Marijuana giveaway set for Monday on Pearl Street Mall

Pearl Street Mall boulder hbtv hemp beach tvThose opposing a marijuana sales tax ballot question are looking to replicate a successful campaign event in Denver by handing out free joints Monday on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall. Organizers are billing the giveaway as both a campaign event and flood relief, giving joints to medical marijuana patients and “stressed out recreational users” who may have lost their stashes in the flooding. Flood relief donations also will be accepted at the event.

“Boulder has been victimized by floods,” said Rob Corry, who helped organize the event and hopes to defeat Proposition AA. “We want to bring some flood relief to folks.” At Monday’s Boulder event, the free joints will be given to anyone over 21 in attendance. Organizers are asking people not to light up, which is illegal in public. Smoking of any kind also is prohibited on Pearl Street Mall. The event itself is legal and is allowed by the city, organizers said.

Police watched from a distance at a similar Denver event earlier this month, staying away even when a few people lit up their joints. Police officials later said that they didn’t want to risk inciting a riot over a petty offense. “I’m sure there won’t be too much public consumption (at the Boulder event),” Corry said.

Proposition AA is a statewide ballot question that will ask voters in November to approve a 15 percent excise tax and an initial 10 percent sales tax that could be raised up to 15 percent. That would be in addition to the existing sales taxes.

Researchers believe the state could see as much as $130 million of tax revenues annually from retail sales. The first $40 million collected will go to school construction. The rest will be split between local governments and the state general fund for enforcement and regulation. Corry, who helped draft Amendment 64, which legalized the sale of recreational pot to adults, called it the biggest tax increase in state history. He said it would create a “dysfunctional” market.

“This issue cuts across standard political lines,” he said. “We expect to get the anti-tax vote and the pro-marijuana vote.” He said the campaign in opposition to the tax doesn’t have much money and is counting on using giveaways to get people talking about the issue. “We don’t need all that,” he said. “We have free joints.” The Denver Post contributed to this report.

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