For a relatively small state, Colorado creates a lot of news. The eclectic mix of pro-pot liberals, civil libertarians and right-wing Teavangelists makes Colorado as interesting as it is beautiful. Today’s news cycle gave us two stories that perfectly illustrate why Colorado has earned its title as a perennial swing state.
In the state’s capitol of Denver, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, against his personal judgment, signed the legalization of marijuana possession into law.
The law, which passed voter approval in November, is only the second in the nation. It followed Washington State, where marijuana was formally legalized just last week. For now, both laws only cover possession of less than an ounce for people 21 and over and gifting of less than an ounce. Monetary distribution will be illegal for another year while both states iron out tax policy and other bits of red tape. Both liberals and civil libertarians have reason to celebrate. From the Coloradoan.com:
This is a truly historic day,” said Mason Tvert, co-director of the campaign to pass the measure. “From this day forward, adults in Colorado will no longer be punished for the simple use and possession of marijuana.”
Now, marijuana can be consumed as long as it is not done publicly or in a manner that endangers anyone. Up to 1 ounce of it can be possessed legally or transferred from one person to another, provided there is no remuneration for it, until the Legislature provides a mechanism for the sale, according to Mark Couch, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Revenue. Also as of Monday, cultivating up to six marijuana plants in Colorado is legal under Amendment 64.
About 70 miles south along Colorado’s Interstate 25, lies what is arguably the epicenter of Evangelical conservatism, Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is known for both the Air Force Academy which, in recent years, has become a hub of Christian Dominionism and for the ultra right-wing, anti-gay, anti-choice, Focus on the Family. If it weren’t for the Rockies to the west, you might believe that in just over an hour you’d entered a different state.
One Colorado Springs landlord is so upset with the results of last month’s election that he has even gone so far as to threaten Obama voters with a rent increase.
John Obringer, the landlord at Casa Adobe Apartments, sent a letter to his tenants saying that he will have to cut back on maintenance because of the reelection of the President and even worse, if someone voted for Obama, he would raise their rent. This is how the letter read:
“Due to the stupidity of the U.S. electorate, the Obama-administration’s continued assault on small business is resulting in increased taxes, regulations and mandates that are forcing the management company (B&J Enterprises, Inc.) for Casa Adobe Apartments to modify its operation to survive. This has resulted in layoffs, work-time reductions and decreased pay for workers. Consequently, the business hours are now Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Please plan accordingly … We are working hard to maintain the field, cleaning and maintenance personnel in place without raising rents, but that too is inevitable due to the upcoming inflation and market forces.”
“If you have any questions, comments or criticisms, please call me. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and Happy Holidays to you and yours,” continues Obringer.
Then he added, “BTW: If you voted “Democrat” on Nov. 6, please notify me ASAP so I can raise your rent first to help pay for what you asked for.”
Here is a copy of the letter, as posted on Scribd.
Someone needs to pass Obringer a joint.