The General Assembly (GA) of Colorado is at war with the People it supposedly represents. It just reinstituted all the felonies for cannabis and made some conduct involving it a Class 1 felony, like murder. The State has every intention of continuing to make felons of its citizens for exactly the same conduct it will license in dispensaries. No narcs are being fired or reassigned. The People of Colorado just declared in our Constitution that cannabis "should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol", and the gravest offense under the Liquor Code is a misdemeanor, but it may require another constitutional amendment to compel our government to take heed.
On another front, the idiots in the General Assembly also failed to send voters the excise tax we authorized last November; instead, they referred an initiative trying to grab an extra 15% (misrepresented as 10%) sales tax surcharge on top of the 15% excise. Not only are they denying voters the right to vote up or down the tax we did authorize, the surcharge is grossly excessive and wholly unjustified. Not to be outdone, Denver's City Council also wants to be able to raise up to another 15% sales tax surcharge (but it wants people to think it's only asking for another 3.5%).
Consider that both State and local governments have realized large increases in tax revenue from sales taxes on medicinal cannabis -- facing the certitude of multiplied revenues from sales taxes on general retail sales of cannabis to adults, the State and Denver are demanding far, far more. Effective retail tax rates on cannabis could exceed 33% statewide and 53% in Denver, which are high enough to provide robust support for the black market (which suits the Establishment fine, since they still want to keep arresting people for cannabis). The GA's proposed taxes are high enough to undercut the purpose of Amendment 64 that regulated trade supplant illicit commerce, and the sales tax surcharges will cut into the excise supposed to support school construction. Why not see how the General Assembly and Denver spend all the money they are going to make from existing sales taxes when they are applied to general retail sales first, before contemplating new, exorbitant, and extra-constitutional taxes? The Constitution directs the General Assembly to enact the excise by January 1, 2017; they failed to do so this year. While they have plenty of time yet, perhaps the People should initiate a referendum to apply a 15% excise on cannabis themselves, since the General Assembly cannot be relied upon to follow the Law.
VOTE NO ON AA (statewide), VOTE NO ON 2A (in Denver)!
The liars who claim that legal cannabis is a threat to public safety are themselves a threat to American Liberty -- generations of traitors to our founding ideals made and continue to sustain Prohibition. Those who turned the supposed "land of the free" into the world's leading jailer should be beyond the protection of our laws. They have done far more harm to our country than any other terrorists. How riddled with fascism must Colorado Springs be to elect the likes of Doug Lamborn, Dan May, and Steve Bach?
The sale and taxation of cannabis is a sideshow -- the main issue should be that the General Assembly completely failed to revise the criminal code to reflect the fact that the People Of Colorado just declared that cannabis "should be regulated like alcohol". Violating the Liquor Code (Title 12, Article 47 of the C.R.S.) is a misdemeanor, not the Class 5, Class 4, Class 3, amd even Class 2 felonies for conduct involving cannabis. While supposed activists obsessed about vertical integration and retail sales, the bill supposed to implement the criminal law recommendations of the A64 Task Force (SB13-283) was characterized as the consensus of the Task Force, amd only I testified against it when it first was heard in committee. That bill re-stated all the felonies for cannabis already in Title 18, Article 18 of the C.R.S. -- now, the bill just kicks the issue back to the ineffectual CCJJ for "study". Colorado is charging ahead to license the cultivation, distribution and sales of cannabis by next January while continuing to make felons of its citizens for those same activities, with no plans to stop! Every felony statute against cannabis remains on the books, though police, judges, and most especially, jurors should put a halt to all prosecutions for cannabis until and unless the General Assembly heeds the Constitution and removes felony penalties for cannabis from the Colorado Revised Statutes.
It's not warrants that need to be executed.
America's fascist legislators, police, district attorneys, and judges pose more of a threat to our lives and liberties than all common criminals many times over. These traitors are responsible for turning the "land of the free" into the world's leading jailer -- the United States is the least free country on Earth, if by "free" one means living free of a cell! How can the People of El Paso County elect or appoint rabid animals like Dan May and Peter Carey to prey upon them? Patriots would not suffer the outrages against the Bill of Rights which our criminal injustice system commits every hour of every day. Tell every single remaining citizen that they can vote their consciense if selected for a jury!
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) has a record of violating the law in its maladministration of the medical cannabis program, and of being repeatedly slapped down by the District Court for doing so. The CDPHE deliberately flouts the express intent of Article XVIII, Section 14 of our Constitution that cannabis be available as medicine to patients upon recommendation of a physician. The Department reflects the willful ignorance and incuriosity of Colorado's hidebound medical establishment, much of which is precluded from recommending cannabis to patients anyway.
From what we have seen of the operation of the CDPHE, there is ample reason to be concerned for its provision for the public health in general. One of the hearings at the Department had flu vaccination policy on the agenda along with medical cannabis; it was interesting that the Department recommended against a uniform policy of vaccinating healthcare workers for the flu to the Board of Health (BOH) in favor of "working with" each healthcare facility in the State to set its own policy. While not imposing a uniform State standard to prevent the transmission of flu by healthcare workers might please some workers or some owners, it is impossible to divine what possible benefit there could be to patients, or what would motivate the Department to want to engage in discourse with all the different healthcare facilities in the State about their vaccination policies -- the CDPHE did not feel even the need to provide an explanation to the BOH. Spokeman Mark Salley is responsible for the onus for the deaths caused by listeria on canteloupes falling on Rocky Ford and an expensive and long campaign to restore its commercial reputation. I regard the CDPHE as a public health emergency waiting to happen, but Colorado would not question its administration unless a plague carried off half the population, and maybe not even then.
"At 9:00AM on September 15th, 2011, a crowd of a few hundred kids walked out of their classes today [sic] in protest the [sic] numerous of the [sic] rule changes and teacher relocation’s [sic]. They started their protest across the street from Sierra, but was [sic] eventually moved to the school auditorium so they didn’t disturb the local residents." -- these kids could write for the Denver Post!
Tannim, I positively hate being put in the position of acting as apologist for Initiative 30, but you all force me to do so -- there is no basis for claiming that it "takes the worst of CA Prop 19" -- what nonsense! Unquestionably, the worst aspect of Proposition 19 was its setting of new, minimum sentences for tranferring cannabis to minors -- Initiative 30 creates no new crimes and sets no penalties. Political reality in Colorado (as opposed to California where the Regulate marijuana like Wine campaign is underway) is that every national drug policy reform organization and the ACLU are backing Initiative 30, which is past the halfway mark to collecting enough signatures to make the 2012 ballot. There is no indication yet that any alternative proposals will garner the financial support and endorsements needed to proceed (although Initiative 40 would be a good alternative). The Regulate Marijuana like Wine campaign bears striking similarities to Initiative 30 (especially in its emphasis on regulation), but it also seems to derive from Proposition 19 directly; the measure sets penalties for various crimes related to cannabis (see: http://regulatemarijuanalikewine.com/regul… Section 1 (2) and (5)). No (pro-cannabis) opponent of Initiative 30 is going to try to explain how a measure which eliminates several laws penalizing people for using cannabis (under which people are convicted every day) is bad for cannabis-users, because it cannot be done.
MMJ Colorado, unless the Colorado Supreme Court overturns unconstitutional provisions of SB10-109, HB10-1284, and HB11-1043, the prerogatives the People conferred on caregivers eleven years ago are a dead letter -- we have already lost the essence of the Medical Marijuana Amendment (Article XVIII, Section 14). As for your rhetorical questions, they are misdirected -- I support national activism to end Prohibition and recognize that Federal action is necessary. I termed as daft Mr. Stark's claim that passage of Initiative 30 would cause the SCOTUS to act (in some unspecified manner), and I explained my reasoning. So many people have not the slightest clue about the operation of our government -- legalizing cannabis here affects the operation of our State's criminal justice system, which is independent of the Federal one. Saying that the SCOTUS would have to act just betrays a monumental ignorance of its function and scope of action. If you fear Federal intervention, I suggest that you look ahead to the proposed licensure by the State of the cultivation and retail sale of cannabis -- that is certain to trigger Federal raids, in my judgment, but Federal raids have not put all of California's dispensaries out of business. Initiative 30 was drafted with the specific intent of appealing to the owners of MMCs; it gives them precedence in retailing cannabis (subject to local approval), so it is ironic that you oppose a measure which, if passed, would multiply your customer-base. I challenge you to come up with a coherent description of why it is that you imagine that passage would put MMCs "at risk of going out of business". Federal raids are coming in response to licensure -- but you apparently support HB10-1284, which committed the State to licensing activites in direct contravention of the Controlled Substances Act. In contradistinction, passage of Initiative 30 by a vote of the whole polity would not directly authorize retail sales or commercial cultivation of cannabis, so a Federal attack on MMCs as a result would seem very unlikely.
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