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September 16, 2011 10:30 PM UTC

ACLU of Colo. Endorses 2012 Marijuana Initiative

  • 21 Comments
  • by: ColoRabble

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Disclosure: I am one of the two formal proponents of the statewide initiative discussed in this post

The 2012 statewide initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Colorado picked up a strong endorsement yesterday.

As Scot Kersgaard of The Colorado Independent reports:

The ACLU of Colorado Thursday announced it has endorsed the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.

“In Colorado we believe our laws should be practical and they should be fair. Yet we are wasting scarce public resources in our criminal justice system by having police, prosecutors and the courts treat marijuana users like violent criminals. It is unconscionable for our state to spend tax dollars to arrest, prosecute and crowd the courts, and jail people for possession of a small amount of marijuana, especially when those being arrested and jailed are disproportionately people of color,” said the ACLU in a statement on its web site…

…Moreover, [ACLU-CO Communications Director Rosemary Harris Lytle] said the effort to legalize small amounts of marijuana is in keeping with the ACLU’s mission of promoting and defending individual rights and freedom…

The ACLU of Colorado is one of the state’s most widely recognized and well-respected organizations working on criminal justice issues, so this should give quite a boost to the initiative effort. The campaign is just over two months and 60,000 signatures into its petition drive.  

Comments

21 thoughts on “ACLU of Colo. Endorses 2012 Marijuana Initiative

  1. Pot smokers are too lazy to vote, and it’s probably a good thing.

    The ACLU’s historic ties to the Communist Party notwithstanding, I know that liberals prefer a docile, doped up population. They get less uppity about taxes.

        1. On a related note: did you become a Republican because you’re a sociopath, or did you join the Republican party first?

          I understand the correlation, I’m just trying to establish the causality.

          1. I’m sorry that you do not know anything about American history.

            ACLU founder Roger Baldwin’s candid vision:

            I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.

            http://townhall.com/columnists

            1. Communist Party attacks on a Socialist Party rally in Madison Square Garden in 1934 led Norman Thomas and John Haynes Holmes to call for banning Communists from ACLU leadership. In this same decade, the Dies Committee (the House Committee on Un-American Activities, popularly known as HUAC) concluded after its first hearings that one could not say with certainty whether or not the ACLU was a Communist organization. The ACLU responded by leading efforts to abolish the Dies Committee, assigning Abraham Isserman to write the first systematic analysis of the rights of witnesses before investigative committees (a report which Baldwin suppressed, perhaps in an agreement with HUAC) and working to clear the ACLU name. HUAC raids beginning in 1939, passage of the Smith Act in 1940 and state laws banning the Communist Party from the ballot served to increase concern about totalitarian organizations. In response to these growing concerns, the ACLU in 1940 adopted a policy barring Communist Party members from official positions in the organization, leading to the ouster of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn from the board and to the resignations of several others, including Harry Ward.

              Source: The slightly more reliable Princeton rather than a conservababble website…

            2. Like always, you take one quote and turn it into a man’s life.

              Prior to the existence of Communism as a world-recognized philosophy, Baldwin was a Unitarian pacifist.  His work in what was to become the ACLU predates his (brief) interest in Communism.

              Snopes has a good discussion on the quote, including a bit more context.  Baldwin visited Soviet Russia in 1927 and wrote a rather hopeful piece about the ideal of Communism being the way toward greater freedoms for everyone, not just those in power.  But in his 1953 book A NEW SLAVERY, Baldwin writes of how he was blinded by the ideal and how Stalin’s worst abuses had not yet begun.

              The ACLU is and has always been about protecting civil liberties and preventing injustice, regardless of the political system.  It probably has no more ties to Communism than your grandparents did, AGOP.

  2. Why the huge excise tax of 20%? I am assuming additional State and local sales tax will also apply.

    Is there any insist the State offset other tax rates so there will be no net revenue gain?

    1. The initiative directs the legislature to enact an excise tax of up to 15% on wholesale sales (ie. sales from a cultivation facility to a retail store). Here’s the exact language:

      THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL ENACT AN EXCISE TAX TO BE LEVIED UPON MARIJUANA SOLD OR OTHERWISE TRANSFERRED BY A MARIJUANA CULTIVATION FACILITY TO A MARIJUANA PRODUCT MANUFACTURING FACILITY OR TO A RETAIL MARIJUANA STORE AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED FIFTEEN PERCENT PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2017 AND AT A RATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THEREAFTER,

      State and local sales taxes will apply, just as they do to virtually every product.

    2. Police resources will be directed to other tasks and we won’t have the expense of putting pot-growers in jail.

      The police won’t like it because it will take away easy arrests.  The prison union won’t like it because it’s less business.

      It must be quite a quandary for conservatives.  The inclination to control everyone’s life vs. support of unions will be yet another cognitive dissonance moment.

      And, by the way, everyone who wants to smoke pot is already smoking it.  

  3. They contribute indirectly to the murder of thousands in Mexico and waste resources jailing thousands of non-violent people in the USA in order to profit off corporate prisons. They are proto fascists.

    Most of them claim to do this in the name of G-d. They are sick people.

  4. The ACLU, or as I call it, the Anti-Christ Legion of the Underworld, is probably the most unamerican and evil organization there is. Their efforts to defend rights guaranteed by the US Constitution (Communist Rag) will surely lead to the destruction of our great nation.

    Sarchasm: The space between the author of sarcasm and the person who doesn’t get it.

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