Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Councilor Paige to Commissioner Lathen: 'Apologize' (Updated)

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Update, 1:55 p.m.: As stated in our previous report, Sean Paige is in want of a full apology from Amy Lathen. Here's an e-mail the City Councilor sent to the El Paso County Commissioner this afternoon:

Dear Amy:

Nowhere in my writings or statements have I said I support the complete legalization of marijuana, and you and I have never spoken on the issue, so you had no basis for making that claim in your Gazette column over the weekend. I do support respecting the rights granted medical marijuana patients under Amendment 20. I believe a dispensary ban is a roundabout way of denying those rights, and of negating Amendment 20, by limiting patient options and choking off supply. I believe the best (and the constitutional) way to move forward is regulating, monitoring and taxing medical marijuana. But I do not support full legalization — something that a modicum of research, or a quick phone call or email, would have verified.

I know this sort of misinformation has gotten wide circulation on the dispensary ban side, where accuracy, fact and truth count for little, but you're the first to get caught in the act. I expect a written correction and apology, in print, as soon as possible.

Sean Paige

Look for more from both parties in tomorrow's Independent.

— — —

Sept. 6, 8:05 a.m.:

El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen's opinion piece in yesterday's Gazette has stuck a nerve — several, actually.

In it, Lathen spells out why she thinks MMJ centers have proliferated throughout the state — the usual "no longer [will there] be any federal enforcement," etc. — and then this section:

The truth of what we face today is a debate over the legalization of marijuana. This dispensary issue is defined by money, not medicine. As admitted to repeatedly by the advocates of the dispensaries, the goal is legalized marijuana. Our Libertarian friends, like Jeff Wright in a letter to the editor on Aug. 31, Councilman Sean Paige and Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen believe in legalization of marijuana. I fully support their right to argue that position and it is a valid discussion to have, as long as we are honest about it.

Apparently Paige, or at least a user signing his name "Sean Paige," was not aware he believed that:

Commissioner Lathen struggles in this piece to coherently explain her own position on medical marijuana; I’d ask that she refrain from explaining mine.

Nowhere in my writings or statements have I said I support the complete legalization of marijuana, and the commissioner and I have never spoken on the issue, so she has no basis for saying that. It simply isn’t the case. ...

I expect a written correction and apology from the commissioner, in print, as soon as possible. Spreading lies is no way to start an "honest" debate.

Further, Tanya Garduno of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council writes in an e-mail that "Lathen's narrow-minded interpretation of our Colorado Constitution simply shows that this elected official is not a leader for our community but someone after their own political agenda.

"She also chose to attack some of our more educated leaders on this issue and she has never even spoken with them."

Calls to all parties will be made today and Tuesday — look for more in Thursday's Independent.

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