Marijuana: NORML's Allen St. Pierre on organization's new Colorado office

Categories: Marijuana

allen.st.pierre.screen.capture.jpg
Allen St. Pierre.
Another indication of Colorado's importance in the cannabis-reform movement: Today, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, better known as NORML, opened a satellite office in Denver.

We spoke to NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre about the reasons NORML wanted to have a permanent base of operations in Colorado.

"It works on a lot of different levels," St. Pierre says of the new operation, located at 3888 East Mexico Avenue in what he jokingly refers to as the "Cannabis Commerce Building" due to tenants that include WeedMaps, The Clinic and CannLabs. First among them, he believes, is the opportunity for staffers to "represent consumer interests.

"We're already part of the current governor's working group," he points out. "The group includes people from industry, people from law enforcement, people from the health-care community -- so why not people representing consumers? Consumers make up an important part of the discussion, and NORML is one of the few organizations out there that says, 'Yeah, we're marijuana consumers.'"

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A Google Maps screen capture of the 3888 East Mexico building where NORML's new office just opened.
As such, St. Pierre continues, NORML has taken the opportunity to weigh in on a slew of cannabis-related topics, including "taxation, over-regulation, access and flash points like drug testing of employees, DUID laws and making sure child-protective services doesn't immediately take children out of homes just because cannabis is present."

In the meantime, he looks forward to more engagement on the question of where and when a person can consume.

"I don't think the model of people buying cannabis but only being able to use it in a totally private space is sustainable," he allows. "We envision having the kind of place where people can use cannabis in a recreational setting that looks very similar to what we use for alcohol -- where there's implied consent, so that if you go into one of these establishments, you know what you're getting into."

St. Pierre feels that what he refers to as "the Amsterdam model" has "a lot of attraction to a consumer -- particularly someone like me, who's a tourist in Denver. After I've purchased legal cannabis, I can't legally use it in my hotel room, I can't use it walking down the road, I can't use it in an automobile. So where can I use it? This is a totally dysfunctional system, and even though some people think establishing places where people can consume encourages more use, I don't think it does. It just says adults want to use cannabis legally in a social, quasi-public setting."

Additionally, St. Pierre feels NORML "is in the best position to educate the public about responsible use. I'm not against some of the public-service announcements about cannabis I've seen here -- I think they're reasonably practical -- but the government doesn't hold a lot of sway on cannabis consumers. And we can reach people because we have credibility on this subject."

Additionally, St. Pierre sees it as important to fight against legalization backlash -- a phenomenon fueled in part by national media outlets looking for a new angle on the story (a weekend piece in the New York Times looked at the "downside of a legal high"), as well as anti-legalization groups such as Project SAM.

"To use a military term, we want to hold the ground," St. Pierre says. He doubts that Project SAM and its ilk "are going to be very successful in moving America back to marijuana prohibition. But they want to use any missteps, any hysterical or sensationalistic things that might happen here or, soon, in Washington, to try to make their case nationally that prohibition should be kept in place for decades to come. I don't think they can make much of an argument, but we want to make sure we hold the ground and build on it."

Continue for more of our interview with NORML's Allen St. Pierre about the organization's new Colorado office.


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120 comments
Bret Kantola
Bret Kantola

Regulate like Alcohol was the idea. Now, to close all the bars and brewery's. Imagine the uproar if that happened by the angry drunks.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

"As such, St. Pierre continues, NORML has taken the opportunity to weigh in on a slew of cannabis-related topics, including "taxation, over-regulation, access and flash points like drug testing of employees, DUID laws and making sure child-protective services doesn't immediately take children out of homes just because cannabis is present."

For christ sake, Allen St. Pierre, you are so full of shit.

What the hell has NORML done in CO EVER, beside carpetbagging yearly meetings and the 40 year NORML birthday party (a sign of success or failure at 40 years?)?

NORML supported the over-regulation, supported the taxes and brought the 5 nano limit to (D) Claire Levy, Boulder.  They created the 5 nano problem and now they move here to help us fix it?  Allen even said MMJ was a scam.  I mean what the fuck don't people get about scam artists?  "Flash points like drug testing"??  wtf?  NORML missed the bus on the Coats appeal to the supreme court--??? 


Yeah there are allot of "flash point" problems to fix--ONLY because of national groups like NORML, MPP, DPA, NCIA, ASA, SSDP, LEAP etc.  who CREATE the problems and then carpetbag into a state to "fix things".  It's fucking sick. 

Michael Roque
Michael Roque

If you don't have a problem with that, then why would you have a problem with a pot bar/cafe?

Dominick Black
Dominick Black

I agree. They still want to treat us like profit centers with unjust laws.

Joe Hensley
Joe Hensley

There is in Colorado Springs and other cities just not Denver.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Perhaps the Open Toker pot advocates can align with the Open Carry gun loons and demand -- at gunpoint -- their right to carry guns and get high in Chipotle!




Joni Windle
Joni Windle

Agree we should have social clubs just like alcohol consumers!

Clark Snyder
Clark Snyder

Get mellow and helpless, druggie! Hahahaha

Kev Markis
Kev Markis

I don't think people wanting a pot club/cafe is a big deal. It's not like it's an animal fucking secret society.

Bradford Ashington
Bradford Ashington

dorky (possibly virgin) little prudes like urself are irrelevant

Shmuley Joseph
Shmuley Joseph

Grassroots is opening a smoking lounge in the store. It's happening, we need to start making it more part of out culture

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi


Fuck the Prohibitionist Pro-Government Concessionist NORML, fuck what they stand for, and fuck the horse they rode in on.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Brain-Dead Bong-Sucking Stoners PACKAGED and PROMOTED THEMSELVES as "profit centers" to be TAXED and REGULATED after surrendering TOTAL CONTROL to the Government.


Epic FAIL!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Colorado Springs, where ALL recreational pot shops have been BANNED ... thanks to that festering turd A64 explicitly allowing any city/county to ignore the intent and provisions of the amendment regarding commercial pot.


Imagine if the Civil Rights Act had a provision that would have allowed Southern Racist States to "opt out" if they wanted to continue to hate and discriminate.


A64 = Epic Political FAIL!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... too bad A64 explicitly declared that PUBLIC USE and consumption are NOT allowed, eh?



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

What people want is irrelevant unless they get involved in the political process and effect change.  In order for any public consumption of cannabis in Denver to become legal, both the General Assembly would have to act -- to undo the laws they just put in place.  It's not going to happen on its own.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Thanks for weighing in, Kev. We're going to make your post an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... there are already pot clubs in every town in America.


They're called High Schools.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... not just "technically" ... BUT ACTUALLY.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

I'm sure a lot of venues would be interested in converting if doing so was legal, Shmuley. Thanks for posting.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Shmuley Joseph "we need to start making it more part of out [sic] culture "


Why don't you stoners try making LITERACY more part of your culture?



fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay


Wow, talk about beating  a dead ass.  Do you ever get tired of crapping out the repetitive bullshit?


Stinky remains -- dumber than a frozen turd!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... The PEOPLE have SPOKEN ... by voting for the rancid turd A64, which explicitly denounces Public Use / Consumption, and explicitly declares that DUI-marijuana shall forever REMAIN ILLEGAL.


Obey the Will of THE VOTERS!



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay By all means, but insinuating that an obvious typographical error indicates illiteracy is disingenuous -- thy name is Disingenuous!

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay


and speaking of illiterate:


Typical brain dead donkey comment.



"Good think (sic) the Sgt. keep (sic) a throw-away piece..." May 15, 2014


Remember, the one you deleted in shame and embarrassment.


What  a chicken-shit little hypocrite you are stinky.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase


"Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all" 

-- Robert Chase 


"I do not believe that there will be any fallout for medical cannabis" 

-- Robert Chase


"There has been no fallout from having passed Amendment 64" 

-- Robert Chase

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@fishingblues @DonkeyHotay 

"Repetitive bullshit"?

We are ALL are living under THE "dead ass" (A64).  

 

The constitutional amendment has not changed--so yes, it will seem repetitive day after day, year after year, knowing you cannot smoke publicly.  

It will seem repetitive day after day, year after year, knowing you might have a blood draw from law enforcement...knowing if you consume daily you will fail at 10-100 times the (unscientific) nano limit for impairment.... and then rehab classes, drug testing etc. 

18-20 year olds will still lose student loans, job opportunities....

It will repeat for decades as none of these greedy pot businesses will fund another constitutional amendment to fix 64's intentional 'mistakes' (A64 cost approx. 4 million) to truly legalize for everyone.  

Day after day we will all have to 'wonder' when the law is gonna bust in...


And ignorant people will continue to give the pot shops lots more money that can and will be used against them.  And pay the taxes that are being used to enforce the 750 pages of pot laws now on the books in this "tax and regulate" world we live.


in 1975-CO had 3 pages of pot laws on the books and pot was straight up illegal


in 2005 CO had 9 pages of pot laws on the books and medical was supposedly 'legal' since 2000


in 2014 CO has 700 plus pages of pot laws on the books and non medical is supposedly legal and the AG explains in their Coats amicus that MEDICAL IS ILLEGAL.  

it's repetitive all-right--MORE PROHIBITIONISTS BULLSHIT LAWS that FEED the 1% and enslave the 99%. 


Enjoy! :)



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... so you'd deny that the typical stoners who post to these blogs don't suffer from an EXTREME English language grammar deficit ?



fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@KathleenChippi @fishingblues @DonkeyHotay


Well chippy, what you have said has import only to drug addicts, pot heads, dumb fucks and general ne'er do wells.


You don't honestly believe that normal people are like you and the donkey boy do you?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  You would deny that the Sun rose in the East if it suited your immediate purpose.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @fishingblues


I knew you would eventually try to deny it, you worthless piece of shit.


The donkey either is or acts like a spiteful, arrogant, petulant,snot-nosed, egotistical, spoiled, resentful, irascible, immature, punk ass teenager.  


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues ... keep lying, shitwipe.


You cower behind a closed profile, like the gutless maggot that you are.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase



"Amendment 64 will prevent ~10,000 arrests for cannabis annually in Colorado" 

-- Robert Chase

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@KathleenChippi 


Golly Alice, you sure figured me out.


I'm thinking you fall in the previously mentioned "dumb fucks" category. 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 


Wow stinky, why don't you post your personal information and maybe I'll follow suit.


Or are you simply a hypocrite?

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 


Stinky - the brave hero of the Westword blogs.  


What a fucking tool.  Everyone on here knows what a little punk you are stinky.  Quit pretending and accept your worthless life.  

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 


Well cheese dick, publish your name and address or shut the fuck up you hypocritical piece of shit.  


Now, identify the lie or be exposed for the gutless, sniveling, punk-ass shit-weasel that you are. 

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