Colorado State Sen. Chris Romer: “If you all don’t clean up your own house, we’re going to clean it up for you”
Colorado State Sen. Chris Romer (D-Denver), one of the co-sponsors of HB 1284 and SB 109, bills in the Legislature which would effectively eliminate most medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, shocked audience members at a meeting April 15 when he used the phrase “auditors with guns” dozens of times when describing the regulatory regime he envisions.
Romer discussed the bills at a meeting of the Medical Marijuana Business Alliance on April 15 at Loews Hotel in Denver. Members of the Cannabis Therapy Institute (CTI) were in attendance, and on 4/20, the People’s Cannabis News released a video of the event with Romer’s speech (see the video below).
Romer started on a threatening note. “If you all don’t clean up your own house, we’re going to clean it up for you,” he told the medical marijuana advocates. “Certainly if we send in some auditors with guns, we’re gonna clean it up really fast.”
Romer described the new medical marijuana regime, saying the Department of Revenue would be the main regulatory agency. “These people audit with guns,” he said. “They’ll probably be at the dispensary or grow house about every five to seven days.”
“You are gonna get to know your auditor,” Romer said. “Your auditor is gonna be your best friend. He’s gonna have a gun, but that’s OK.”
“That same auditor with a gun is gonna force you to destroy the amount of medical marijuana that is not allocated to the patient,” Romer said.
“This law enforcement model to medicine, run by ‘auditors with guns,’ will destroy patients’ safe access to medicine,” said Lauri Kriho, director of CTI. “Every gram of cannabis will be checked at the whim of ‘auditors with guns,’ from seed to patient.”
Romer repeated the phrase, “auditors with guns,” dozens of times in his 20-minute speech, seeming almost gleeful at the thought, according to witnesses who were there.
“There’s a huge debate about how many of those auditors with guns we need,” Romer said.
Romer was asked at the meeting about how much a state dispensary license would cost. He replied that the fee could be up to $5,000 a year, maybe more.
“These bills will create a government-sponsored monopoly of a few mega-Walmart dispensaries,” Kriho said.
“Instead of following the will of the voters to allow caregivers to take care of their patients, these laws will force out many truly compassionate caregivers who serve only a small number of people, leaving the industry open only to well-funded dispensaries focused on profit, not patients,” Kriho said. “And it will be a big profit, once 95 percent of their competition has been eliminated.”
CTI urges Colorado residents, patients and caregivers to call and email your state senators and representatives.