Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jun 2012
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2012 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Lynn Bartels


A Colorado committee formed to defeat a marijuana issue on the 
November ballot has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to weigh 
in with his opposition.

Amendment 64 would allow adults statewide to possess up to 1 ounce of 
marijuana for recreational use.

The measure is opposed by a citizens group called Smart Colorado, 
which is represented by the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart.

In a letter to Holder, Smart Colorado attorney Jon Anderson noted 
that Colorado's ballot measure "parallels" a California measure, 
Proposition 19, that voters there defeated in 2010.

The Department of Justice "aggressively" opposed that measure, 
Anderson said, and Smart Colorado wants the department to do the same 
in Colorado.

"As you know, Colorado has the most expansive medical marijuana 
industry in the country," he wrote Holder. "To further expand their 
drug profits, this industry will invest enormous sums of money to 
erase all state restrictions on growing, transporting, and selling 
marijuana in Colorado. It is critical that Colorado voters understand 
the serious legal and policy implications of passing such a dangerous law."

The letter surprised Mason Tvert, the leader of pro-Amendment 64 groups.

"This seems like a politically tone deaf request in light of the 
recent Rasmussen poll showing 61 percent of likely voters in Colorado 
support regulating marijuana like alcohol," he said. "Whoever is 
asking the Obama administration to oppose Amendment 64 must be 
secretly rooting for Mitt Romney to be elected president in November."

Five campaign committees supporting Amendment 64 have collected close 
to $2 million in money and in-kind donations to try to ensure its 
passage, according to filings with Colorado secretary of state. 
Tvert's group is the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

He was critical of Smart Colorado, describing it as a "small group of 
law-enforcement officials" who want the federal government to 
"interfere with Colorado's business."

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who helped organize the 
opposition group, said it is a "broad-based coalition of individuals 
concerned with our children's health." 
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom