Tell U.S. Attorney John Walsh that the federal government should not interfere with Colorado's medical marijuana system
On March 23, 2012, the United States attorney in Colorado, John Walsh, an Obama administration appointee, sent letters to 25 state-legal medical marijuana providers in the state, informing them that they must shut down their operations within 45 days. If they did not, he said, the federal government would seize their property. This follows a similar action in January that forced 22 businesses providing patients safe and reliable access to medicine to close their doors.
These unnecessary and egregious actions by the Obama administration are not going unnoticed by prominent figures in the state. Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett recently sent a letter to Walsh in which he decried the federal government's interference in local matters. "I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district," he wrote, "to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation."
U.S. Attorney Walsh needs to know that there are citizens throughout the state of Colorado who agree with District Attorney Garnett and are proud of the benefits Colorado's medical marijuana system produces. So please take a moment and send the email below to Mr. Walsh. All of your elected officials, from the president all the way down to your state representative, will receive a copy.
President Barack Obama
Your State Senator or Senators
Your State Representative or Representatives
Click Here to get involved.
I am writing to respectfully express my frustration and disappointment over your decision to force certain state-approved medical marijuana businesses to cease operations.
You are no doubt aware that medical marijuana providers in the state have worked closely with Colorado state and local governments to safely regulate medical marijuana sales and production and have made great efforts -- and gone to great expense -- to establish a thorough and safe regulatory structure. Because of this collaboration between stakeholders and state and local officials, Colorado has emerged as the model among states that legally recognize the medicinal value of marijuana.
While I understand that you have received a letter from leaders of the medical marijuana industry, I wanted you to know that I also appreciate the contributions that state-regulated medical marijuana providers have made to the Colorado community:
* They have provided vital medicine to 164,000+ sick and disabled Colorado citizens whose doctors have recommended medical marijuana to them.
* They employ over 5,000 Coloradans and provide them with a living wage and benefits so they can support their families. They also provide substantial support for ancillary businesses like electricians, carpenters, and engineers.
* Their businesses produce tens of millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue with the first $2 million earmarked annually for programs critical to helping Colorado fight addiction and accompanying mental health issues. The Circle Program at Pueblo's Colorado Mental Health Institute was on its last legs before this new tax supported it. Many cities in Colorado have used this extra tax revenue to keep vital city programs operating and to avoid laying off more government employees.
* They helped author and endorse SB 12-154 to establish a responsible vendor program similar to what many Colorado jurisdictions currently require for alcohol sales.
* They are working closely with the Denver City Council to foster sensible regulations, including currently working on language to limit inappropriate advertisements, specifically public advertisements near schools and other sensitive areas.
* They worked with local papers, like the Colorado Springs Gazette, to establish community-conscious advertising with a proper healthcare focus.
* They help create safer neighborhoods through the extensive use of security cameras and guards, by increased lighting in commercial areas, and by occupying otherwise vacant retail or warehouse spaces. There has never been a case of a minor purchasing medicine from one these licensed businesses.
You claim that your federal assault on the state's medical marijuana system is in response to a few complaints from state residents. We assume that most of these complaints have come from people who do not appreciate marijuana's medical benefits and are opposed to medical marijuana under any circumstances. Please know, as polls consistently demonstrate, that the vast majority of people of this state support the rights of patients to use medical marijuana and trust the state to regulate the system.
With the utmost respect, we urge you and President Obama's executive branch, in the strongest possible terms, to honor the decisions of the people of Colorado and our state and local elected officials. We appreciate your other efforts to protect public safety in Colorado, but please leave the regulation of medical marijuana to our state and local governments.
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