Colorado: Hundreds Line Up For Free Joints In Marijuana Tax Protest
By Steve Elliott
Hundreds of excited people lined up in Denver's Civic Center Park on Monday to get a free joint, as part of a protest against Colorado's plan to heavily tax recreational marijuana.
The protest was courtesy of the No On Proposition AA campaign, which opposes a plan calling for a 10 percent sales tax on recreational cannabis with the option of going as high as 15 percent (with an additional 15 percent excise tax), reports CBS Denver.
According to spokesman Robert Corry, an attorney who represents clients in the medical marijuana business, state leaders are backing a plan that over-taxes cannabis sales, and that's not what voters approved when they passed Amendment 64 last November.
"We have one of the leading alcohol industries in the world here in our state with less than a one percent tax," Corry said. "That's what the marijuana tax ought to be. That's what we support."
Supporters of Proposition AA, including Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown, claim the money is necessary for "proper regulation" of cannabis.
"We will all be affected by this industry and we need to be ready for it -- administratively, from the police perspective and from a public health perspective, and that's what we need this money for," Brown claimed.
Police were closely watching those gathered for the anti-tax protest rally at midday on Monday. People were asked by rally organizers to provide an ID to prove they were 21 or older before they could get one of the free joints.
A CBS4 crew in the park saw no arrests and witnessed numerous people openly smoking marijuana. Under Colorado's new legalization law, public cannabis consumption is still illegal, and users must be at least 21.