jeremy Hull
Jeremy Hull

They are realizing that the people are actually in charge and they serve us!

Philip Fick
Philip Fick

They are doing their jobs and protecting their interests.

Janette Kononov
Janette Kononov

Because they haven't been trained in how to handle it properly? *shrug* Oh yeah, and they're uptight.

Samuel Walter
Samuel Walter

@Shelia: Decriminalization is a completely irresponsible and corrosive course of action. If our laws are to be meaningful and respected, we cannot allow a subset that is, essentially, ignored and not enforced. We've just made a huge lead forward in making MJ and industrial hemp socially acceptable and accessible to adults, and you're acting like the sky is falling. Smoke a joint and chill out.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc

The three pictures posted in the article represent the 3 Stooges who really belong in prison.  Bastards!

Justin Harned
Justin Harned

I think these public officials should shut up and do their job, which is to represent the public interest. The public spoke, and overwhelmingly supports Amendment 64, so your job is to uphold it.

Jay Jurgens
Jay Jurgens

i mean really is that the best you can come up with?

Jay Jurgens
Jay Jurgens

oh cmon westword thats about a stupid question

Shelia Canfield-Jones
Shelia Canfield-Jones

control......that's why decriminalization is a better way to go. Pot is now on the same level as Alcohol. The Washington Amendment was large and had some specific rules built in. The Colorado law was a little more simple and left a lot up to the State Legislature to make specifics. So now they have to lobby State Legislatures for their specific agendas. Example: levels of intoxication while driving (it remains in the system for 30 days) Employers Drug Testing (do they test for Alcohol now?, will employers be sued if they test for pot?) Changing the classification of Pot............ it's a big can of worms if you want to regulate it and who will be regulating it? Then there's the Federal Law. Then there's the whole thing about Commercial Pot. Who gets a license to sell. Will the large tobacco companies move into Colorado and start large grow operations? Who regulates who gets these large grow licenses? Will MMJ be separated from Recreational use? It's a can of worms Wouldn't you be freaking out too? You can smoke it now in your home but you can't sell it or purchase it. You can grow it but you can't buy the seeds. Yet...........

Charlie Whiskey
Charlie Whiskey

Because they're naturally up tight, closed minded individuals? I mean seriously, how else do you expect people like that to react about anything? All yield to corporate sterility and homogenization!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@mmjfreedomusa Hate to break it to you, pothead, but if you smoke pot you're still a criminal, just like those brown people you hate. Maybe you should be deported.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TebowRules "Their products are exactly the same as marihuana in causing similar problems and issues, both individually and societally."

So Marijuana is as dangerous and harmful as Alcohol ?

Noted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@coloradommjpatient ... Liberal-Lefty Boulder County DID prosecute, and obtain FELONY convictions from him, which permanently end his flying career as his FAA license will be suspended for life.

Federal charges were never brought, as the State handles cases below the informal federal prosecution thresholds of 100 plants or 100 pounds of pot.

mmjfreedomusa
mmjfreedomusa

@Cognitive_Dissident @mmjfreedomusa A LAW is not a VALID OR  ENFORCEABLE LAW if it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! The GOVERNMENT CAN NOT ALLOW one group and deny another. IT IS easy reading! IS THAT TO HARD FOR YOUR BIGOT MIND TO GRASP! 

mmjfreedomusa
mmjfreedomusa

@Cognitive_Dissident @mmjfreedomusa CRIMIGRANTS COME IN ALL COLORS! BIGOTS TOO!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@mmjfreedomusa ... awww ... poor wittle white-trash racist ... lost her jawb to a hard working Mexican.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@coloradommjpatient ... yep. The Feds strip the $$ assets and let the States bear the burden of prosecution on cases under 100 pounds/plants for pot. 

Which is often a good thing for the defendant, as the State has little incentive to flog someone else's abandoned and fruitless criminal case, usually offering probation just so they can obtain "the win" in their conviction stats.

Over 100 pounds/plants and the Feds will pursue the charges and use the easy leverage of 5 years minimum mandatory sentencing laws to obtain their own easy guilty plea, as they did with Bartkowicz and Werner and thousands of others.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@coloradommjpatient ... because the State agreed to adopt the case handed to them by the Feds and prosecute.

That's the way it works.

Guess who seized and kept the $$ assets?

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