Marijuana magazines as porn rule declared unconstitutional by state attorney general


As seen in a document accessible here, the Attorney General's office was informed shortly after Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 13-1317 that "the State Licensing Authority hereby finds that immediate adoption of this regulation is imperatively necessary to comply with state law and that compliance with the requirements of section 24-4-103, C.R.S., would be contrary to the public interest."

That meant Suthers needed to decide quickly if the passage met First Amendment requirements, and he ultimately sided with the publications and booksellers. A note from his office issued yesterday reads: "No magazine whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses is required to be sold only in retail marijuana stores or behind the counter in establishments where persons under twenty-one years of age are present, because such a requirement would violate the United States Constitution, the Colorado Constitution, and section 24-4-103(4)(a.5)(IV), C.R.S."

john.suthers.2013.jpg
John Suthers.
Lane's reaction? He believes Suthers came to a conclusion that's both legally correct and smart from the standpoint of resources.

"The Department of Revenue has to enforce the law," he says. "So they got an emergency ruling, with the full blessing of the attorney general, that the provision is unconstitutional. So they adopted a rule saying it's unconstitutional and inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States."

This move certainly changes the potential tenor of a previously scheduled hearing this afternoon before federal judge Richard Matsch.

"Judge Matsch set the hearing before this ruling came down," Lane notes, "and we may still go through a status conference. Judge Matsch may want to know what mechanisms exist in the state system to prevent somebody down the road from changing their minds on this and implementing the legislation. I'd like to know the same thing."

He'd also like someone to explain to him "as a taxpaying citizen" how lawmakers could have allowed a passage so clearly at odds with the Constitution into such an important bill in the first place. As he puts it, "You would think a responsible adult in the legislature would have spoken up."

Will the state still have to pay Lane and the ACLU? "That's unclear at this point," Lane admits. "We filed a suit, and so did the ACLU," which he credits with helping to ramp up the pressure. "But then they, all by themselves, took corrective action. If it does cost the state money, though, it probably won't be more than a few hundred dollars. That's remarkably responsible on the part of John Suthers.

"I commend him on his recognition that this was unconstitutional, and for his quick action."

Here are the two lawsuits -- first the one filed by Lane, followed by the ACLU's complaint:

Marijuana Magazines Complaint

Bookstores Complaint About Marijuana Magazine Rule

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana magazines to be treated like porn, and other oddities of main pot bill."



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32 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Hey Stoners, how many National Security Letters and FISA directives have already been issued against the "confidential" Medical Marijuana Patient/Caregiver Registry @ CDPHE?

Whoops! ... looks like you'll never know!

*** Internet companies cooperate with secret government program to mine users' data ***


WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time.

The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

PRISM is an heir, in one sense, to a history of intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s. The NSA calls these Special Source Operations, and PRISM falls under that rubric.

The Silicon Valley operation works alongside a parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, that gathers up "metadata" — address packets, device signatures and the like — as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet.

The NSA routinely collects a great deal of American content. That is described as "incidental," and it is inherent in contact chaining, one of the basic tools of the trade. To collect on a suspected spy or foreign terrorist means, at minimum, that everyone in the suspect's inbox or outbox is swept in. Intelligence analysts are typically taught to chain through contacts two "hops" out from their target, which increases "incidental collection" exponentially. The same math explains the aphorism, from the John Guare play, that no one is more than "six degrees of separation" from Kevin Bacon.

Formally, in exchange for immunity from lawsuits, companies like Yahoo and AOL are obliged accept a "directive" from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to open their servers to the FBI's Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA. In 2008, Congress gave the Justice Department authority to for a secret order from the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court to compel a reluctant company "to comply."

"Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data," a company spokesman said. "We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully.

There has been "continued exponential growth in tasking to Facebook and Skype," according to the 41 PRISM slides. With a few clicks and an affirmation that the subject is believed to be engaged in terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation, an analyst obtains full access to Facebook's "extensive search and surveillance capabilities against the variety of online social networking services."

According to a separate "User's Guide for PRISM Skype Collection," that service can be monitored for audio when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of "audio, video, chat, and file transfers" when Skype users connect by computer alone. Google's offerings include Gmail, voice and video chat, Google Drive files, photo libraries, and live surveillance of search terms.

Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. "They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type," the officer said.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Hallelujah! ... the future of Pot Porn is Preserved for Posterity!

Behold the upcoming publications which will meld the important pillars of American Literature -- drugs + sex

Playbud
Hemp Hustler
Nuggs
Oui'd
Hot Asian Budtenders
Pothouse Forum
Big Black Buds

Yeah Baby! ... sign me up for lifetime subscriptions!

Jethro
Jethro

Suthers grows a brain -- and they're throwing snowballs in hell the same day!

shamanhawk
shamanhawk

You ought to watch "The People vs. Larry Flint" before making these egregious anti-Free Speech laws.  Some fools have short term memory loss and they aren't "stoned".  

The government is an embarrassment when it comes to the Drug War.  Every 42 seconds someone is arrested for Cannabis use or possession.   Mostly Black people. Ruining peoples lives in a democracy which has become a plutocracy run by oligarchs money. 

The Denver Post runs up the flag some right wing-nut anti-cannabis crazy claim at least one a week.  Last one is kids getting users candy and going to the hospital and being treated for somnolence ( a parenting problem).    Yea, almost sleeping or sleeping.  I think the number was 6 to 10.  Now how many gun shots of kids last year yet you don't see guns being banned?

These guys come up with laws without ANY research into the implications. 

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

Hey David Lane--how about a lawsuit over equal treatment under the law--the unconstitutional ban on non MMC owners from applying or opening for over a year is clearly corrupt.  This language protects about 1,000 MMC owners and screws the rest of the people in the state. 

Monkey
Monkey

"He'd also like someone to explain to him "as a taxpaying citizen" how lawmakers could have allowed a passage so clearly at odds with the Constitution into such an important bill in the first place. As he puts it, "You would think a responsible adult in the legislature would have spoken up."

I thought the same thing on many new laws legislators passed this year, but I realized very quickly, there are few responsible legislators, and many aren't educated enough to understand the Constitution.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

Make no mistake...These losers will 'try' to get way with ANY violation of your rights....Slaves  and the Constitution don't play well together, which is why they teach them to 'hate' it.....

Caren Kershner
Caren Kershner

Not a big Suthers fan, but he got this one right.

Testecleese
Testecleese

I figured placing $100 on David Lane to win was a sure bet.

DonkeyTroll
DonkeyTroll

Looks like DonkeyHotay was wrong again, lol.....

Daniel Hamilton
Daniel Hamilton

they are foolish to pass most of the laws they have in the last year.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Michael Roberts and the WASTEWORD should still get the black bag treatment for being shills and propagandists.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@shamanhawk ... Hustler Magazine has the RIGHT to be in every library of every grade school in the U$A!

... and not hidden behind the fucking counter!


Jethro
Jethro

@KathleenChippi David Lane is not a real pro-pot attorney. Like all the others. High Times paid him for this, he didn't do it for free.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey ... and to think that many Legislators have law degrees ... and paid lawyers on staff ... perhaps it's time for a competency audit of the City Attorney's office or the AG's staff who are supposed to counsel the legislators ...BEFORE they violate the law.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@DonkeyTroll ... too bad the issue wasn't settled by a COURT of competent jurisdiction over the subject matter, instead of Suthers just being too lazy to argue the case.


RichDenver88
RichDenver88

@Daniel Hamilton They, being the democrats in the state legislature... yes

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@CoreyDonahue You know that you just helped generate ad revenue for "WASTEWORD" merely by clicking on the articles.  

CoreyDonahue logic: "I hate shit.  It stinks, and it looks terrible, and I hate hate hate it!"  *While enjoying a nice, steaming bowl of shit*

shamanhawk
shamanhawk

@DonkeyHotay @shamanhawk  

Two different point altogether.  Library of a grade school?  roflmfao  Every business has the right to have Free Speech displayed or not displayed.  I doubt the Grocery Stores are putting High Times on the bottom shelf of the magazines.  There are a lots of Violent Themed magazines there though. 

CloudGang
CloudGang

Not at all. Lets just keep brainwashing the kids and pretend Santa clause is real. Its all working out so great.....

CloudGang
CloudGang

Yeah right. The courts and the attorneys are one industry. They work for each other. So you think competent courts exist in America let alone Colorado? Of course you don't.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RichDenver88 ... because Repuglykkkans have a kinder, gentler drug policy, eh numbnuts?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RichDenver88 ... the Dixiecrats who are all now -- and have been since Government Intervention FORCED them to abandon their bigoted repugnant segregationist laws --  core members of the Repuglycan / Teabagger parties.

They're still whining about "state's rights" ... i.e. the right to implement hateful racist laws without federal interference.


RichDenver88
RichDenver88

@DonkeyHotay Actually... this year... here in Colorado... YES they have, you sad, little troll... Oh and BTW, know your history, idiot. The kkk were the terrorist arm of the Dixiecrats...  

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