Anti-tax pot activists host spliff-giveaway for flood victims

BOULDER, Colo. — An activist group opposed to a state initiative aimed at taxing recreational marijuana, will provide relief to flood victims here Monday by handing out free joints at 11 A.M. on the Pearl Street Mall at 13th Street.

The group, No on Proposition AA, is headed by Larisa Bolivar and Miguel Lopez, chief organizers of Denver’s annual “4/20” civil disobedience smoke-out. The group sponsored a similar rally against Proposition AA on September 9th, giving away joints to hundreds of people over 21 in Denver’s Civic Center.

Colorado’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has also come out against Proposition AA, although it does not endorse the joint-giveaway events. NORML and the opponents of Proposition AA agree that the potential 30 percent tax rate is too steep.

Supporters of the tax, led by the group Yes on Proposition AA and backed by the Committee for Responsible Regulation, views passage of the tax proposal as necessary if the state is going to successfully implement Amendment 64, which legalized pot in Colorado for recreational use.

“We’ll be addressing the flood victim relief, helping people with free tax-free joints. So while they’re suffering during their times of hardship, it will bring them a relief, if even for a brief time,” said Lopez.

The pot give away coincides with Vice President Biden’s trip to view the flood-afflicted areas of Colorado, according to Lopez, a conscious overlap.

“While Vice President Biden visits, we’ll be here helping out in a different way,” Lopez said. He noted the high tax rate could put a financial burden on people already tight for money. “I’d want a joint right now if I were a flood victim.”

High-profile legalization attorney Rob Corry, treasurer for the NO on Proposition AA campaign, wrote a letter to Biden, asking him to attend the Boulder event, Westword reported this weekend.

“Beleaguered flood victims need some kind relief from their depression and stress in dealing with this difficult challenge,” he wrote. “Marijuana will bring joy, relief, and sunshine now that the clouds have parted, the rains have ended, and flood recovery begins. Your participation in our Joint Giveaway would be a gesture that will help Colorado heal after these devastating floods.”


[ Top image by Tessa Cheek; bottom image CU-Boulder’s 4/20 Rally in 2010, by J. Paxon Reyes ]