Marijuana: Attorney Rob Corry on today's free-joint rally in Boulder
As we've reported, a protest against marijuana taxation measure Proposition AA is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. today on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall, complete with free joints for attendees.
Big photos below.
The event, and an invitation for Vice President Joe Biden to participate, has already come under fire from the Yes on Proposition AA campaign, but co-organizer Rob Corry (seen here) defends it. Get both takes, and see photos from the first free-joint protest, staged at Civic Center Park earlier this month.
Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, are expected to tour flood-ravaged portions of Boulder County today -- and since he'll be in the area, Corry sent a letter to the Vice President inviting him to take part in the free-joint handout. Why? Because "he already does just that through the Federal Compassionate New Drug Investigational Program," he told us via e-mail, adding, "We hope that Biden's visit to Colorado on the same day will bring more attention to this tax increase and will enhance our flood relief efforts."
Joe Megyesy, communications director with the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which supports the passage of Proposition AA (an initiative that calls for a 15 percent excise tax and a sales tax of 10-15 percent on recreational cannabis sales), is critical of this tactic. In a statement provided to Westword, Megyesy writes:
Photo by Brandon Marshall Vice President Joe Biden at an Arvada West High School campaign rally in November 2012.
The No on AA campaign should be ashamed of itself for trying to capitalize upon a tragedy in order to advance their own political beliefs. We can debate the merits of a free joint giveaway, but I think we should all be in agreement that making light of people's suffering, as if a little marijuana can make it better, is inappropriate. The sad irony is that they are attempting to defeat a measure that will provide tens of millions of dollars annually for public school construction. This is money that could benefit some of the communities hit hard by the recent flooding.As for Corry, he addresses criticism of the first free-joint giveaway at the outset of an e-mail interview about today's event. Read the conversation below, interspersed with and followed by photos from the Civic Center rally.
Westword: Some observers criticized the first Prop AA rally/joint giveaway. Did you consider it to be a success?
Photo by Alex Brown Civic Center rally co-organizer Miguel Lopez at a table where he helped dispense the free joints.
Rob Corry: The criticism of our historic event came either from the pro-AA campaign and/or anti-Amendment 64 politicians. To my knowledge, no one who opposes Proposition AA criticized our event. The free joint giveaway was a resounding success; people are now talking about the largest tax increase in Colorado history, when before this was a "stealth" campaign from the pro-tax side. The contrast between our campaign kickoffs says it all: ours was a people-centric, positive, energetic event, where the thousands of people present all had smiles on their faces. Theirs was a handful of politicians in the shadow of the Bastille. We peddled happiness (for free), they peddled fear (with a price).
Continue for more of our interview with free-joint-rally co-organizer Rob Corry, including photos from the first such giveaway at Civic Center Park.