Smokin' Debate on Pot Issue

Smokin' Debate on Pot Issue
Posted by CN Staff on September 27, 2006 at 06:58:25 PT
By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News 
Source: Rocky Mountain News
Colorado -- State Attorney General John Suthers called a ballot measure seeking to legalize marijuana possession in Colorado "a little bit sloppy and a little bit reckless" during a debate Tuesday night - a charge vehemently denied by the man spearheading the campaign, Mason Tvert. Tvert, in turn, had a word for those who oppose Amendment 44 - Orwellian. The debate at the Newman Center at the University of Denver was about marijuana. But for the two men on the stage, it was also alternately about personal freedom, drug usage among teens and how pot stacks up against such legal items as alcohol and tobacco.
Supporters of the amendment, which would allow adults in Colorado to possess less than an ounce of marijuana, have been hammering home the point that alcohol is more harmful than marijuana since the measure qualified for the ballot in August. Suthers wasn't buying it then or now. "Our American society is plagued by moral relativism - the notion that . . . there are things that are worse out there," Suthers said. "This is probably one of the worst instances - this campaign, this message - of moral relativism I've heard." Tvert said Suthers simply doesn't want people to have marijuana for any reason, noting the attorney general also opposed pot being administered for medical reasons. "They don't care if you're sick or dying. They don't care if you're young. They don't care if you're old," Tvert said. "They just want to make sure that you cannot use marijuana under any circumstances." In the debate moderated by Adam Schrager, of 9News, the two opponents seldom waited for questions to present their cases. Tvert and Suthers often addressed each other, questioning the other's statistics and charges about marijuana usage and its effect on people. Tvert even questioned the state's heart in prosecuting marijuana possession charges and said people are losing an inordinate number of personal freedoms because of the misdemeanor conviction. "Maybe they don't lose all of their freedom, but they certainly lose enough of it that it doesn't warrant enough of a state interest in a $100 citation," Tvert said. "Mr. Suthers has clearly acknowledged this is ridiculous. One hundred dollars is nothing. If it's only worth $100, there's really no reason why we should continue ruining people's lives over it." Suthers pointed to an overall decrease in drug usage in the past three decades and claimed usage was down among children, with two-thirds citing its illegality as a reason not to try it. He said now isn't the time to change strategies. "I would ask the voters of Colorado not to wave the white flag," Suthers said. "Let's not send the wrong message to our children. The only acceptable alternative to intoxication is sobriety." Tvert accused Suthers of being unrealistic. "They want to live in the idealistic world; we want to live in the realistic world," he said. The debate was sponsored by the University of Denver and 9News. Note: Attorney general, legalization backer go one on one at DU.Complete Article: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)Author: David Montero, Rocky Mountain News Published: September 27, 2006Copyright: 2006 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Safer Choice Colorado, Supporters Spar on Amendment 44 44 Prompts Questions About Pot Plan Would Strain Authorities, Foes Say 
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on September 29, 2006 at 19:12:21 PT
ck this uni
This FARK stuff is huge! Are you involved in the discussion there? This is
big time! And it shows on the totals for the website--9/28 was one of our
biggest "hit" days ever on the website. 
I can't keep up with it all.
MikeMike Smithson
Speakers Bureau Coordinator
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition  speakers 
131 Flint Path, Syracuse, NY 13219
Cell: 315-243-5844 fax: 315-488-3630
Blog: "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said
nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social
Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a
trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I
did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up
for me." German Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller 1892-1984Subject: fyiComment #10 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 28, 2006 at 18:58:42 PT
What Can Be Done
Jeremy, there is a pro-legalization independent candidate running for
governor of Texas in the upcoming election. Perhaps you've heard of Kinky
And here's a great article about LEAP: found that article on Fark - there's a lively discussion going about it,
for those of you who like reading that sort of thing:
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Comment #10 posted by Universer on September 29, 2006 at 14:18:21 PT:
Gracias. Will do. I live in Northern Virginia, basically an annexation of D.C., but I do go to Hampton Roads often. I'm glad that the gentlemen I met up with, who already had begun organizning, had decided to make this a commonwealth-wide thing. So contacts in Norfolk would be great.Keep 'em coming. Virginia isn't quite the backward red-state it's being made out to be, in light of that intellectual midget George Allen. (Thoughts expressed in this post are only those of the poster and not necessarily representative of or its affiliates. Got that, NSA?)Chau.
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Comment #9 posted by ekim on September 28, 2006 at 20:01:30 PT
hey uni
please concider getting a hold of Howard from Leap (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Howard is co-founder of the group. He was a LEO in Bath MI for 17 years. Last summer he rode his horse Misty from LA to New York talking about how the Drug War has failed. Book Howard at a event and hear him yourself. good luck to you Oct 15 06 Unitarian Church of Norfolk 09:30 AM Howard Wooldridge Norfolk Virginia USA 
 Board Member and cross country horse back rider Howard Wooldridge, meets with members of the congregation from the Unitarian Church of Norfolk to discuss the failures of drug prohibition. Howard will be speaking at 9:30 and 11:15 in the morning 
Howard J. Wooldridge
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Comment #8 posted by Universer on September 28, 2006 at 18:07:31 PT:
Hope, FoM, et al.
Well, thanky, ya'll. (I am from Virginia, after all. Northern Virginia, with emphasis on the adjective, where we speak accentless, but still.)If its not an infraction of regulations, lemme solicit here any support from inside or outside the Commonwealth toward the objective of building our program. The website which my friend EMcM has put together is yet a work-in-progress at, and we're looking for constructive criticism.We're also looking for any general advice as to what to do and how to do it -- such as information tables, networking contacts, and the ilk.Snap me an e-mail at universer, por favor.Being this close to D.C. and the organizations and contacts there (id est, MPP, NORML, ACLU, et cetera) should and probably will help too, but we'll take all the valuable aid we can get.Merci beaucoup.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 28, 2006 at 12:47:53 PT
I'm glad you drop in here. Everyone on this web site is a really concerned citizen. Activism is a good thing. The problem is there is no school to learn how to really be a good activist. We are doing an excellent job as an overall community and I don't just mean CNews. Good luck with Virginia NORML. I hope to hear good reports.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 28, 2006 at 12:31:11 PT
The world would be a better place
if we had more leaders with a mindset like Mason Tvert's.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 28, 2006 at 12:29:38 PT
I, too, enjoy reading your comments. You should hit that comment button more often.Sounds like you're busy. Keep up the good work!
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Comment #4 posted by Universer on September 28, 2006 at 12:00:03 PT:
Thanks muchly. I frequent the site to absorb news and read posts, but only occasionally click the Comment button. Usually any points I would make are eloquently articulated by the multitudes.I am developing my activistic side, however, in the form of our fledgling Virginia-NORML organization ( To that end I've been hanging out primarily in the Virginia board, hoping to drum up support.Thanks in advance to you and the hawk who finds and posts the transcript or stream. I'd like to get a feel for Mr. Tvert's powers of persuasion, to observe how concisely he slices through the propaganda. All I know is what I read in the papers...and very often that's not enough. I hope he's indeed the well-spoken, well-reasoned, civilized non-combatant that I've imagined him to be.All we need to do is stick resolutely to the truth, demonstrable and logical truth, without hyperbole, and keep at it, keep at it, keep at it. This is what I hope Mason is providing; I'd just like to read it for my own eyes.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 27, 2006 at 17:50:02 PT
Good to see you. I think it will be available this weekend I read. Someone will post it as soon as it is available. I really want to see the video debate.
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Comment #2 posted by Universer on September 27, 2006 at 17:44:01 PT
Words, words, words.
Does anyone know where I can view a transcript and/or hear a stream?Thanky.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 27, 2006 at 07:25:36 PT
Good Job
It's time for change.
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