The association representing law enforcement in Colorado believes that “in the rush to make marijuana legal, the state of Colorado is disregarding public safety.”
A two and a half page letter written by the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police outlined “serious safety concerns” about Amendment 64, was sent to Governor Hickenlooper, leaders in both the Colorado House and Senate and state Attorney General John Suthers.
A copy was also sent to U.S. Attorney John Walsh, an attempt possibly to get the Federal Government involved.
The group wants the Legislature to establish a 5-nanogram per liter standard for driving under the influence. Also they are upset that funding training for police officers to better identify drugged drivers has been made optional and that funding was also cut for studies to look at the consequences of marijuana legalization on law enforcement.
“Simply put, money cannot drive this decision,” the letter states.
But Amendment 64 proponents believe money is what is driving this letter.
“They just lost a huge chunk of their budget and like any business they have to find a way to recoup that,” said Jason Warf, a lobbyist for the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council.
Warf says by legalizing marijuana, there is estimated to be 10,000 less arrests per year.
“Ten-thousand arrests a year is a pretty good dent in any budget,” Warf said.
The CACP warns near the end of their letter, “We have strong concerns if Amendment 64 is not implemented properly, we will become the nation’s supplier of choice for marijuana.”
“I think these words play into the fear and really they’re baseless,” Warf said.
The time to act or not is running short for the Legislature. This year’s session ends May 8th.