Visiting a Denver medical marijuana dispensary Thursday, Libertarian vice presidential nominee and retired Superior Court Judge Jim Gray urged passage of Amendment 64, the statewide initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol that will appear on this year's ballot.
Judge Gray was also critical of the Obama Administration's interference in Colorado's state-regulated medical marijuana system. Last week, the Justice Department issued letters to 10 state-legal medical marijuana facilities demanding that they shut down. Fifty-seven total businesses have now received such letters.
Judge Gray is running for vice president on the Libertarian ticket with presidential nominee and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Johnson has expressed strong support for Amendment 64.
"Marijuana prohibition has been just as ineffective, harmful and wasteful as alcohol prohibition," Gray said. "Regulating marijuana like alcohol will take marijuana out of the underground market where it is supporting drug cartels and other criminal enterprises, and it will allow the state and localities to redirect their limited law enforcement resources toward serious crimes.
"Amendment 64 presents a responsible new approach, and I am proud to lend it my full support."
"It is frankly surprising to see the President coming to Colorado to garner support for his campaign less than a week after his administration demanded the shutdown of 10 more state-legal businesses," Gray said. "When it comes to many of these state-legal medical marijuana businesses in Colorado, it can be said with certainty that President Obama didn't build them -- he killed them."
"The federal government has no business interfering in states' efforts to regulate and control marijuana, and I can assure you it would not do so under a Johnson administration."