Cops To Marijuana Business Owners Torn On Amendment 64

Nov 1, 2012

Nuanced Mea­sure Sparks Debates Over Law-Enforcement Resources, Car­tels Locals from law enforce­ment to elected offi­cials to mar­i­juana busi­ness own­ers say they don’t know how to feel about a bal­lot mea­sure ask­ing vot­ers to legal­ize lim­ited amounts of cannabis and reg­u­late the drug “like alco­hol.” The statewide ques­tion would amend the Col­orado Con­sti­tu­tion to allow peo­ple over the age of 21 to con­sume and pos­sess mar­i­juana and pro­vide for the licens­ing of cul­ti­va­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ties as well as retail stores.  The mea­sure also directs state law­mak­ers to levy a tax on the sale of mar­i­juana, direct­ing the first $40 mil­lion in rev­enue gen­er­ated annu­ally to be directed to the pub­lic school cap­i­tal con­struc­tion assis­tance fund. But the nuanced pro­posal has wide-reaching impli­ca­tions rang­ing from law-enforcement issues to edu­ca­tion impacts, and many local offi­cials and busi­ness own­ers say they can see many sides of the issue. “Keep­ing it crim­i­nal at this point is prob­a­bly a waste of time,” Sum­mit County Sher­iff John Minor said.  “I have mixed feel­ings on this thing all the way around.” As do local med­ical mar­i­juana dis­pen­sary own­ers, who say they don’t know how the bal­lot mea­sure could impact their busi­nesses. “My answer, up until ( recently ) was, I don’t know what to wish for,” said Char­lie Williams, owner of Alpen­glow Botan­i­cals in Breck­en­ridge.  “I know I can live with what I’m doing and work in this frame­work.  If I have to change rad­i­cally, I don’t know what it’s going to cost.” Williams said he plans to vote against Amend­ment 64. Jerry Olson, owner Med­ical Mar­i­juana of the Rock­ies in Frisco, expressed sim­i­lar uncer­tainty about how the mea­sure would impact exist­ing mar­i­juana busi­nesses, but said he sup­ports the amend­ment. “I don’t know if it will be good or bad for my busi­ness and I really don’t care,” he said.  “We’re going to quit wast­ing our resources on cannabis and instead we’re going to make cannabis a resource.” Pro­po­nents of the amend­ment say legal­iz­ing and reg­u­lat­ing mar­i­juana would weaken a strong black mar­ket for the drug that feeds mil­lions of dol­lars to drug car­tels, elim­i­nate a sense­less drain on law-enforcement resources and limit young people’s access to mar­i­juana, while cre­at­ing a new tax rev­enue source. “Mar­i­juana pro­hi­bi­tion has failed,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Yes on 64 cam­paign.  “It’s been inef­fec­tive, waste­ful and it’s caused way more prob­lems than it’s solved.  It’s time for a new, more sen­si­ble approach.” Amend­ment 64 is pro­jected to save approx­i­mately $12 mil­lion in crim­i­nal jus­tice costs in its first year, accord­ing to an analy­sis from the Col­orado Cen­ter on Law and Pol­icy.  More than 10,000 peo­ple were arrested for mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion in 2010, accord­ing to an Octo­ber report from the Mar­i­juana Arrest Research Project. But oppo­nents of the legal­iza­tion amend­ment say the mea­sure would increase youth access to the drug and has no place in the state’s con­sti­tu­tion. “It effec­tively estab­lishes Col­orado as the mar­i­juana cap­i­tal of the United States,” Vote No cam­paign spokes­woman Laura Chapin said.  “There’s an inher­ent con­flict with fed­eral law …  it could drag us into a very long and expen­sive series of court bat­tles that, at least at this point, we prob­a­bly wouldn’t win.” Law-enforcement offi­cials are con­cerned that, rather than keep­ing Col­orado dol­lars out of the hands of car­tels, the mea­sure might attract the car­tels to Col­orado. “Put your­self in their shoes,” Minor said.  “Would you want to keep smug­gling tons of stuff across the bor­der or would you want to just go across the bor­der ( your­self )?” Oppo­nents have also indi­cated in the pos­si­ble logis­ti­cal prob­lems of keep­ing the drug inside Colorado’s bor­ders and reg­u­lat­ing an indus­try the bank­ing sec­tor won’t back due to fed­eral law. As an amend­ment to the Col­orado con­sti­tu­tion, it would take another con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment to revise 64 to address unex­pected prob­lems or to repeal it all together. Amend­ment 64 is one of three con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment pro­pos­als vot­ers will find on their bal­lots this year. Source: Sum­mit Daily News (CO) Copy­right: 2012 Sum­mit Daily News Con­tact: http://​apps​.sum​mit​daily​.com/​f​o​r​m​s​/​l​e​t​t​e​r​/​i​n​d​e​x​.​php Web­site: http://​www​.sum​mit​daily​.com/​h​o​m​e​.​php Author: Cad­die Nath

1132c4bd4clorado.jpg 150x115 Cops To Marijuana Business Owners Torn On Amendment 64

Con­tin­ued here:
Cops To Mar­i­juana Busi­ness Own­ers Torn On Amend­ment 64

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