Marijuana update: U.S. Attorney John Walsh declines to take position on pot-tax measure

Categories: Marijuana, News

John Walsh.
Update: Earlier today, we posted about a letter sent to U.S. Attorney John Walsh by attorney Rob Corry on behalf of No on Proposition AA, the campaign opposed to a marijuana tax measure on next month's ballot; see our previous coverage below.

In the missive, Corry asked Walsh to state whether he was for or against Prop AA. Now, a spokesman for Walsh has responded with the announcement that the U.S. Attorney's Office will not take a position one way or the other. See the e-mail in question and new comments from Corry below.

Photo by Alex Brown
Rob Corry addresses the crowd at the first joint giveaway, last month at Civic Center Park.
The e-mail comes from U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner, who'd earlier declined to comment about the letter owing to limitations placed on him by the ongoing partial federal shutdown.

The note reads as follows:

Dear Mr. Corry,

Thank you for your e-mail to me and your letter to U.S. Attorney John Walsh dated October 9, 2013. In response to your e-mail and letter, the U.S. Attorney's Office does not take a position on state initiatives. However, the Department of Justice has made it clear in recent guidance on marijuana enforcement that there is an overriding importance of a strong and effective state regulatory system with sufficient resources to be effective in practice, not just on paper.

We also respectfully decline the invitation to appear on your cable access television show.


Jeff Dorschner
Corry's take? "The Oracle of Delphi has again spoken without saying anything," he writes via e-mail.

"Accordingly," he continues, "we are calling on the 'Yes' campaign to cease its representations that a 'Yes' vote on Prop AA protects Colorado in any way from Federal intervention since the Federal government refuses to confirm same.

"Although many in Colorado's pro-freedom community grow weary of scouring indecisive Department of Justice bureaucratic babble for some scintilla of meaning, it would appear that Jeff's comments about a regulatory system 'effective in practice' forecloses a tax rate of over 50 percent, which is ineffective in practice."

Regarding the Yes on Proposition AA campaign, its communication director, Joe Megyesy, told us earlier that its spokespersons have never claimed to have had what Corry calls a backroom deal with the Justice Department. Rather, the campaign has merely pointed toward a reference in a recent memo written by Deputy Attorney General James Cole intended as guidance for jurisdictions establishing marijuana laws that differ from those of the federal government.

Continue to see our previous coverage, including the original letter and memo.

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Destroy the greedy big $$ dispensary cartels! Tax them into bankruptcy!


Proposition AA is expected to increase state revenue from taxes by $33.5 million in FY 2013-14 and $67.0 million in FY 2014-15. Of this, $13.8 million in FY 2013-14 and $27.5 million in FY 2014-15 is from the excise tax and to be deposited into the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund.

I support marijuana AND our public education system.


Who cares what this federal goon thinks on the issue. He's a Drug War shill. I got my nice little ballot info book in the mail the other day ANYONE WHO VOTES FOR THESE TAXES IS A SUCKER!.....This money will be funding further law enforcement activities related to A64......It's like paying your own government to spy on you... Oh wait...


The Vicente Tax will ruin dispensaries.

That's a GOOD thing.

Vote YES!


I think Corry calculated in advance that Walsh wouldn't take a position. Nevertheless, it's a blow to the idea that the feds want Colorado to tax the shit out of pot.


Taxing the profit out of pot is the only way to destroy the greedy big dispensary cartels and return control to the individual private users and growers


Then why did the lying liars behind A64 promote and offer $40 million annually to the voters to pass that piece of shit?

Live by the lie, die by the lie.


@stupidstuka FAIL!

Taxing the profit out of pot is the best way to guarantee a robust black market.

The best way to "return control to the individual private users and growers" has already been done--allow them to grow their own. If you want to take it further, allow sales by unlicensed growers with the stipulation that they indicate that they are unlicensed.

Nobody is, and nobody should be forcing people to obtain licenses for bake sales.


Private individual growers, sellers and users are the "black market", always have been and always will be.

Why do you hate them?


@Cognitive_Dissident " I'm saying allow them to sell unlicenced."

Too bad the clueless fuckwit stoners who wrote, supported and passed A64 explicitly maintained that ALL private sale shall remain ILLEGAL, eh comrade?

How self-loathing is that?



Hmm...hate them? I'm saying allow them to sell unlicenced. How is that a sign of hatred?

The black market, however, seems to be what the authoritarians want. If they create a robust black market, they will claim "freedom doesn't work."

...and while we're at it, how important was it for you to "like" your own reply twice?

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