Marijuana: Lakewood bans pot businesses, but voters could allow retail shops

Lakewood has become the latest city in Colorado to ban cannabis businesses. But voters will decide in November if retail marijuana shops should be allowed.

See also: Marijuana: Littleton City Council takes step toward banning retail pot businesses

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Hickenlooper leading Beauprez by 6 percent in one poll, behind him by 1 percent in another

Categories: Media, Politics
John Hickenlooper on his inauguration day.
Those who feel political polls conducted long before an election frequently have very little news value can point to two new pieces of evidence to bolster their argument.

Yesterday, media organizations ballyhooed a poll showing that Governor John Hickenlooper leads Republican challenger Bob Beauprez by a surprisingly large 6 percent margin. Today, they're doing the same in regard to a survey showing Beauprez ahead by 1 percent.

See also: Ex-NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg implies Pueblo and Colorado Springs don't have roads

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Inside Initiative 121, an industry-friendly measure to punish fracking-free zones

A screen capture from the anti-fracking documentary "Dear Governor Hickenlooper."
If a Colorado county or district does not allow gas or oil production within its jurisdiction, should it be given tax revenue produced in other areas of the state that allow these companies? No, says initiative 121, an industry-driven proposal that's one of several measures focusing on fracking that could wind up on the November 4 ballot, as outlined in our current cover story, "Frack Attack."

See also: Frackers and their critics argue over proposed study of industry's health risks

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James Holmes case: Death penalty foe Bob Autobee's letter to victims stirs controversy

Bob Autobee facing reporters after Edward Montour's guilty plea.
Does the father of a victim in one death-penalty case have the right to contact family members in another capital case? And, under Colorado law, do prosecutors have any obligation to facilitate that conversation -- even if the discussion isn't going to help their cause?

The questions are key to a new controversy in the case of accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes.

See also: James Holmes's attorneys say prosecutors are discouraging victims from talking to them

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Initiative 68 and a new movie screening here promote the no-kill pet movement

Categories: Politics

Photo from
What if shelters could adopt out 90 percent of their animals they care instead of putting them down? That's the goal of Initiative 68, a proposal known as "Restrictions on Pet Animal Euthanasia" that would raise the resources necessary to help shelters reach that goal. If 68 makes it to the ballot and passes, Colorado would become the first official no-kill state in the country.

See also: Inside Initiative 75: Right to local self-government -- and to say no to fracking

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Ex-NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg implies Pueblo and Colorado Springs don't have roads
Photo by Johnny Molfetta
Michael Bloomberg during a 2010 appearance in Denver.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a big fan of gun-control measures passed in Colorado following the Aurora theater shooting. But he just handed opponents of the laws an easy way to dismiss him as an out-of-touch elitist unfamiliar with the West. To whit: In a just-published interview, Bloomberg implied that Colorado Springs and Pueblo are so rural they don't have roads.

See also: John Morse, Angelo Giron recalled: Celebrating conservatives, lamenting progressives

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Feds' pot policy sticks with prohibition despite Obama comments about risk, advocate says
A photo of a past DEA marijuana raid in Denver. Additional images and a document below.
Back in January, Marijuana Policy Project spokesman and Amendment 64 advocate Mason Tvert applauded comments by President Barack Obama in which he suggested that marijuana is not as risky as alcohol "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer."

Nonetheless, the new National Drug Control Strategy document for 2014 (see it below) reflects little or no softening of the feds' approach to pot. And that leaves Tvert feeling frustrated.

See also: Obama's belief that pot's less risky than alcohol (sort of) is refreshing, says Mason Tvert

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Video: Fractivists attack -- with a camera -- in Dear Governor Hickenlooper

Fractivist Shane Davis, narrator of the documentary "Dear Governor Hickenlooper." Video below.
This week's cover story, "Frack Attack!," explores the increasingly ambitious anti-fracking movement in Colorado, a state with plenty of oil and gas wells and plenty of people who want to shut 'em down. One sign of the movement's increasing sophistication is the production of a contentious new documentary, Dear Governor Hickenlooper, that's anything but a love letter to the gov. Former geologist Hickenlooper is, of course, a major defender of the state's gung-ho drilling activities -- and a major opponent of the fractivists' efforts to give local governments more authority over regulation of the wells in their midst.

See also: Colorado fracking activists get a nudge (and cash) from MoveOn

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Inside Initiative 75: Right to local self-government -- and to say no to fracking
An image from the Colorado Community Rights Network Facebook page.
August 4 is the deadline by which citizens-initiatives committees must turn in at least 86,105 valid signatures in order to get measures on the November ballot. There are at least a dozen proposals still in the works, and one of the hottest is Initiative 75, which would add local self-governing as an "inalienable right" to the Colorado Constitution.

What's it all about? Fracking, for one thing.

See also: Fracking linked to birth defects? Colorado study fuels debate

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Colorado contributes a horn dog and a sleazeball to America's Worst Politicians

Categories: Politics

Sheriff Terry Maketa, out of uniform -- but not out of character.
King George III was "a Tyrant...unfit to be the ruler of a free people," Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence 238 years ago last week. He had it right -- and ever since then, Americans have been calling out their leaders. "Tyrant" was just the start; we've moved on to crook (Nixon), liar (Clinton) and moron (Dubya). Whether or not you agree with the peanut gallery, there's no denying that such written assaults on public honchos are as American as baseball, apple pie and the iPhone.

So for last week's Independence Day, fifty writers and editors of the alternative press from across the land joined together to name 53 of America's Worst Politicians, separating them into five categories: hatemongers, sleazeballs, blowhards, users and boozers, and horn dogs. Leading the pack in that last category? Embattled El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa, who allegedly had sex with not one, not two, but at least three underlings.

See also: A Guide to the Worst Politicians in America

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