A coalition of groups supporting adults’ right to use cannabis and voters’ decision to legalize it in Denver gathered outside a Thursday morning fundraiser for mayoral candidate Michael Hancock to upbraid both candidates for failing to answer a cannabis questionnaire, and to “disendorse” Hancock for mayor.
The action follows last week’s move by Robert Chase of the Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers, who sent an open letter to mayoral candidates Chris Romer and Michael Hancock, asking them to answer three key questions about marijuana policy in the city. Neither camp had responded to the request as of Thursday morning, reports Michael Roberts at Denver Westword
”Irrespective of their views on cannabis, voters should be concerned that the City continues to violate our lowest law enforcement priority ordinance, citing thousands illegally for what is not a crime under our law,” the coalition, Team 420, said in a statement. “Voters should be concerned that the City Council is so irresponsible as to pass provisions into the Zoning Code which violate the Colorado Constitution.
“Voters deserve to know whether the next Mayor will move against a valuable sector of commerce in Denver,” the statement reads. “Both candidates have a sorry history of anti-cannabis demagoguery up till and including the present, and they have failed to answer three simple, specific questions about these issues of public policy, just because they relate to cannabis.”
The group pointed out that Denver has voted for cannabis four times in the past 11 years — for the Medical Marijuana Amendment in 2000, to rescind its ordinance against possession of less than an ounce of cannabis in 2005, for the outright legalization of adult possession of up to an ounce with penalty in 2006 in its vote for Amendment 44, and most recently by 57 percent of the voters in 2007 for Denver’s lowest law enforcement priority (Chapter 38, Section 176 of the Municipal Code, which Hancock opposed as city councilor.
“Denver cannot be represented by a Prohibitionist Mayor!” the statement reads.
“Michael Hancock has learned nothing about cannabis, even as it has become an important source of revenue for the City,” the group said. “His repeated votes against the interests of patients and his ineducably ignorant insistence that cannabis is ‘a gateway drug’ mark him as a Prohibitionist of the worst stripe. There are other issues in the race, several of them completely outside the Mayor’s purview, but do we want a fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in evolution and would divert public monies from public education with school vouchers ‘not yet’ as Mayor?”
“Hancock seems to be running on a ‘business as usual’ basis — Denver faces a $100 million budget deficit, our Department of Public Safety is reeling from repeated instances of police abuse, and we are paying out millions of dollars in settlements for that abuse — we cannot afford more of the same,” the statement reads.
“It has been difficult to discern which of Romer or Hancock would make a worse Mayor, but Michael Hancock has managed to edge Chris Romer; Team 420 urges voters not to vote for Michael Hancock,” the group said.