In many ways the friction between Mason Tvert, head of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and Lieutenant Ernie Martinez, head of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association (CDIA), personifies the ongoing clash between law enforcement and marijuana activists.
While the two both sit on the mayor-appointed Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel, they're far from chums. Last month, for example, Tvert demanded a boycott of Starbucks after he noticed the coffee chain appeared to be a sponsor on CDIA's website. (Starbucks apparently relented, and right now the CDIA's website is down).
Now Tvert's launched another broadside across Martinez's bow. SAFER is calling on Mayor Hickenlooper to pull Martinez from the city's marijuana panel, based on a 2006 CDIA letter penned by Martinez that compares marijuana legalization advocates to cancer.
The letter, which introduces a CDIA position paper on marijuana legalization, states:
Those who want to legalize drugs weaken our collective struggle against this scourge of our society. Like a cancer, proponents for legalization eat away at society's resolve and moral fiber. The marijuana-drug legalization movement has nothing to offer users and addicts but more drugs."It's just very clear that this individual has no interest in working towards what the people want," says Tvert, noting that a recent internal poll found that half of likely voters statewide and two-thirds of those in Denver support making marijuana legal. "And if Hickenlooper is going to represent the people of Colorado, he has to take a stand on this. [Martinez] should not be in a position where he's influencing policy on this issue."