Marijuana: Governor's counsel sees alleged Amendment 64 conflicts of interest as diversity
In mid-December, we shared complaints from a marijuana activist about alleged conflicts of interest in regard to one member of the governor's Amendment 64 task force. More recently, the activist raised concerns about another task force member -- and this time, a guv rep responded with an e-mail suggesting that the group would be strengthened by a diversity of views. See the note and get details below.
Mark Slaugh, membership director of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council and CEO of a business called iComply, first targeted alleged conflicts involving Colorado Concern's Tamra Ward.
As we've reported, Ward signed three letters from business groups calling for the federal government to crack down on the very measure she's supposed to be working toward implementing.
The letters are on view below in their entirety, but here's an excerpt from the one addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder:
The Colorado business community, as represented by the signatory organizations noted below, seeks clarity from the Department of Justice with regard to your intentions to enforce federal law under your prosecutorial discretion.In Slaugh's view, Ward's endorsement of the letters -- hers was the first signature on them -- disqualified her for task force membership.
The provisions of Amendment 64 are in direct conflict with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and other provisions of federal law. The CSA clearly states that federal law preempts state law when there is a positive conflict between the two jurisdictions....
Consequently, we encourage the enforcement of the CSA, to provide the certainty and clarity of law we seek.
"Tamra signed off on a letter that's basically asking the federal government to come in and enforce the Controlled Substances Act not just on Amendment 64, but also on the hundreds of businesses in Colorado that are operating on medical cannabis centers," he told us for our original post.
"This action is contrary to the goals of these business groups," Slaugh added. "These groups are dedicated to increasing economic development for their regions and increasing job opportunities to strengthen our local economies. So her taking the position to essentially throw the industry under the federal bus threatens literally thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic stimulus that our industry has provided."
Ward subsequently denied Slaugh's assertions and remained on the committee.
But last week, the activist warned about perceived conflicts of interest pertaining to a more high-profile A64 task force rep.
Continue for more about potential conflicts of interest on the Amendment 64 Task Force.