Greeley Republican state Senator Scott Renfroe told his Senate colleagues Wednesday during debate on medical marijuana regulation that the large April 20 pro-pot rally at the capitol was an “embarrassment” and that Gov. Bill Ritter should have called out the National Guard to break it up and confiscate the medical marijuana cards of participants. Renfroe is known for conservative hyperbole on social issues but the spectacle of a public servant sworn to uphold the law recommending the governor call out troops against peaceful protesters exercising the legal right in the state to smoke marijuana seemed even to take Renfroe’s Senate collegaues by surprise. They quickly steered him from his tangent back onto debate of amendments to the bill under discussion.
Apparently Renfroe believed the protesters were making a mockery of the law by smoking marijuana for political and recreational purposes rather than for medicinal purposes. He suspected they were engaging in a massive show of civil disobedience and that suspicion was cause enough in his mind to bring in the National Guard.
A commenter at blogsite ColoradoPols notes that Renfroe’s remarks came almost exactly 40 years to the day that the Ohio National Guard, attempting to break up an anti-Vietnam war protest at Kent State University, fired into the crowd of students, killing four, wounding eight and paralyzing one for life. The move turned the protest into a national tragedy that further divided the country along political and generational lines.