Editor's Note: Robert Corry played a prominent and central role in the Colorado marijuana legalization movement. The University of Colorado graduate and Stanford-trained attorney helped draft groundbreaking Amendment 64 to the 2012 Colorado statewide ballot, which enabled the production and retail sale of recreational pots. Corry also designed and implemented the pharmacy framework for patients and caregivers under Amendment 20, enacted by state voters in 2000, to allow the medicinal use of marijuana. As a trial attorney, he represented hundreds of clients accused of marijuana-related crimes and sued cases and administrative actions related to the implementation of Amendment 64. But almost a decade after electoral approval of his handicraft, he is now professing deeper Disappointment and widespread regret. In today's perspective, he's making a searing charge against the outcome of the legalization. He criticizes the "crony" capitalism of the legal marijuana industry and its cozy relationship with the government. He goes on to say, "I wish I could be proud of what we made, but I am not. The result of 64 is shameful, hurts people, and Colorado is not" safer. "
We started with the best of intentions. Colorado Amendment 64, which I helped draft, made three promises:
• End the marijuana ban; legalize it; Protection of individual rights to growth and expansion on a personal level; Focus limited police resources on real crime with actual victims.
• Create a system for free businesses that is taxed and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol for commercial sale, to allow for real competition and innovation by high-class business people.
• Regulate industrial hemp as an agricultural product different from the psychoactive drug. To be legally considered as hemp, plants and finished products must adhere to a strict upper limit of 0.3% or less delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC"), the psychoactive ingredient.
Based on these three promises, Colorado voters passed 64, the "Alcohol-Marijuana Compensation Initiative." The campaign focused on what is "safer", marijuana or alcohol. SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) was the name of the primary advocacy group behind 64.
I helped write Amendment 64, negotiated numerous pre- and post-64 cases to make it a reality, and also helped shape implementing rules at the state and local levels.
I wish I could be proud of what we made, but I am not. The result of 64 is shameful, hurts the people, and Colorado is no "safer".
I have consistently advocated legalization, an end to the ban on marijuana, and an end to the prosecution of marijuana crimes over the years.
What I have changed my mind – using the current reality, which I was too naive to expect 10 years ago – is the wisdom of a commercialized, for-profit, elitist, government-protected, privileged, monopoly industry that defends itself and its obscene Profits immortalized. to the detriment of the common good and planet earth.
Amendment 64's safety valve for irresponsible industry should be individual freedom. An adult could produce and distribute personal quantities and help other adults in the process. A model similar to Amendment 20 that was passed in 2000 for medical marijuana patients. A majority of voters would never have supported a commercialized, for-profit, mass production industry without also enabling people to have our own little personal gardens. This aspect of the individual rights of Amendment 64 ensured critical acceptance of the longstanding marijuana reform movement. The medical marijuana patients and pharmacies that I helped shape and legally represent would not have supported 64 without them, and our opposition would have failed because we could have cast 5% of the vote, which was the profit margin.
The first two promises of Amendment 64 have not been kept. The marijuana ban continues. In fact, following the passage of 64, the legislature increased criminal penalties for cultivation and spreading. As always, the targets of this law enforcement are usually the poor, racial minorities, or new immigrants. The marijuana industry cynically cheers this suppressive criminal prosecution of unlicensed individuals for a dozen or so plants as this industry grows many thousands.
There is no real free enterprise in this regulated industry, but a small oligopoly of crony capitalists who are granted privileged government licenses. Licenses are limited and a new entry is next to impossible. Extreme regulations are drawn up and supported by the big players and these big players benefit from smaller competitors. Regulators step through an unbridled revolving door on a daily basis between government and industry that they supposedly regulate. There is no real competition. The industry uses its centrally planned regulatory system to set inflated prices, and the government lowers extreme taxes to levels that are not imposed on any other product. Regressive prices damage the poor disproportionately. And the quality of this overpriced commercial product is terrible and harmful to adults and children alike. No wonder we still grow it ourselves, even though that's still a crime.
Only industrial hemp is regulated, as promised in Amendment 64.
A bill could bring Colorado closer to the unfulfilled promises of Amendment 64. Rep. Yadira Caraveo is a pediatrician worried about documented horror stories causing real harm to children of Colorado's new hyperpotent marijuana. Preliminary draft legislation by Dr. Caraveo contain numerous sensible measures, including regulating the effectiveness of commercial marijuana products, to make Colorado "safer". The bill is a very humble first step.
But the pot lobby threw a tantrum against Dr. Caraveo's moderate proposal.
Inmates operate Colorado's marijuana asylum. Amendment 64 created a corporate lobby that is far beyond its weight. To demonstrate the industry's unjustified political influence during a pandemic, the governor and mayor of Denver deemed marijuana stores "essential" while schools, churches, gyms, and most other non-large stores were closed. Therefore, it was not "essential" to raise our children – our future – but it was "essential" to maintain these children 's access to highly effective corporate marijuana. And they are sure to access it.
The pot lobby has cleverly cultivated a picture of hip social responsibility. But under the hipster beards and effete skinny jeans lurk old-fashioned corporate greed, the search for retirement and regressive oppression of the poor. The creep that lawmakers and officials give the executive to this criminal cabal is puzzling.
Especially with supposedly “progressive” legislation. This industry is genetically altering plants to a level that makes Monsanto blush, pollutes our planet with chemicals and wasteful farming systems, harms the poor and children, is dominated by the rich and privileged, and proclaims their brilliance on a disgusting level.
Pot lobbyists are well paid to spread the lie that potency regulation would "destroy" the industry. However, the thousands of licensed hemp farmers in Colorado somehow manage to keep millions of hemp plants and tons of harvested products below the 0.3% THC limit. If a hemp plant exceeds 0.3%, it will be destroyed. And Colorado is the leader in industrial hemp production in the United States. Our dynamic hemp industry is thriving despite strict limits on THC levels.
Cannabis naturally grown outdoors under the sun contains around 5.0% THC, as God intended. Natural organic marijuana can promote gentle relaxation, happiness, or creativity. It can be a miracle to a sick or dying patient. Cannabis has been used as a medicine and spiritual sacrament for thousands of years before human history was recorded.
But humanity can corrupt divine creation. To genetically modify high levels of THC, businesses are growing indoors in huge, soccer field-sized warehouses. The producers of this GMO eliminate the natural pollination process of the plant and clone mutated female plants as inbreeding and thus weaker and more susceptible. Duplicating sunlight requires large artificial light sources that emit extremely hot temperatures and consume enormous amounts of energy. Growers “trick” the mutated plants into overflowing by artificially changing the time of day or growing seasons indoors. Huge rows of air conditioners run day and night to cool indoor crops and strain power grids. Large air fans also need to keep moist air moving inside. Genetically modified houseplants are also more susceptible to environmental pests such as powdery mildew, black mold, spider mites or others that feed on the houseplants in the controlled environment without natural predators. To kill insects, growers soak the plants with chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. The toxic carcinogens are absorbed by the consumer or flow directly into the scarce water in Colorado.
Proportionally, corporate marijuana is Colorado's worst polluter. It pumps chemicals and carbon greenhouse gases into our air, uses tons of energy, harms our climate, pollutes our drinking water and ruins our environment. It literally and figuratively stinks. Most of the foul-smelling warehouses are next to a poor or minority neighborhood whose children grow up on the smell of the skunky chemical stench. None of this is necessary; Marijuana should be grown outdoors, but then it would be more difficult and expensive to artificially inflate THC potency.
And that's just the actual plant flower. If companies manipulate it further to produce concentrates or food, even more toxic chemicals, more power and energy, more runoff will be used to increase THC levels in wax, oil, chips or food.
In 2016, I filed a class action lawsuit against one of the largest marijuana companies in Colorado that was caught on its marijuana plants with the infamous Eagle-20 fungicide. Eagle-20 is designed for outdoor ornamental plants only; H. For outdoor flowers that you are just looking at, not for plants that are consumed by humans, and definitely not for enclosed indoor environments. Eagle-20 contains myclobutanil, a chemical that when heated converts to hydrogen cyanide, a deadly gas. The effects of this terrible gas are even more pronounced when concentrated and placed in man-made plastic vape pens, which are easier to carry and harder to spot, to heat, “oil rigs” that resemble crack pipes.
The quality of this "marijuana versus steroid" is artificial and unattractive when the mind and taste buds are clear. The “high” is not a positive happiness high at all, but either a dead deafness or a frightening psychotic paranoia, especially with food or concentrates. Frequent users develop tolerance and eventually crave it. A constant customer base that leads to higher profits.
Those in the know say Colorado's mass-produced artificial marijuana is "good for tourists or teenagers," those who don't know any better. Colorado's best marijuana comes from organic home gardens that are grown with love and without chemicals, passed on to family and friends without compensation or to medical patients by caregivers who take care of them.
Big Marijuana cheers the prosecution of small personal gardens with the insincere mantra that the licensed are doing it "right". In fact, each of these licensed operators is a knowing federal criminal as well as all ancillary agents such as banks, lenders, investors or advertisers. Marijuana remains illegal, state-licensed, or not under federal law.
And this is perhaps the most damaging long-term harm from marijuana to the American people and our respect for the rule of law. State and local government support ongoing criminal businesses and even taxes and profits from them. And this undermines the consent of the governed, which is necessary for a civil and free society.
The metastasis of this nasty industry was enough to drive any legal thinker a little crazy, which was compounded by the use of the actual product. But there is nothing wrong with clearing their minds of chemical pollutants and then changing their minds when faced with undeniable facts that could not be fully foreseen when creating a brand new industry in 2012.
In addition to Dr. Caraveo's bill may not be as time consuming to solve as creating this industry whose foundations are shaky. A few clicks of the cracks in the system could topple the house of cards in Colorado and nationally.
Past Federal Measures Regarding Licensed '90s Game Book Marijuana; Search warrants, informants, eavesdropping devices, staking out, lengthy investigations, etc. But licensees made a deal with their devil; In exchange for the license, you consent to future searches of your premises or documents without any guarantee by any government official, including the federal government. State regulators are required to submit full license applications to all federal law enforcement agencies that request them. These applications contain numerous details about lenders and other notices.
An apolitical career DEA agent from Alabama might hear about someone from Colorado smuggling Colorado groceries into an Alabama concert, and the Colorado operators and those who do banking with them or newspapers advertising them in investigate who all provide “help and support” "Criminal activity. The Department of Justice Funds Act only limits law enforcement funding for legal medical marijuana, but recreational marijuana has no such protection. And the Department of Treasury Funds Act forbids it Finance department just punishing banks. It doesn't prohibit the judiciary from doing anything, and even allows the Treasury Department to access all bank records. Anyone who has invested in marijuana can get a subpoena from the Treasury Department or the DEA. There are many others built-in vulnerabilities in this marijuana mirage.
Perhaps the green monster should be less strict and respectful in the future, because his house is built on sand and urgently needs renovation.