Denver activists give away free marijuana joints to protest tax plans
A University of Colorado freshman, who did not want to be identified, joins a crowd smoking marijuana during a "420" gathering at Farrand Field at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., April 20, 2005. (Longmont Daily Times-Call, Richard M. Hackett)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, September 9, 2013 3:01PM EDT
DENVER -- Hundreds of people lined up in Denver for a free marijuana cigarette Monday as part of a protest against a ballot proposal that would impose high taxes on the drug, which is now legal in Colorado for recreational use.
The measure on the November ballot asks Colorado voters to approve a 15 per cent excise tax plus a 10 per cent statewide sales tax on all retail marijuana purchases.
The marijuana was donated by a local attorney who got it as part of a legal settlement after authorities determined it was seized illegally, according to Larisa Bolivar, campaign manager for opponents of the ballot measure.
Littletree Oppy wore a fake nurse cap while she handed out the cigarettes at Civic Center Park for the campaign. She said she opposes the proposed taxes because people who can't afford to pay would be forced to go to the black market.
People waiting in line for the free pot shouted "We want weed!" as the supply dwindled.
Gulf War veteran Randy Notz said he suffers from a traumatic brain injury and qualifies for marijuana under Colorado's medical marijuana law. He said he showed up and got a single marijuana cigarette to show his support for the campaign to defeat the ballot measure that would impose high taxes.
"I paid for two hours of parking and stood in line for one joint because I've been campaigning for this right for a long time," Notz said.