Marijuana Initiative is All Smoke

  Marijuana Initiative is All Smoke

Posted by CN Staff on December 05, 2005 at 17:11:28 PT
By David Harsanyi, Denver Post Staff Columnist  
Source: Denver Post 

Colorado -- It was inevitable. Last month, Eric Footer, a real estate consultant, was pulled over for a traffic stop by Denver police. Soon enough, cops searched Footer's car and discovered a small amount of marijuana in his "vitamin bottle." When ticketed for possession, Footer became indignant. Hadn't Denver just passed a law that made possession of less than an of ounce marijuana legal? Well, no.
When Denver passed I-100 - the toothless pot initiative - Mason Tvert, director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and mastermind behind the campaign, should have warned voters that it was a feel-good exercise with no real-world impact. Sure, prosecutors and the mayor should recognize the futility of citing citizens for small possession of marijuana, but no one expects them to defy state law. To do so is nothing more than wishful thinking. And while there are a whole host of persuasive reasons to legalize personal marijuana use - property and privacy issues ... you've heard them from me before - the preposterous nature of SAFER's campaign (Geez, if my wife had only smoked that joint instead of drinking Merlot, I'd still have my two front teeth) should have been more than enough to delegitimize its efforts. Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, a group that advocates for "effective drug policy" - policy, which loosely translates to "Duuuude, who's got the Bugs Bunny bong?" - is one of Footer's lawyers. Vicente's cause is worthy. But instead of busying himself fighting for a free Colorado, he and the rest of Footer's legal team are now compelled to search for technicalities to help Footer avoid a $100 fine - not to mention, hand SAFER another hollow victory. On Jan. 18, Footer will be arraigned and, according to his lawyers, will formally plead not guilty. Footer's team will utilize a number of defenses, among them the "mistake of law" defense. Snipped:Complete Article: Denver Post (CO)Author:  David Harsanyi, Denver Post Staff Columnist Published: Monday, December 05, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The Denver Post Website: openforum denverpost.comRelated Articles & Web Sites:Safer Choice Colorado Says He'll Fight Marijuana Bust Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuana Is First City To Legalize Pot 

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Comment #16 posted by whig on January 18, 2006 at 13:41:06 PT
"When Denver passed I-100 - the toothless pot initiative - Mason Tvert, director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and mastermind behind the campaign, should have warned voters that it was a feel-good exercise with no real-world impact."In their face!
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on January 18, 2006 at 13:36:44 PT
Snipped Source: Denver Pot Charges Dropped 
By Amy Herdy, Denver Post Staff Writer  
 January 18, 2006   
A Denver man and his attorneys are declaring victory today for the new city ordinance allowing adults to possess less than an ounce of marijuana after the city attorney's office dropped charges against the man for having marijuana in his car. Eric Footer, 39, a real estate consultant charged last month, said he was happy the case is over and hopes it sends a message to others to fight prosecutions for marijuana possession. "I see it as a personal victory," Footer said, "but more than that, I see it as a victory for all the voters who voted on this initiative." In November, Denver voters approved a vote by a 54-46 margin making the adult private possession of less than an ounce of marijuana legal under city ordinances. It is still illegal under state and federal law. Assistant city attorney Greg Rawlings said he declined to prosecute not because of the controversy of a case that pitted a city ordinance versus a state law, but because the marijuana seized from Footer's car by police was not taken properly. "I couldn't find a real reason for there to be a search," said Rawlings, who noted he had other possession of marijuana cases he was continuing to prosecute. Complete Article:
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Comment #14 posted by runderwo on December 06, 2005 at 19:55:37 PT
defy the law
"Sure, prosecutors and the mayor should recognize the futility of citing citizens for small possession of marijuana, but no one expects them to defy state law."Excuse me? How is leaving the enforcement of state law up to state officials, as opposed to assisting them, equivalent to "defying" state law? That is a non sequitur.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on December 06, 2005 at 11:30:37 PT

Shishaldin and Dankhank
Thank you. I checked with my Firefox browser I have and it didn't play. It plays fine in IE though. I wonder why Firefox doesn't allow music to work. Someday it might get easier. My stats show only a few that don't use IE so I guess I will have to be happy that it works at least in IE. I am just having fun with my Christmas page. When the news is slow I try different things like music or videos. It's nice to learn something new.Check out the funny video that Potpal posted. I really laughed at how good this guy was.
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Comment #12 posted by Shishaldin on December 06, 2005 at 11:22:58 PT

midi file
Works with Internet Explorer 6, not with Firefox 1.5...
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Comment #11 posted by Dankhank on December 06, 2005 at 11:18:30 PT

went to the page, no music, nice page ...
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on December 06, 2005 at 10:30:39 PT

A Request
I have been trying to put a midi file on my Christmas page and it works for me but could someone check to see if it works for them. This isn't easy for me to figure out. Thanks in advance.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on December 06, 2005 at 07:24:08 PT

I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. Everyone should check out the funny video. Step bump step bump bump! LOL!
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Comment #8 posted by potpal on December 06, 2005 at 05:28:39 PT

Some humor...'s good medicine.
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Comment #7 posted by potpal on December 06, 2005 at 05:06:04 PT

Kap...democracy...the people vs their masters
Tell it like it is.Maybe a foreign superpower can invade us and force us to be democratic, overthrow the tyrannts and let the will of the people be our compass, help us rebuild our infrasructure, and root out the deep seated corruption that totalitarian states are noted for. Everyone plant a seed today.
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on December 06, 2005 at 05:04:42 PT:

Partially related: A biter gets bit
This link came from Libby's LastOneSpeaks: It would seem a hotshot Montana county assistant prosecutor has been treated to a less than pleasent 'sobriety checkpoint' by less than professional cops: prosecutor has health problems - nicotine addiction and neuropathy - and the symptoms caused by the latter of his maladies caused the police to use it as a specious rationale for an arrest. Needless to say, the county prosecutor is incensed at his treatment.Awwwwwww. Pooooor baaaaay-bee. In cases like his, I'm inclined to quote the C & W song's line about "My give-a-damn's busted!" It's guys like this that have turned the DrugWar hounds loose on the rest of the population, calling for ever more punitive penalties for illicit drug possession and use. Should he be surprised if, as it happened, those DrugWar dogs he and his kind have let go without leashes eventually gnaw on his leg? The offending officers make it quite clear they are contemptuous of his position, even after he identifies himself as a prosecutor. He's supposedly *on their side* and he gets treated like this. Gets treated like the very people he and his buddies made the laws to hurt.Welcome to the real world, Mr. Assistant Prosecutor...the world you created for the rest of us to live in but apparently thought you were immune from thanks to your lofty position. The laws you joyfully and profitably implement have turned around and snared you. Doesn't feel so great to be on the receiving end, does it? Not nice to see what happens when power-drunk cops forget they're civil servants and act like a bunch of Afghan warlords, is it?I love it when the biter gets bit.
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Comment #5 posted by whig on December 05, 2005 at 19:49:13 PT

Jim Lunsford
It's all according to plan, of course, and those who visit oppression and violence upon people have somehow forgotten that they cannot prevail. Yet they serve a purpose to teach us what we should not do.Fish don't carry guns.

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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on December 05, 2005 at 19:26:02 PT:

Clueless. Simply clueless
Contrary to what those like this 'journalist' think, an multi-level game is being played right now. The Initiative was but one of these subtle, multi-level moves. And the antis, true to their knuckledragging demeanors, have fallen for it again.Why do you think the public voted for something that was 'toothless'? Because it will only be 'toothless' until a major court case comes along which the public, in it's voting for the initiative which has led to this event, sets in motion the inevitable legal challenge. The legal challenge which could lead to the destruction of cannabis prohibition. What is taking place here is that the will of the people is meeting the will of their would-be masters...and the latter will learn in no uncertain terms that they are outnumbered. The antis have been able to dodge the court bullet by some extreme means, but they may find this impossible to dodge any longer. For it is in the courts that the one weapon we have can be wielded with a force equal to the entire bureaucracy of lies...and that is the truth. In court the (racist) history of cannabis prohibition can be entered into front of a jury that must be comprised of minorities to reflect the population. Minorities who know from bitter experience that they are subjected to greater scrutiny and repression by law enforcement than the vast majority of the population...but don't know WHY, other than what *seems* on the surface to be a kind of inchoate but institutionalized prejudice. They just don't know HOW intitutionalized. But we know the how. We know the why...and we'd be happy to tell them, in detail. In court. Under oath. With evidence that contains the racist blather of the antis written into history. The defense attorney who does this will have fired the fatal shot into the body of prohibition. And the smarter of the antis know this. If *prohibition itself* is tried, it will be found guilty and deserving of the capital punishment it has meted out to so many for so long. It can't some soon enough.

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Comment #3 posted by Jim Lunsford on December 05, 2005 at 19:10:51 PT

What government? :) What man has any right to stand judgement over me? That is all that government is. The placing of a whole bunch of someone's to place judgement over us. As if any government is any less prone to abusing power than any other form. Power corrupts, and the desire for this political power demands corruption to bring this power to life.Who would vote for an honest politician? They can't tell us the truth, because the truth is, we are a society of children. A society that demands that someone else protects them from the boogy man. There is no boogy man people. But our fear of it has created a far worse monster: Government. It protects us from what doesn't exist, so that it may profit from your fear of the non=existent. There are aspects of government that make sense, such as the post office, Bureau of Land Management, FDA, etc. They are building blocks of a government that is more concerned with helping each other. Love thy neighbor sort of thing.I don't think that cops are necessarily evil either. But, it is easy to get jaded in that field. Also, wouldn't it attract a higher percentage of people that would be of a bit more violent and machismo personality types? Just my opinion. Peace to all. I have had a great day today. Skydived with a friend, got stoned after work. Chief Gates of the LA police dept was right when he said something like the following on the dangers of marijuana: If they take just one hit of marijuana, they are lost to us forever. Why yes, that is true. We move beyond the simplistic world of good and evil, and transcend into a more holistic and balanced view of life. In this world, but not of it. We are lost on believing the lies of the false prophets anymore. They are not lies though, nor are they false prophets. Unless, of course, we choose to make them appear to be so. At least to us. Remember, judgement judges the judger. But, these are different ways of percieving the world. I choose a way of percieving the world that always appears right to me. Maybe not later on, but at that moment, I'm always right. Change comes to us all in an instant. Will we continue to be judgers, or can we unveil the infinite realms of undeniable compassion that already exists within all of us? To love thy enemy, is to love thyself and to love thyself is to love God. These are the emotions of the cannabis user.What are the emotions of the vioxx user? x) (okay, I don't know how to do a dead smiley!). Or the drunk? Or the coffee drinkers? Or suger users? Or, well, you get the point. Let the love and compassion we attribute to Cannabis extend to our enemies as well. Peace, JimRev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchCrazy: Geniuses all are nuts. At least to the authorities. Simply too dangerous to label any other way. After all, their presence encourages thinking in others. 
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on December 05, 2005 at 18:49:27 PT

Why Demonize Footer?
But it's when you hear the "choice of evil" defense that you have to begin genuinely doubting Footer's seriousness. "... Mr. Footer ... was having this documented back pain or release of stress, and in order to cope with that pain and cope with those issues he chose to use marijuana and break that law, instead of choosing to use alcohol which would put more of a private injury on his own person, given the history of alcoholism in his family." No offense, but you'd have to be flying high on some California Redbud to swallow that line.I don't get it. What's so far-fetched? I understand what footer is saying and I'm stone-sober right now.The author is just another dolt on the growing list of columnists who claim to support cannabis law reform but bash any effort to advance that cause. Why is he so afraid of Footer? How is Footer a threat to anything other than the insane status quo?But how exactly would Footer's triumph uphold the "will of the people"? Wouldn't it simply uphold the will of one ditzy potential alcoholic? Actually, this joke of a columnist already had his question answered in his own article..."I think it would help encourage people to fight these laws and stand up for the will of the Denver voters, and to force the Denver police and Denver DA to respect the will of the voters," Vicente answers. A "ditzy potential alcoholic"??? Again, why the demonization of Footer?Let's let Mr. Harsanyi hear it...dharsanyi THE WAY OUT...Action Alert: Congress is on the brink of exposing 9/11--call your reps NOW! 40 Wants to Hear From You Regarding 9/11 'Conspiracies': Commission: 'Another Attack Will Occur': Change Second Edition Full Review: rumors quelled: That You KNOW, What Can YOU Do?

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Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on December 05, 2005 at 18:37:20 PT

ignore the vote
not the law. don't drive around the town with pot in your car. 'specially in Denver; a woman was riding the bus and was taken into custody for refusing to produce identification.Sorry that 25,000 metric tons of cannabis is bought and sold year in and year out in the US and the government says you can't. They only say you can't, but you really can.Smoke cannabis for fun, pleasure and health. Ignore the government. It is the only thing left to do. The government let Merck sell Vioxx and Merck managed to kill off 140 thousand people. Merck also laid off 7000 workers. They have to pay for the lawsuits filed against them for medical malpractice. In reality, it is the FDA who is at fault.It's legal drug madness out there.
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