It’s the first day of autumn and that means it’s time to reflect. Being on the front lines in Colorado where cannabis is “legal,” means taking the time to tell the rest of the world what’s going on. We’ve got to encourage the rest of the world to follow our lead, while simultaneously warning them of the seemingly endless pitfalls—those from inside the industry and those coming at us from the outside.
As we hurtle towards winter (yes, winter is coming) today I am reminded of the strength that is our youth and the teachers that meld their character—the same lot that melded mine and yours, eh? In the streets of Jefferson County, Colorado yesterday and today, hundreds of students made clear their disenchantment with the county school board and their plans to white-wash our Nation’s history. A proposal before the board regarding Advanced Placement American History says in part, “Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.” Apparently, the school board needs a reminder that these very characteristics defined the birth of the United States (not to mention every decade since). On the front lines, diligence means vigilance against the thought police. Those that would tell you which information is best for you to digest….
It’s important. The spirit of these kids is the same that led Colorado to pass Amendment 64—to freeing our weed. These kids and their teachers are standing up to the thought police and saying “no way.” I was in high school in 1984. I’d like to think I’d be standing in solidarity with these kids.
The accomplishment of Amendment 64 was a breakthrough in civil disobedience. By passing a constitutional amendment the citizenry of Colorado said we’re not buying the lies anymore. By enshrining the right of every citizen over the age of 21 to possess, cultivate, consume, and produce derivative products (e.g., concentrates, edibles) of cannabis in our constitution means no law maker can strike it down without further amending the constitution. It’s not something the legislature or executive can just take away. It’s ours. It’s our right. It belongs to the people. Because we did that.
There are those who would recriminalize cannabis in Colorado if they could. We’ve got to remain alert. Earlier this month, prohibitionist forces combined their weight in Denver in an attempt to persuade the City Council to ban the home production of all cannabis concentrates except those made with water or ethanol. The Denver Fire Chief, persuaded by the moms from SMART Colorado joined forces with Mayor Hancock’s office to propose an amendment to the city’s criminal code making it an offense to produce hash anywhere other than a licensed commercial facility. Because the amendment was proposed to the criminal code, penalties would include fines up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for as long as a year.
And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those pesky kids and their serious ailments….
You see, in the eyes of the SMART moms, the Fire Chief, and the Mayor all they can see are “amateur” hash makers blowing themselves and everyone around them up for the high and the money. But that is generally not the case. Have there been butane explosions caused by amateur hash makers in Colorado? Sure! Eight of them in the city of Denver in 2013. EIGHT. How many times do you hear the fire trucks go by every day in Denver? While some property damage has occurred on account of these explosions, no one has been seriously hurt or killed. Is there a risk? Life is risk.
But the reaction from our city officials to the risk of butane flash fires over-reached their authority and put other lives in imminent danger. Not everyone making hash at home is doing so for the high or the profit. As the City Council found out first hand there are real families relying on these methods to heal their children at home. Parents who have picked up everything and have moved to Colorado just to get some access to medicinal cannabis for their sick kids. They come here and they educate themselves on which medicines (cannabinoids) are going to work for their kids. They come here and they learn how to make their own medicines to know that they are safe, to know that they will be effective—that they will be what they are advertised to be, and to save money. These are concerned parents, not profiteers. Luckily, our council members were able to make the distinction. The amendment did not pass. But, though the battle won, the war is far from over. The prohibitionists will be back.
From Colorado I write to you in Michigan and around the world—remain vigilant. This fight is the best fight. It is a fight for our bodies. It is a fight for our minds. It is a fight for the very health of our nation!