Marijuana advocate: Each day feds are silent about Amendment 64 is a good one

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It's been over six months since voters approved Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over in Colorado to use and possess small amounts of marijuana, and the Obama administration still hasn't weighed in on the measure.

Last week, we speculated that the delays would continue thanks to current scandals that touch upon the Justice Department, and one of the main A64 proponents won't complain if they do.

"Really, every day that passes that the federal government does not say anything about Amendment 64 is just fine with me," notes Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente, one of the law's main authors and co-director of the campaign for the proposal. By the feds' silence, he adds, "they're allowing this to move forward."

As we've pointed out, marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning its use for all purposes, including medical ones, remains illegal federally.

eric holder with us justice dept seal in background.jpg
Eric Holder.
Because Amendment 64 is in direct conflict with this edict, Governor John Hickenlooper and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to provide guidance for the state during a conference call shortly after the election. However, their sense of urgency hasn't been matched in Washington.

In March, Holder promised that an A64 decision would be coming soon. But more than two months have passed since then -- and brewing scandals involving spying on the phone calls of Associated Press reporters and alleged targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service are expected to dominate Holder's attention for the foreseeable future.

That leaves marijuana-scene observers to guess at what the feds will do based on indirect evidence, like President Barack Obama's recent comments in Mexico about his disinterest in legalizing drugs. But Vicente is glad officials in Colorado chose to take steps toward the implementation of Amendment 64, via several new pieces of legislation currently awaiting Hickenlooper's signature, rather than stalling until the Justice Department acted.

The feds "haven't come out and said they're going to shut it down," Vicente stresses. "So I think they're allowing these laws and various interests to get more entrenched."

Not that Vicente is wholly disinterested in the feds' ultimate decision.

Continue for more of our interview with marijuana proponent Brian Vicente.


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127 comments
betweenthelines
betweenthelines

DEFUND the folks who went against the will of the people. Vote NO on the 30% extortion tax......

Monkey
Monkey

Yes, the feds are ignoring us, but that's not necessarily a good thing.

Why is no one talking about our price fixing scheme? Instead of an excise tax on the actual wholesale price, the DOR is going to make up a wholesale price and charge an excise tax based on that, instead of what you actually wholesale it for. This is so they can artificially keep prices high and taxes rolling in. A free market would allow prices to drop due to supply and demand, but our scam is to remove the free from the market and keep prices high enough to satisfy the enforcers. Washington seems so much smarter than us, proposing only $1000 license and $250 application fee with the liquor control board regulating it like alcohol instead of a new state agency. They also separated growers and retail, prohibiting the ownership of both, eliminating monopolies, just like alcohol. We on the other hand want at least 5 times their fees, encourage monopolies and fix the wholesale taxes, while treating marijuana nothing like alcohol. Washington is also asking for public opinion, you think the Colorado DOR will ask our opinion? At least here in Colorado we can grow our own, avoid all taxes and assist each other, but our regulatory scheme is ridiculous compared to Washington.

WhirledPeasPlease
WhirledPeasPlease

I expect the Feds are waiting until enough people put in enough capital into marijuana cultivation & sales that asset seizure by the DEA & IRS is very profitable. Hell, they might even seize the 30%+ marijuana tax the state wants for itself.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"Because Amendment 64 is in direct conflict with this edict..."

We've been through this before. It's not in "direct conflict." It would be in direct conflict if it required people to use pot. it doesn't. It removes (some) state-level enforcement. The states are not required to enforce federal laws, so there is no conflict.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines ... The Voters have Spoken!! ... they supported a $40 MILLION / YEAR Excise Tax on Marijuana via A64 !!


michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Monkey Interesting viewpoint, Monkey. Thanks for posting.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey "the DOR is going to make up a wholesale price and charge an excise tax based on that, instead of what you actually wholesale it for"

To do otherwise would allow Dispensaries who grown their own to evade the tax entirely, simply by having the production division charge a mere $1 / pound for product supplied to the retail division.

... or to allow closely related but "independent business"  Grower - Retailer entities -- think husband and wife -- to do the same.

Who knew that SURRENDERING UNLIMITED TAXING AUTHORITY to the insatiable Dept. of Revenue ... after baiting them with $40 MILLION in potential annual revenue ... would be a FUCKING IDIOTIC IDEA ??

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@Monkey Anyone who votes for this tax is a SUCKER. The DUID law is unConstitutional and requires a 'mandatory' blood draw on the side of the road by psychopath's...The mandate was that marijuana was to be regulated like alcohol, yet the process was corrupted by special interests.....DE-FUND the circus......

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@WhirledPeasPlease ... just like they did in Montana ... where idiot unethical incompetent McLawyers advised their clients that "federal silence was acquiescence" and no dispensary had been yet busted by the DEA ...

... right up to the day that the DEA busted ALL the Dispensaries ... and the Federal Prosecutors convicted ALL of the fools and tools ... sending them to FEDERAL PRISON after seizing ALL their ASSETS, destroying their families and ruining their lives forever.

There should be a law that requires LAWYERS to also do the Prison Time -- day for day -- that their sucker clients receive for following such (il)legal malpractice.


betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @betweenthelines Wrong! They supported 'marijuana to be regulated like alcohol'.  It was written in plain English and the people KNEW what they were voting for. DEFUND the folks that IGNORED the people's mandate and Vote NO! on the 30% extortion tax....

Case
Case

Don't forget the Montana caregiver that DIED IN FEDERAL PRISON after he was sentenced for his supposedly "legal" activities.
http://www.alternet.org/hot-news-views/montanas-first-medical-weed-caregiver-dies-federal-prison

Is Vicente willing to accept a DEATH SENTENCE for the dangerous advice he is giving to his clients and the public? I doubt it. He doesn't even have the nerve to stand up for himself on these blogs. Don't ever listen to a COWARD who is afraid to jump off the bridge himself.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_DissidentThe 'Commerce Clause' does not 'exempt' the government from the law. This has been supported by many Supreme Court rulings. They are silent on this issue because they won't win it in court and they know it. States rights issue. State wins.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident 

TABOR doesn't have to appear anywhere. It's already in the constitution and was not struck down by this or any other amendment.

Show me where an exceptional sales tax is referenced. That's the issue.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... funny, the acronym TABOR appears nowhere in A64.

(d) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL ENACT AN EXCISE TAX TO BE LEVIED UPON MARIJUANA SOLD OR OTHERWISE TRANSFERRED BY A MARIJUANA CULTIVATION FACILITY TO A MARIJUANA PRODUCT MANUFACTURING FACILITY OR TO A RETAIL MARIJUANA STORE AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED FIFTEEN PERCENT PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2017 AND AT A RATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THEREAFTER, AND SHALL DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR THE COLLECTION OF ALL TAXES LEVIED. PROVIDED, THE FIRST FORTY MILLION DOLLARS IN REVENUE RAISED ANNUALLY FROM ANY SUCH EXCISE TAX SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION ASSISTANCE FUND CREATED BY ARTICLE 43.7 OF TITLE 22, C.R.S., OR ANY SUCCESSOR FUND DEDICATED TO A SIMILAR PURPOSE


The VOTERS have SPOKEN!! ... ENACT that $40 MILLION EXCISE TAX !!


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident 

It doesn't have anything to do with my comprehension. It has to do with your failed comprehension that:

  1. TABOR requires a direct vote specifically for the actual tax policy being enacted.
  2. No special sales tax is indicated in A64.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident

Amendment 64:  ... REQUIRING the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; REQUIRING that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund;


What part don't you comprehend?


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

No, the voters didn't approve it. They may have agreed for it, but it wasn't possible for them to approve it, because of TABOR. They must approve it now for it to go into effect.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @betweenthelinesShow me where A64 requires magazines to be treated like porn, a 5ng THC driving limit, mandatory blood draws, banning of private smoking establishments, child abuse???...the list goes on ad on...YOU are the fool, jackass....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines = drooling dipshit who was too stupid to read, much less comprehend what A64 proposed.

HipTip: The phrase "like alcohol" does NOT appear anywhere in A64.

Fucking idiot.


betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @betweenthelines do you not understand what 'like alcohol' means, jackass? They didn't even come CLOSE....You don't get the money for your pet projects if you IGNORE the rest f the Amendment, idiot....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines = dumber than dirt

A64; ...  requiring the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund ...


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines ... watch the Legislature DEFUND A64 entirely, leaving the lying liars who promoted it with promises of $40 MILLION in ANNUAL tax revenue out in the cold with NO commercial dispensary or grow licenses granted, since there will be no $$ to fund enforcement.

You really are one clueless simpleton, aren't you chump?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Case ... for a while there lyin' Brian sent his cub-lawyer underling Josh Kappel online to pathetically attempt to defend his indefensible positions, blatant lies and deliberate deceptions regarding A64 ... but Josh got eaten alive by the uncensored reality that readers unleashed upon his buffoonery and he disappeared in disgrace.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BillG883 "Why waste your time with that troll?   You'll get nowhere with him. He'll just call you names and otherwise insult you.  It is an absolute waste of time to engage in any discussions with DonkeyHotay. That person has no redeeming qualities and should just be avoided."

Can't stop reading my posts, can you?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BillG883 " I love that two states have legalized marijuana"

Delusional fuckwit.

A64 did NOT legalize marijuana -- even THE AUTHORS of A64 confessed that FACT, you stump-stupid stammering simpleton.

Does it hurt to be so fucking ignorant?


BillG883
BillG883

@DonkeyHotay @BillG883 I love that two states have legalized marijuana.  Even if the laws aren't perfect and the feds are going to make implementation tough, the fact that A64 and I502 passed has huge implications for this country and the entire world.  Eventually marijuana will be legal similar to alcohol most everywhere and the passage of these laws is a huge step in that direction and helps us get there quicker.  You disagree.  I get that.  We've been around and around on that before and I'm not wasting my time going there with you again.  

You have serious mental health issues. I hope you learn to let go of your anger over this whole A64 thing someday.  It's not healthy for you at all.  You're just a sour person overcome by negativity and you're not doing yourself or anyone else any good. Why waste your life like that?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BillG883 = loves THE FIST of Regulation that A64 provides ... and reads all of my posts.


BillG883
BillG883

@Cognitive_Dissident Why waste your time with that troll?  He hates that A64 passed and will never stop complaining. You'll get nowhere with him. He'll just call you names and otherwise insult you.  It is an absolute waste of time to engage in any discussions with DonkeyHotay. That person has no redeeming qualities and should just be avoided.

You are right.  Odds are the feds will only go after larger growers.  They don't have the manpower to go after people growing a few plants, especially those growing six or less plants.  Whether they'll let Colorado or Washington have a retail shops and commercial production remains to be seen.  

I agree with Brian Vincente that it is good that the feds really haven't said anything about what they intend to do about legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado,  but it would be a whole heck of a lot better if the feds would just come out and say they'll allow for this experiment as long as the state will put in certain safeguards. If the feds would make a promise that they'll use discretion and not prosecute as long as producers and retailers stick within certain parameters, then we see these systems working fairly well it killing the black market, reducing the cost of product so that the high taxes won't scare people away from legal pot, and so on.  If the feds continue to just say nothing, that leaves too much up in the air, too much risk for producers and suppliers.  

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

You "like" things to which you post argumentative replies all the time, and the wording appeared argumentative.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... if you had the brains that god gave a turnip, you'd have seen I agreed and "liked" your initial post, numbnuts.

Tilt at windmills much?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... agreed ... and each and every Federal Criminal Law is still in FULL EFFECT, no matter what Colorado does or doesn't do.

hth.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

BTW, if someone cannot vote for, or even cannot elect whom he wants as a representative, why does he "deserve" the result? You're spouting a ridiculous lie that's been propagated to blame the public for the parties' usurpation.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "Republic is the sheep choosing between wolves, to serve them"

And THE SHEEP of Colorado have chosen, and surrendered total control of marijuana over to, the Prohibitionist WOLVES in the Legislature, the insatiable Pigs in the Dept. of Revenue, and the Rabid Dogs of Law Enforcement ... the same carnivorous zoo that's been feeding off the IGNORANT SHEEPLE via the Drug War for the past 40+ years.

A Democracy -- including this "Representative Republic" -- gets the Government it DESERVES! ... ipso fucking facto.


Why do you hate America?


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident

Sorry. It's not an appeal to "the ignorant rabble." It's an appeal to the readers, whoever they may be.

You don't have to tell me Democracy doesn't work, and it doesn't work if you let the same stupid people choose their rulers from a preselected group of puppets with fine hats, either. This nation is proof.

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep, settling on dinner.

Republic is the sheep choosing between wolves, to serve them (for dinner.)

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... your appeal to the ignorant rabble fails ... just as the Founding Fathers and authors of your precious Constitution knew "most people" -- i.e. the ignorant populace -- were too fucking stupid to be trusted with direct democracy ... hence necessary insulating institutions like The Electoral College.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident Most people have their politics spoon-fed to them by a two-party system and state-loving media.

However, I dare Westword to take a poll regarding the positive and negative value of your posts, and specifically, your use of ad hominem attacks when you cannot win an argument. Such a poll would demonstrate that I am correct.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "it won't work, because most people have brains"

Most people voted for A64.

Most people elected G aWol Bu$h president (at least once depending on how you count)

Most people believe in an invisible sky daddy who watches over them, and punishes them when they're bad.

While most people may in fact have brains, it's quite clear that most people fail to use them in any meaningful way.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Yes, that's correct.

What you're attempting is a form of the ad hominem attack, and it won't work, because most people have brains, and understand the reasoning of the question at hand.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident

No, a SCOTUS out of control proves to be an enemy of the constitution. It's not hard to understand. Ask any left winger or right winger, and he'll agree, but for different reasons. The libertarian only sees both problems.

 LOL!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines "It is everybody’s duty to defy unjust laws."

Exactly what the White Supremacists and Southern Racists said about FEDERAL LAW that interfered and overrode their hateful bigoted State institutions, you pig-ignorant fuckchop.

Checkmate.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines "So how do you explain the legislation currently passed in Kansas?"

How do you explain Colorado passing Hateful Amendment 2 ?

How do you explain THE FEDS overturning that voter approved legislation?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  "I pointed out why it doesn't work, which wasn't because the theory is wrong, but because we have a rogue Supreme Court."

Translation: REALITY disproves the quack "theory" ... so teatards, liberkookians and anarchists like you choose to disregard reality.

HipTip: your entire social-political philosophy FAILS not because it's completely wrong and intellectually depraved ... but because we live in a universe containing rogue REALITY.

LOL!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 

  1. It wasn't my theory
  2. I pointed out why it doesn't work, which wasn't because the theory is wrong, but because we have a rogue Supreme Court.
  3. You shouldn't post when you're inebriated.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ...

your "theory" = FAIL!

HipTip: it ain't a "theory" if you yourself  instantly disprove it in the same sentence.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "In theory ..."

HipTip: "theory" isn't simply any hare-brained Teabaggin' Anarchist delusion you conjure up during a drunken stupor.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@betweenthelines @DonkeyHotay In theory, that works, yet it's still federally illegal (within the state) due to the massacre of the meaning of the interstate commerce clause (see Wickard v Filburn, then Raich, to name a couple.) Nevertheless, the feds are unlikely to bother the individual unless he has over 99 plants. They're more likely to bother a lucrative retail operation.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines = you'd be much happier living in Kansas with the Teabaggin' Evolution Deniers and Repuglykkkan Bible Thumpers.


betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay Who is the idiot? I never said state law 'blocked' the enforcement of federal law, I said that the State Of Colorado can legalize and regulate marijuana 'inside' our state and federal law cannot block this....

May 4, 2013
KANSAS TO PROSECUTE FEDERAL AGENTS WHO ENFORCE FEDERAL GUN CONTROL LAWS

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback just signed into law a statute that "bars the federal government from regulating guns and ammunition manufactured and stored within Kansas state lines."

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @betweenthelines If federal law trumps state law in this regard, why don't they sue us then? It is because the legal precedent has 'already been set in existing case law' , genius....

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