44 Fires Up Voters

44 Fires Up Voters
Posted by CN Staff on October 19, 2006 at 07:13:05 PT
By Vanessa Miller, Camera Staff Writer
Source: Daily Camera 
Colorado -- If Colorado votes in November to approve an amendment making it legal for adults to possess a small amount of marijuana, both critics and advocates agree the biggest immediate change will be the perception of pot. What opponents don't see eye-to-eye on is whether that's good or bad, and what it will mean for future use of the drug.
Backers of the push to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana say adults who smoke it shouldn't be afraid that using will result in an arrest, a fine, a lost job or the loss of custody of a child. But opponents say a negative stigma is beneficial and removing it would increase overall demand, use among children and distribution rates. Boulder County Drug Task Force Chief Steve Prentup cited the marijuana ordinance Denver voters approved last year as proof that legalizing possession in small amounts makes smoking a joint seem more acceptable. "People all over the metro area thought it was legal to do it everywhere," Prentup said. "Once they've legalized marijuana, it will get up there with alcohol use." That would be a good thing, say proponents of Amendment 44 — the November ballot proposal that would legalize an adult's possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. Members with the Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Committee, the group behind the amendment, say adults shouldn't be punished for making the "rational" selection of pot over alcohol. They argue alcohol is more toxic and addictive than marijuana. It's also associated with aggression and violence, proponents say. But Prentup sees it differently. He says alcohol is easier to consume in moderation — such as drinking a glass of wine with dinner or indulging in an after-work cocktail. "When people use pot, they go from sober to high," he said. "There's no in-between." And Prentup says pot-smokers don't typically stop there. Opening the door to marijuana will encourage users to try harder drugs, he said. "Thinking is the first step of the doing," he said. Slow change for better or worse? Should Amendment 44 pass, Prentup said Boulder County's enforcement wouldn't immediately change. With the current law, officers focus enforcement efforts on marijuana distribution and underage use. They usually only ticket someone for possession as an added charge to another crime, Prentup said. Although the tacked-on possession ticket would disappear with Amendment 44's passage, Prentup said he expects an eventual increase in distribution and weed-smoking minors. "It will increase the demand for it because we live in a society of capitalizing," he said. "There is money to be made in selling and distributing it." Mason Tvert, campaign director for Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, said distribution and underage possession would still be illegal if the amendment passed. He argued that authorities don't have enough resources to enforce all marijuana possession, and attempting to do so is a waste of time and money. Making it legal for adults to have small amounts would enable officers to focus on bigger problems, Tvert said. It also would add pressure on the federal government to change the law on a national level, Tvert said. "They should focus on keeping it out of young people's hands as opposed to old people's hands," he said. Even if the state passes Amendment 44, cities could counter with laws making all marijuana possession illegal, Tvert said. "Home-rule cities and towns still will have the option to add or maintain an ordinance that would keep marijuana illegal if they prefer," he said. But, as the law stands now, cities that want to decriminalize possession of small amounts — like Denver — aren't able, Tvert said. "Cities like Denver won't have their hands tied by a blanketing state law," he said. What about CU? It's unclear whether Boulder officials will push for an ordinance to counter Amendment 44 if it passes. Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner said any ordinance change must be approved by the City Council. "But we are not in favor of legalizing marijuana," he said. "I don't think it's a good idea, from the societal or cultural perspective, to make more drugs legal. We have enough problems as it is." One thing is clear: Boulder already has gained national repute for being "high." The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a study of drug use by region last year and found that Boulder and Boston topped the nation in marijuana use. The study asked people if they had used marijuana in the previous 30 days. In Boston, more than 12 percent said they had, and in Boulder, more than 10 percent said yes. Nationwide, about 5 percent of the people said they'd recently used. Boulder City Councilman Richard Polk was arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana. University of Colorado students have a long-standing tradition of lighting up en masse on April 20 at 4:20 p.m. This year, about 2,500 people converged on CU's Farrand Field for the unofficial, yearly event . CU police made a concerted effort to bust law-breakers during this year's "4/20" marijuana smoke-out. Officials snapped photos of smokers during the day's event and posted about 200 of them online, offering cash to anyone who could help identify individuals in the shots. CU police Lt. Tim McGraw said decriminalizing possession for adults could change 4/20 enforcement. "If it's legal, then there's no enforcement," he said. McGraw agreed with the argument that legalizing pot in minimal amounts might remove the perception that it's wrong. "But whatever the law is, we'll enforce it," he said. For Heather Seeley, 31, of Boulder, that would be a good thing. She said she smokes occasionally, and doesn't think pot should be illegal. "I don't think it's that bad in the scheme of things," she said. "It's probably good for people."Note: Amendment may change perception of marijuana.Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)Author: Vanessa Miller, Camera Staff WriterPublished: October 19, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Daily CameraWebsite: openforum dailycamera.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Weeds Out Arguments Against Pot Vote to Legalize Marijuana is a Vote for Choice and Baiting 
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Comment #12 posted by whig on October 26, 2006 at 00:08:12 PT
Wifebeating pot heads? I don't expect it exists among those who abstain from other drugs, be it alcohol or crack or what have you. I've never seen a violent pot head.Here I'm distinguishing from 'cannabis user' as one who may use cannabis occasionally while principally being a user of something else which does promote violent behavior. I know some people don't like the word pot head so I wanted to explain, and also I still like the word and apply it to myself without any derogation -- it's a point of pride to me.
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Comment #11 posted by rchandar on October 25, 2006 at 09:31:51 PT:
I think this is a point that deserves some attention. As far as I can tell from what I've seen of pot smokers, violence is committed by people who were already prone to violence and would have done violent things with or without the pot. Psycopaths or child/wife abusers who smoke pot may simply act out what they were going to do anyways, but the pot is no catalyst: it doesn't synthesize violent, psychotic behavior in a "peaceful" individual.Alcohol, however, is entirely, entirely different. The number of people who were transformed from peaceful, non-combative citizens into violent threats to safety are many. Alcohol frequently produces a very psychologically real "delusion of grandeur," a sense that one can withstand anything or do anything. Drinkers--especially non-social drinkers--can justify any thought because of the intoxication. Legalizing pot won't, say, solve the daily problems of family psychology, or even a majority of problems. However, it will cessate the criminal stamping of millions of Americans, and that's good. There's a huge target culture to these laws: migrant workers or illegal aliens, blacks, teenagers, college kids. The 'criminal' stamp changes human psychology, from a normal individual with normal problems to an exceptional individual rejected by society and with nowhere to go and no one to associate with save criminals. The war on drugs, then, has created a permanent army of "misfits" without the chance at self-redemption. It also creates a society of clones without independent thought: one may only conform to the dictates of current religious/moral culture, and basically thus cannot achieve anything which comes out of their psychology. The current view is Hobbsean; American society has never professed to be Hobbsean.--rchandar
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on October 19, 2006 at 20:33:41 PT
"Thinking is the first step of the doing," he said.So...Don't think about it?Does he realize he's speaking to adults?
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Comment #9 posted by John Tyler on October 19, 2006 at 19:28:48 PT
"When people use pot, they go from sober to high," he said. "There's no in-between." Said by someone who doesn’t know cannabis. Sometimes it is good to be really high where you are in touch with peace, love and understanding and sometimes you just want a little buzz. Cannabis users know the difference. I have never gained anything from being fall down, pass out drunk. I will have a brewsky once in a blue moon, but regular drinking doesn't appeal to me at all. 
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Comment #8 posted by mayan on October 19, 2006 at 17:30:09 PT
I Hope They Keep Lying
"People who use marijuana are four times more prone to violence," said Linda Roady of the anti-Amendment 44 group Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana.Everyone and their dog knows that's a bunch of bull. Let these liars keep on lying. They are just shooting themselves in the feet by destroying their own credibility. 
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Comment #7 posted by whig on October 19, 2006 at 11:42:40 PT
Hope #2
It is a disease. I am trying to help them, by giving them cannabis through my words and through the music of such powerful beings as The Beatles. It will percolate through and they will sleep for awhile, and learn.How I do it is, I read something from or about someone that needs to be addressed. I write what seems like the right thing. It's just like a conversation, and I ignore the question of whether or when the recipient will actually read it. Often I don't address one recipient, but several, or will generalize in order to avoid singling someone out for unfair criticism.Sometimes the most powerful thing is that I will hear music, and it will relate in some way to the conversation, and now with YouTube and Google Video, if I can find something that matches, I can post that too.There is simply no way I could ever express myself as brilliantly as these gentle men did.
Thinking is the first step of the doing...
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Comment #6 posted by whig on October 19, 2006 at 11:20:18 PT
Thinking is the first step of the doing.
Did you catch this?
"Thinking is the first step of the doing," he said.
Can you believe someone will say this out loud? They want you not to think.
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Comment #5 posted by Thestales on October 19, 2006 at 11:18:19 PT
Violence? Hypocrisy!!!
"People who use marijuana are four times more prone to violence," Even if, in some alternate demension (dementia), this was true then we know that people who use alcohol are (at least) 5 Times as likley to be violent than a cannabis user. Then by her logic people are 20 times(at least) more violent when using alcohol. I do not see her focusing her time trying to have alcohol be put back into prohibition. If you are really concerned about people's health then it would make sense to focus on alcohol.Everyone is SOOO worked up over Herb but I see no outcries when there are Booze commercials all over the TV and bill boards. No one cares that there is alcohol in every gas station and convience store. Where are all these people when it comes to dangerous drugs? Oh that's right, they are focused on a non-toxic substance.BRAINWASHED!
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Comment #4 posted by Toker00 on October 19, 2006 at 09:14:20 PT
The only way this could be true is if they figure the violence involved in prohibited substances being on the black market. You DO take chances, and there IS some violence involved, but I think they are including the violence from the OTHER illegal drugs, as well. Cannabis itself causes non-violence. Get it off the black market, and it will show itself to be what God make it to be. Toke.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 19, 2006 at 07:50:26 PT
An upright man who, like us, is sick of their lies and persecutions and prosecutions.Keep it up, Mason Tvert. You're doing a very, very good and righteous job.More power to you, Mason and Crew!
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on October 19, 2006 at 07:46:31 PT
Oh my gosh!
"People who use marijuana are four times more prone to violence," said Linda Roady.Oh my gosh!Roady and managers don't have enough sense to know they are talking to people who know better, or more likely, they don't care as long as one naive voter hears them lie and they can sway them to vote against the measure, even if they have to use lies to do it. It's not easy to make good things happen from lies.They foment, swallow, and pass on cruel and outrageous lies like some sort of disease.
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Comment #1 posted by paul armentano on October 19, 2006 at 07:34:55 PT
RMN Excerpt: Debate on pot sizzles
URL:,2808,DRMN_24736_5077474,00.htmlDebate on pot sizzlesAmendment 44 sides trade barbs, question the factsBy John C. Ensslin, Rocky Mountain News
October 19, 2006A televised debate over legalizing marijuana became heated Wednesday night as the two sides accused each other of distorting the facts over the effect the measure would have on violent crime, other drug use and addiction among children."People who use marijuana are four times more prone to violence," said Linda Roady of the anti-Amendment 44 group Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana."That is completely outrageous," countered Mason Tvert of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation and campaign manager for Amendment 44. When he asked her to cite her source for the claim, she was unable to do so."I don't profess to know all the statistics," Roady replied, without backing off her assertion.
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