Colo. Town Debates All But Ignoring Marijuana Law

Colo. Town Debates All But Ignoring Marijuana Law
Posted by CN Staff on September 24, 2005 at 07:10:37 PT
By Scott Gold
Source: Boston Globe 
Telluride, Colo. -- Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, home to moneyed hippies, artists, and nature buffs, Telluride is a live-and-let-live kind of town. A sign assures visitors that they are in a ''civil liberties safe zone."The 15-mph speed limit, which applies in most of the town, is largely enforced by placing a police hat on the tip of a stick and perching it in the driver's seat of a squad car.
In the center of town is the Freebox, a collection of wooden bins where people swap bootleg concert tapes, alpine gear, and more, regulated only by the principles of karma.So perhaps it should come as no surprise that although Telluride cannot legalize marijuana, it may do the next closest thing: officially declare possession of pot for personal use to be the town's ''lowest law enforcement priority."In August, the Town Council voted 6 to 0 to put the issue on the Nov. 1 ballot. Residents will be asked whether to instruct town marshals, the local law enforcement, to make the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of marijuana possession their lowest priority. The proposal applies only to the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by people 18 or older.Several cities already have what proponents term sensible marijuana ordinances, most notably Seattle, where voters in 2003 approved an initiative to make the possession of small amounts of marijuana law enforcement's lowest priority.Still, Telluride's vote will be closely watched, specialists said, because it is the first marijuana ballot proposal since the Supreme Court ruled in June that the federal government could enforce its zero-tolerance policy on marijuana, even in the 10 states that permit its use for medical purposes. Colorado is among those states; the others are Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.Allen F. St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the fact that the Supreme Court did not strike down the state laws seemed to suggest ''concern by justices about thwarting local control, local values."People who favor relaxing marijuana laws -- many of whom believe the government wastes public resources by targeting low-level drug offenders -- hope Telluride sets a national example, St. Pierre said.''The great disconnect at the policy level is here in Washington, D.C.," he said. ''Congress is frozen in a sort of reefer madness that states and localities are not."But Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, said the agenda behind local initiatives ''clearly is the legalization of drugs."''They have made it very clear that they are going to keep pushing," Fay said.Her argument has gained more traction here recently than it might have a few years ago. A famously fun-loving town with a year-round population of about 2,000 and an in-season population close to 10,000, Telluride has become a ritzy resort in recent years and is peppered with log cabin mansions and swanky restaurants that require reservations, even if you can still wear flip-flops or the T-shirt you hiked in all day.But the town's newer arrivals have tempered its freewheeling ways. ''Telluride is really in transition," Chief Marshal Mary Heller said.J. Michael Dorsey, who served in several high-profile federal government posts before he retired, moved to town a year ago. He was the assistant secretary for public and Indian housing during the Reagan administration and sat on the national drug policy board, and he has become a leading critic of the Telluride proposal.Dorsey said the proposal was misguided, partly because voters should not establish law enforcement priorities. He also objected to a second portion of the initiative, which would declare that Telluride would approve if Colorado decided to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana use.That would ''tell people in town that we think marijuana should be legal, and it will tell people who visit that we think marijuana should be legal," he said. ''I think that's the wrong message to give to families in town, and I think it's the wrong message to give to families who are coming here."To supporters, the proposal reflects the ethos here. Much of the town seems to celebrate the fact that the word ''high" can refer both to its lung-clenching altitude -- it sits 8,750 feet above sea level -- and to the heady smoke that wafts intermittently through town.One bustling restaurant is called Baked in Telluride; a popular T-shirt reads, ''Honey, I think the whole town is high."''In Telluride, we tend to respect an adult's right to make decisions for themselves, within reason," said resident Ernest Eich, 30, a leading backer of the proposal. ''I think this has a very good chance."Eich said that with fewer marshals in town -- three of the department's 10 positions are vacant -- those on patrol should pursue crimes that people find more worrisome than marijuana possession.Heller, the chief marshal, said the initiative wouldn't have much practical impact. Marijuana possession, she said, typically is charged only as a secondary offense, such as when an officer pulls someone over on suspicion of drunken driving and happens to find a bag of pot.Even then it is treated under Colorado law as a petty offense, similar to a traffic citation.Note: Ballot measure would assign lowest priority.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author: Scott Gold, Los Angeles TimesPublished: September 24, 2005Copyright: 2005 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Colorado Considering 'Sensible' Pot Ordinance Pot Push Bypasses Aspen for Telluride 
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on September 26, 2005 at 07:39:29 PT
Another one by Gold,
US CO: Laid-Back Pot Policy on Ballot Sun, 25 Sep 2005
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)Author: Scott Gold, Los Angeles TimesLAID-BACK POT POLICY ON BALLOT Telluride Residents to Vote on Proposal to Make Marijuana Arrests Low-Priority TELLURIDE, Colo. -- Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, home to moneyed hippies, artists and nature buffs, Telluride is a live-and-let-live kind of town. A sign assures visitors that they are in a "civil liberties safe zone." 
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Comment #9 posted by paulpeterson on September 25, 2005 at 16:26:24 PT:
This cop's reaction fits cognitive dissonance
Here is the visual paradigm: a group of angry peasants mobs the Frankensteinian castle doors. After the loud clang of the doorbell (you know, the knocker type with Jacob Marley's ghost tastefully embossed, etc.) the mob enters the city council chambers, pitchforks and torches in arms (clapboard signs with hastelly penned slogans announcing citizen initiatives for change, placcards hoisted by stapled lath, some wet, bent, folded, mutilated from years of using the same epithets), at least that is how the city fathers see it.OK, so you get your time at the podium, people clap, the odd numbered number of city fathers with dainty black on white name placcards (the printing varies, based on how long they have survived the vagaries of the voting booth), plastic, some t-boned out on the desk with little clips to ensure proper posture, others with that optional lapel jab, twist and keeps in place, but always with that slight tilt, your mother could have done better. You see, the last 6 lines were meant to give you an idea of just how well those guys were listening up there, because of all the vitriol, verve and static there is pent-up in this issue from so many years of negativity. They didn't really hear a thing.They just look over to the constable, the police, the town crier, that has the job specifically of reassuring the townspeople of reassureance. "Its teen O-clook and all's well" comes to mind. They ask the guy, who's job is to ensure constancy, "what do you think?" with all the added lighting dancing on the reflection of the best media of the day hence (think torch-light or halogen 10 O-clock wrapup I've got 5 minutes to get this sound bite bound-bit and bumbling downtown for the first slice).The police are always going to knee-jerk down and drag out going to revert to their long ago funding related buzzword sorry assed tired and so long forgotten truisms like the good one here: CITIZENS CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. He forgot the very underpinnings of the democratic process. He has forgotten that the very foundation of the town hall system was the town hall (think that Frankensteinish facadish thing from above-the cop looks at citizen input as a negative, precisely because that is the only slant and style he ever gets it in-some fear gets the cameras in the first place-then the media's attitude and treatment AT JUST THE MOST PIVOTAL TIME IN THE PLACEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEA, ensures both the negative reaction to change and the negativity of having to see the official reaction being, by definition, negative as a result.In other words, people, MAKE YOUR EFFORTS WORK. Present ideas to the police, directly, preferably to the chief of police, that way the idea imparted doesn't wither for fear of the chief thinking that someone listened to new ideas and all (the chief, himself, doesn't have to fear that fear, does he?). DO THIS EXACTLY when there IS NO PRESS, no cameras, no extra scrutiny, no buildup of anxiety.Use the fear factor to your advantage. Pretend to be the leader of a great army that is massed at the gates of the city. Ask for permission to enter and ensure that you do not wish to destabilize the community. Pledge support for valid law enforcement goals. Ask for discussion about these very things. Announce that you will be having a town meeting to discuss these very things. Churches have good zones of First Amendment auras, where you are assured that NO POLICE GUYS WILL SHOW UP, of course. That just assures you that the police WILL NEVER KNOW THAT ALMOST NOBODY CAME!Then the visual metaphor is of a leader that gets things done, because the chief of police will then refer your ideas, well-outlined on paper, and all, to the corporation counsel of your own village, and if your song hits the charts the girls will tear you apart (once it starts to move as a trend).I mean, In Illinois the police are the guys that I have prepped, primed and set up the entire lighting array for: We got profiles all hand-picked, everybody got their own slant in, the guys knew the reporter would be calling, they knew their lines. October, 2004, Pioneer Press, it was impressive: The first five I worked on in the Northern tier.Now, the standard model for press about decriminalization in Illinois GIVES THE POLICE THE PLACE OF INITIATIVE. They can state negatives like: this ordninance doesn't mean decriminalization, it is only effective enforcement" but it still means they have supported a change that has the same effect! Now four volleys of press have occured, North, metro (about the Northern armies), metro (about Chicago attempts) and now South (about the 5 new recruits in the Southern armies). Each time the reporter goes and gets hisself some top cops and asks them about their slant, after they has already talked it all out and got their lines straight.Also remember: ALWAYS GIVE YOUR FRIENDS SUGGESTED LINES. That way, even if they don't ever get to or actually use your lines, at least they don't get sweaty palms when the torches come, eh? Over and out. Just keep your visual metaphors clear and positive. Paul Peterson, from within rebel held zone.
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on September 25, 2005 at 05:10:38 PT
reach higher and higher 
To understand where the cannabis prohibitionists mind is, let's examine where the good person's mind is, -to track the Pro's failure..."The supreme value of human life consists in growth of values, progress in meanings, and realization of the cosmic interrelatedness of both of these experiences. And such an experience is the equivalent of God-consciousness. Such a mortal, while not supernatural, is truly becoming superhuman; an immortal soul is evolving." Urantia paper 100 end of section 3."higher and higher levels of human experience."What We gain by being righteous is cosmic... What You do not have if You are not righteous is cosmic (and when You don't have it, it can show.Cannabis prohibionists display lack of cosmic understanding. Their mind might as well be in their butt.You don't grow cosmically if You poop on one another.It is not just that cannabis prohibitionists are scummy of mind;It is that the extent of their shortcomings is cosmic.Their war on the tree of life effects cosmic realities.And they know it; it is their manuever to stop cannabis from exposing further cosmic realities.Cosmic realities in the hands of the ordinary man is threatening to those who kill to hoard it.THCU 
The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #7 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 25, 2005 at 04:50:19 PT
Voters Shouldn't Set Police Priorities?
Since when? The "voters" are your boss Mr Policeman. You hate us for getting high, you think we should be punished for getting high, and yes we think marijuana should be legal and we are working to change your HATE law. There should be a law against hate laws.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on September 25, 2005 at 04:10:49 PT
Caging humans for using plant cannabis = evil.
I have faith, Telluride families will pass this reasonable legislation.Cannabis prohibition, extermination and persecution is more harmful for My family than cannabis.J. Michael Dorsey & Calvina Fay, is harmful to My family.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on September 24, 2005 at 23:30:25 PT
Yes, Shishaldin, the fascist ex-Reagan bureaucrat's statement jumped out at me also. This guy is a perfect example of how the drug laws are nothing less than a cultural war.These people in Telluride are excellent athletes - do you know how much stamina it takes to do backcountry telemark skiing? Their culture is to enjoy the herb, head up to the mountains, listen to reggae, etc. Meanwhile, Reagan-boy and his pals are down in town playing slot machines and downing shots of liquor. They just can't handle the fact that the mountain people are having more fun.
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Comment #4 posted by Shishaldin on September 24, 2005 at 23:11:08 PT
thanks RZ
for the link on chemtrails. My buddy and I know we saw some here in Santa Cruz, CA last year. None this year, yet...
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Comment #3 posted by Shishaldin on September 24, 2005 at 23:08:32 PT
voters SHOULD NOT...
"Dorsey said the proposal was misguided, partly because voters should not establish law enforcement priorities."Did anybody else see this? If it's not the voters (taxpayers paying their salaries) who set law enforcement priorities, JUST WHO DOES, AND UNDER WHAT AUTHORITY?
Follow the money, folks...Peace and Strength,Shishaldin
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Comment #2 posted by siege on September 24, 2005 at 11:23:35 PT
off and on T 
majority leader Dr. bill first:
 This man is a want to be ''president'' from Tn. let's make him a president of a CAGE or Prison Cell like he dose the people that he works for. They did Martha Stewart for just ''Stocks'' this mans father and brother own the company, that he sold the stock in... If that is not in side what is. just watch and see what they do to him IF any thing!!!! BUSH is not out to get him.
COVER UP. And has voted against  MMJ every time it come up and said there is not enough to work with on this and said there to many bad thing's in it, and I said to him that congress made it a medicine back in 1937 and 1938 and he said that was out dated. So I guss the Constitution is just an act of fraud!!The fundamental law of the United States, framed in 1787, ratified in 1789, and variously amended since then.
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Comment #1 posted by Richard Zuckerman on September 24, 2005 at 09:20:57 PT:
Thank you, Colorado people, for thinking outside the federal box!!The federal government not only want to control our drug use thru laws. They want to create chaos. Nikola Tesla designed a device which can cause an earthquake and hurricane, known as "scalar energy"! The United Nations has a law on its books which prohibits one Nation from using environmental and weather manipulation weapons and technology against another Nation. Please read the articles entitled "Can Hurricanes Be Used As WMD", by Michael Shore, and "Electronic weather control: Why it doesn't rain much anymore", by Gaylon Ross, from THE FREE PRESS newsletter, P.O. Box 2303, Kerrville, Texas, 78029-2303, (Fax)(830) 896-7374, freepres, their September 16, 2005, issue, pages 2-4; the book on this from the Militia of Montana website; the recent article about pending U.S. Senate Bill 517, "The Weather Modification Research and Technology Transfer Act," from, entitled "-WEATHER AS WEAPON DEPARTMENT-Weather Modification a Long-Established, Though Secretive, Reality"; the article entitled "CHEMTRAILS OUT OF THE CLOSET?", By William Thomas,, about the U.S. Government's ongoing "CHEMTRAILS" program to dump Aluminum and Barium into our air for weather manipulation (or whetever other reason??)?While you people are at it, you might want to read the article in same issue of THE FREE PRESS, at pages 6-8, entitled "Peak Oil, Pandemic, and 78 Dead Scientists", by Michael Nield, about their population control plans utilizing planned chaos (Henry Kissinger) and the mysterious deaths of 78 high level scientists who could have shed light on the source of microbial epidemics, some soon to arrive here in the U.S. of A. Thank you Americans for voting for Republicrappers and Democruds!!While you are at it, please call Congress at the toll free telephone number, (877) 762-8762, and ask your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to oppose U.S. Senate Bill 517, because you don't want to be human experiments and don't want the government to manipulate the weather, and to oppose U.S. Senate Bill 975, the BIOSHIELD BILL, which would give the pharmaceutical companies absolute immunity from lawsuits? While you are on the telephone with them, please ask them to read "Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States",, and support the decriminaliation of Marijuana, for medicine, to fuel our automobiles,, for recreational use?You will not be told about the aforementioned because the U.S. Government manipulates major media and the schools. See, e.g.,;; One such government media manipulation plan is entitled "Operation Mockingbird." Type "Operation Mockingbird" into any search engine and read the article by Prison Planet?If we do not get off the obsession with sports and recreation, and pay attention to politics, we will continue to be in some REAL TROUBLE!!After the Highland Park Public Library,, refused to stock their library shelves with my books authored by Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Dr. Thomas S. Szasz, and anti-government books, they implemented a "policy" of a 3 minute time limit on the public pay telephone, even when nobody is waiting to use the phone. I stayed on longer, told the Library Direct nobody was waiting to use the phone and to call the police if she does not like it. 3 Highland Park policemen subsequently arrested me and concocted a "disorderly conduct" charge. I was convicted of the "disorderly conduct." My civil rights lawsuit was dismissed because of the conviction. I am now on appeal and am asserting that Bembenek v. Donohoo, 355 F.Supp.2d 942, 948-950 (E.D. Wisc. January 28, 2005), headnotes 4-6, warrants reversal. ONE VERY GOOD RETALIATION CASE I WOULD LIKE YOU PEOPLE TO READ IS: Estate Of Brian Patrick Morris v. Dapolito, 297 F.Supp.2d 680 (S.D.N.Y. 2004), in which a popular 10th grade High School wrestler jumped in front of a Long Island Railroad train, committed suicide, because the police and educators threatened him with suspension and loss of his college scholarship, his former girlfriend spread a rumor that he had raped her, obstructing his criminal assault complaint against a teacher to be processed. Senior District Judge William C. Connor properly held that the cover-up by police and educators constituted unlawful Retaliation in violation of his First Amendment Right of access to the courts.Without people like those in Colorado, the feds will walk all over us!!Richard Paul Zuckerman, Box 159, Metuchen, N.J., 08840-0159, richardzuckerman2002 
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