Monday, December 17, 2012

Jessica LeRoux reports on the first A64 (Legal Marijuana) Task Force Meeting

Hey Now,
Here is as full a review as I can possibly offer of today's Amendment 64 Task Force meeting, in light of the fact that the panelists seem to have been selected as much for their marble mouthed mumbling qualities as any other obvious qualification. Should be an interesting 8 weeks, I have the dates for pending meetings as well as Pix of important power point pages. I will try to condense this into as quick a read as I can, so I will go over the intro to the meeting and discussion points about the panel, post the pics, and below each picture i will elaborate about the topic in the photo, and give pointers on the panelists proposals and responses. When I want to interject my own thoughts I will *** and change fonts...

The meeting began with Jack Findlaw the Governors office and Barbara Brohl from DOR saying they would be the authority on A64, and going around the table to do introductions. Then Barbara Brohl laid down the basis for the day's session as being "issue Identification". Panel Members were given a binder of worksheets and info contacts etc... the binder contents were reviewed, including the fact that the MMED plans to assist with writing the rules in WA state as well as here. and for the record I am in the process of obtaining a copy of the Map (tab 12) contained in the Binder which shows the state MMJ bans by region.
The group proceeded to set the dates for meetings to occur after the new year, which again are open to you to attend and will also be at the gaming office building at
17301 W Colfax. Meeting dates are as follows.
Monday 1-7-13 12 1-5pm.
Tuesday 1-22-13 1-5pm
Tuesday 2-5-13 1-5pm
Tuesday 2-19-13 1-5pm
(and possibly if nesc 2-28-13)

Then Jack Findlaw started the session with the statement that the MMED is the standard, which alarmed me as I thought the voters wanted recreational to be regulated like alcohol, not over-regulated to death.
"Task force is intended to review legal & policy issues not debate legality of marijuana"
these two power point pages show the role and desired outcome of the task force... they also show some skull, to keep it sexy for ya!

what's cut off here is 'participate in work groups" and "review state law to identify and make recommendations for changes if applicable"

what is cut off here is "work groups will share their recommendations with the Task Force where the recommendations will be discussed and subject to approval"

*** This subject to approval aspect is going to complicate things i predict, based on the need for a "quorum". What that means is that a majority, of greater than 50% of the panel (at least 13 panelists) must agree " to a consensus" on an issue for it to move forward. This is alarming given that the panel only has 2 1/2 people who may represent "us" out of 24 people, thereby potentially disenfranchising patients.
and alarmingly when there is no Consensus the majority vote of the majority of workgroup members in attendance is the way they will move forward if there is a quorum. Also alarmingly we were told if a panelist is going to be absent they may send a proxy to vote on their behalf, but if a proxy is underinformed about previous materials debated or discussed they may cast an uninformed vote we all have to live by.
Also Task Force members must vote on issues, and only may abstain is there is a conflict of interest. WHO DECIDES what is a conflict?

We learned that the meetings will be open to the public, but you need to sign up to speak when you arrive not after the meeting.
The DOR will be taking minutes at meetings which will be posted to their webpage upon their approval at the next meeting (2 week time frame). The work group meetings and all Task force meetings will be posted to the public in compliance with CO open meetings act. ***There is no timeline for how many days in advance these meetings will be posted.

Then we got this powerpoint of the task force workgroups and who is in charge of em...

The grey back grounds make these hard to read, but we have the actual PDF of the real powerpoint attached here too...

Then they went through the groups one by one, in a session where panelists got to give feedback about each work group's agenda. so I will post each pic, share my personal observations and concerns, and give you the panelists comments....

***Ok, so things were going along weirdly enough, but when questions arose about #5 on this guideline, strangely nobody knew where that suggestion came from! State run Cannabis would only adhere to the intent of regulating like alcohol if we lived in Utah folks.

The panelists were asked to identify other issues that fall under this topic, I am presenting an edited version as I couldnt write it all verbatim.
Findlaw: we have choices, to regulate like alcohol, like MMJ, like gaming, MMED is model since it is working... **** really? who told him that?
CS: Alcohol is Model citizens voted for & the framework.
DB what is regulatory framework for WA state?
KB: which implimentation model gains favor will affect local control.
DP: banking issues and federal implications
CU: Define uses
KB: what does DOR envision looking at beyond licensing?
?: Public Consumption
CS: Banking, federal preemption not issue, unless we bring to table, should not be discussed or used at threat. *** Good point.
VM: Will insurance Co's cover MMJ patients, what effect will that have on medicaid funds?
RK: Ideally harmonized Medical & recreational, ***not at expense of patients please.
?: Grey Market sales?
RK: Emergency funding for regulatory, where, when how?
MS: Regulation for home grows...
CT: clarity on outdoor grows

*** here my main concern is that the chair person for this workgroup is Kevin Bommer from Municiple league, as you know I shared a document from his office 2 weeks ago where the CML ws already prioritizing Prohibition over regulation. The CML has also been instrumental in passing many regional bans. I question if the state plans to write a pretty set of rules while at the same time encouraging Kbomb to get the local municipalities to enact bans in every area retail sales might ever be eligible to occur.

main topics were:
BB Different rolls for different agencies state & local.
MS identify opportunities for retail?
DB: Local advertising regs?
CS: who binds local certification?

*** once again they seem to be very keen on finding ways to take money!
We learned a few things on this one, like that the co-chair of this workgroup also happens to be the co-chari of the CCJJ who decides about DUI laws. *** Cozy no? Most of these points centered on DUI no surprise. But there were some other shocking issues of topic...

*** the 1st speaker to chime in on this topic also made the news today for her other opinions... Tamara Ward is a panelist who also is primary signatory of the letter sent by CO business groups to the DOJ requesting that the federal government enforce the Controlled Substances Act. Read the link here, I think this person among about 5 others should be recused for conflict of interest.

TW: Concerns for employers
MS: 280 E tax issues on state level
CS: decouple state & fed taxes for industry
DP?: Student Aid issues, Housing, Contract enforcability???
CS: Where does money go once collected? **** Great Question!
CS: Define Excise tax v other taxes
BB: Where will excise taxes be collected?
CG: Child court issues Dui & juvie court for underage driving intoxicated
MS: (union) DUID in workplace in blood while not using... (nanogram level)
cs: redefine probable cause
kb: redefine muni code rules for misdemeanor

*** expect plenty of new laws to be passed to keep enforcement profitable! See items 2 through 6... and how to keep for profit jails filled long term,
see 7 & 8.

Topics here included:
BB: #6 define safe use, re child services & custody, home grows, and child abuse...
MS: labeling standards
DZ: Illegitimate vs criminal sales definitions... *** note this ass hat's language... this is the "citizen at large" member of the panel who also ironically works in the El Paso Cty DA's office under none other than MMJ hater Dan Maye... nothing to see here...
CU: Diversion to Minors?
DZ: comparrison to Gaming as well as liquor?

*** expect even more new stuff here, as they "think of the children" !

Topics spun out from this one like cheesewhiz from a can shoved up a chihuahua's ass! (sorry, needed to blow off some steam, this typing sucks).

JF: issues of medical vs recreational potency, proposed limit of 10% THC on recreational cannabis.
CT (kiddie drug cop nanny man) blathered on about: advertising to kids, using cartoons, sponsoring youth sports, exposure to smoke, expose to grows, drug culture, impact to drug free schools, duid, substance treatment facilities, mental illness facilities, community colleges? *** this was all one comment in like 20 seconds, the guy sounded all agitated, like he needed to smoke some weed or something.
MS: Responsible vendors- tamperproof package.
CS: re potency please use science vs conjecture.
BB: label & package to deter kids
Smalls: Prohibited chemicals and pesticides
RK: testing standards for potency and health safety
JS: Hashish advertising
RC: Size limits for retail grow operations, plant limit, who regulates?
DZ: community acceptance should be considered
VM: sunset these rules in 4 years in case some dont work out? **** changed my opinion of this woman right here, very sensible.
MS: industry needs a consumer watch dog agency.

Also as I typed this up I got a response from Mark Couch at MMED, he sent me a link to a PDF of all the power point slides so that is attached here, and will let you see the text behind the skulls and grimaces in the pics i took for you. It comes out sideways, but no biggie turn your head!

*** so there you have it... I think what we've learned is that many of these people have 0% of a clue on this topic, and no emotional investment in its success, in fact we seemed to find that in spite of our 3 or 4 years as an industry with a very very few bad apples the prevailing view of panelists was that cannabis users are criminals and addicts who can not be trusted to act responsibly without a nanny state to watch over them. Of course about 35% of these panelists careers depend on that belief system, how is that a conflict of interest? (sarcasm alert) We need to start an email bomb project to let these people know that patients still exist, the medical market is not the same as recreational, and the will of the people was to decrease the drug war and money spent on it, not find new ways to wring blood and money from the same old stoners.

THanks for reading,

Jessica LeRoux
Twirling Hippy Confections
2145 W Evans Denver CO
303 922 3661


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