Manitou issues campaign salvos, Hickenlooper calls out medical marijuana 


This story was updated at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8, to correct an editing error related to gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunafon's party affiliation.

Cannabis campaigners

On the heels of last week's news that a Manitou Springs marijuana council is forthcoming, both sides of the recreational-marijuana political debate in Manitou Springs have mailed their salvos.

Says a letter from Keep Manitou Open: No on 2G, "We are not a town that is driven by fear or discrimination, nor do we stigmatize lifestyles that may differ from our own."

A mailer from the "No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs" group urges you to vote yes on 2G, because, as quoted by pictured campaign supporters: "Liberalizing the societal norms regarding drug use will only increase the use of illegal drugs among children. ..." and, "To me, this isn't an issue of whether or not marijuana should be legal; it is about protecting our kids. ..." and, "Being the first retail town in the area is not good for Manitou."

We contacted Yes on 2G member Tim Haas for comment and did not hear back by press time. Alan Delwiche, with Keep Manitou Open, says you just have to look at the evidence from the presence of local shop Maggie's Farm to gauge the harm.

"We have over 2½ months of track record, and there's been absolutely no problems, no traffic issues, very orderly," he says in an interview. "If you look at the clientele, they're just people like everybody. And they've been polite and respectful."

And if there are problems? "We are absolutely the first ones that will insist on shutting it down if there are problems," says Delwiche, "but at this point it has to be looked at as a success."

Who's your governor?

A recent debate between Gov. John Hickenlooper and challenger Bob Beauprez yielded a few interesting notes. First, both support tightening access to the medical-marijuana registry. "The challenge here is that a very small number of doctors are writing prescriptions for a large number of people," said Hickenlooper. Beauprez agreed: "It's being abused, and it's being abused intentionally." The hope is that those using MMJ without a medical need would be pushed into RMJ and all its (much higher) taxes.

Second, a Denver Post reporter asked Hickenlooper, a former brewer, if his opposition to pot wasn't a bit hypocritical. "Some of the marijuana people think I'm being hypocritical," he sort of answered. "I argue just the opposite." He then talked about alcohol regulations.

Those frustrated at the lack of exposure for third-party candidates, like independent Mike Dunafon, can catch them at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Infinity Park Events Center Ballroom (4400 E. Kentucky Ave., Glendale, infinityparkatglendale.com). Dunafon, who recently released a cannabis-themed music video with Wyclef Jean, will debate Harry Hempy and Matthew Hess at an event moderated by Public Enemy's Professor Griff. It will also be streamed at freeandequal.org.


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