Marijuana: John Hickenlooper-Eric Holder A64 call still a mystery despite activist's efforts
Editor's note: Medical marijuana critic William Breathes's latest review, which is usually published at 4:20 p.m. on Thursdays, has not quite finished curing; look for it in this space soon.
In the meantime, we share the story of a marijuana activist and his efforts to discover what was said during a key conversation between Colorado's governor and the U.S. Attorney General....
Shortly after Amendment 64's passage, Governor John Hickenlooper participated in a conference call with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, presumably to talk about the contradictions between A64 and federal law. Afterward, Hickenlooper released a brief statement about the chat, but no details have emerged, prompting a months-long effort by one activist to find out what was said. He's frustrated by what he sees as governmental stonewalling.
Long before the birth of the Occupy movement, however, Donahue was well known in the marijuana-reform community for his aggressive pursuit of change. In July 2011, for instance, he was arrested after disrupting a Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act meeting. Shortly thereafter, he was named on a warrant after allegedly taking Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division public records without paying for them.
Corey Donahue as he appeared on Westword's cover in December 2011.
Unsurprisingly, Donahue wasn't satisfied with the following statement, released by Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown after the November 9 conversation involving the governor, Holder and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers:
Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers talked to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder by phone [Friday]. They emphasized the need for the federal government to articulate what its position will be related to Amendment 64. Everyone shared a sense of urgency and agreed to continue talking about the issue.From Donahue's perspective, the real urgency in this case involved a need for full disclosure -- so he filed a Colorado Open Records Act request asking for access to any information about the teleconference.
Finally, last week, Donahue received a reply from the office of Stephanie Donner, Hickenlooper's deputy legal counsel: No records were responsive to his inquiry. When he followed up to ask specifically about the possible existence of minutes or recordings, Donner replied via e-mail, "The Governor did have a conversation with the Justice Department, however, there are no documents or recordings from that conversation."
Donahue's reaction to this rejection speaks to his frustration.
Continue for more about Corey Donahue's open records request and the conversation between John Hickenlooper and Eric Holder.