DENVER - Where'd you get the weed?
That's what a watchdog organization wants a political committee that has been handing out free joints at political rallies to oppose taxation of retail marijuana to disclose.
Colorado Ethics Watch, a Democratically oriented organization that focuses on open government and political spending, filed a campaign finance complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office on Tuesday seeking to force No Over Taxation to reveal where it got the marijuana it has been giving away.
No Over Taxation has given out free joints at rallies in Denver and Boulder, to convince voters to oppose Proposition AA. The ballot measure facing a statewide vote in November would fund schools and enforcement and regulation of retail marijuana by imposing a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent sales tax on recreational pot when it becomes available for sale in Colorado next year.
Until then, marijuana can be transferred from one person to another, but nothing of value can be exchanged for it.
In its campaign finance complaint, Colorado Ethics Watch contends that No Over Taxation has a legal obligation to disclose the source of the marijuana it distributed and the office space it occupies. The complaint alleges that the donors providing office space and marijuana should be identified in No Over Taxation's campaign finance reports, but were not.
No Over Taxation's campaign finance report on file with the Secretary of State's Office reflects a 1 cent contribution from its organizer, Denver lawyer Robert Corry, on the date of the Denver rally. The contribution is described as "marijuana." Another 1-cent contribution for office space in Denver is also reflected, but instead of identifying the donor, the source of the contribution is classified as "non-itemized."
"This committee needs to explain how it acquired the marijuana it distributed at its campaign events so that voters are well-informed on who is sending this message," said Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch. "Voters deserve to know who is providing this campaign with marijuana and office space, and Colorado law requires these contributions to be disclosed."
Corry, who made headlines with his arrest two weeks ago for smoking marijuana at Coors Field, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Colorado Ethics Watch has asked the Secretary of State's Office to refer its complaint to an administrative law judge and wants No Over Taxation to be fined $50 per day retroactive to Aug. 1 in addition to filing updated reports that disclose the marijuana and office space donors.
Written by: Patrick Malone
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