Disgusting: Retired Denver Cop Tony Ryan Speaks in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana, Prohibitionists Call Him a "Pro-Pot Rent-a-Cop"

Retired Denver Police Lieutenant Tony Ryan served Colorado residents for 36 years, during which time he was shot in the line of duty, responded to the massacre at Columbine, and won numerous awards for his service. Yet because Ryan spoke yesterday in favor of Amendment 64, the Colorado ballot initiative to legalize marijuana, the amendment's leading opponent had the gall to call Ryan a "pro-pot rent-a-cop" in a press release.  

Westword has more

A 36-year veteran of the Denver Police Department, Ryan was joined at the Denver City and County Building get-together by fellow members of the national organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), among others. A statement from him released afterward offers a good sense of his sentiments. It reads: "Law enforcement officers know better than anyone that keeping marijuana illegal and unregulated means the gangs and cartels that control the illegal trade win, and the rest of us lose. Our current marijuana laws distract police officers from doing the job we signed up for -- protecting the public by stopping and solving serious crimes. They also put us at risk by forcing us to deal with an underground marijuana market made up of gangsters, cartels and other criminals."

Afterward, Roger Sherman, campaign director for Smart Colorado, the No on 64 organization, released comments of his own. They begin: "Today's endorsement by two out-of-state law enforcement organizations and a pro-pot rent-a-cop pales in comparison to the dozens of county sheriffs, chiefs of police, district attorneys and school resource officers that are publically opposed to Amendment 64."

Sherman's attack on Ryan and the other members of LEAP is disgusting on its face, but the charge of "out-of-state" influence is downright laughable: Sherman's organization, Smart Colorado, is being bankrolled to the tune of $150,000 by a Florida-based drug war profiteer named Mel Sembler

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  • Cliché Bandit||

    I know Tony, he is no rent-a cop. This guy is a moron.

  • Paul.||

    Oh wait, for a sec I thought you meant Tony was a moron.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Objects, subjects, ambiguity...all part of my master plan. Next up, winning the fantasy league with 4 injured players...awesome!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    *right hand on heart, "Tony is a..." written on back*

    *left hand placed by right hand, "Moran!1" written on back*

  • juris imprudent||

    What you did there, I refuse to see it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wouldn't be surprised if we see Mr. Sherman tempering that language in future statements.

  • ||

    Doesn't Sembler run a bunch of camps for kids whose parents think they're out of control/on drugs/etc? And haven't those been accused of serious abuse? I'm too weak from hunger right now to go look it up.

  • ||

    Yes, reason wrote about him, STRAIGHT and SAFE.

    Those are the program names, and not that he wears a jimmy-hat.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He is the founder of Straight, Inc., which was accused of crimes against humanity in aught three.

    Straight, Inc. is not, however, affiliated with the pray-the-gay-away camp that seemed to work wonders on Episiarch.

  • AlmightyJB||

    " that seemed to work wonders on Episiarch"

    Yeah, that's what he "claims". I've heard different though.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Is there a "pray-the-STEVE-SMITH-away" camp?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    There aren't enough prayers in all of humanity to pray that away, so no one's even tried to get a camp going. Otherwise, that would be a great idea.

  • John||

    That is a different camp. That Steve Smith camp is for youth gay sex what your grandfather locking you in a closet with a box of cigars and not letting you out until you smoked all of them is for youth smoking.

  • ||

    "My name is Episiarch, I'm 8 years old, I'm blood type O, and I'm bi-curious! And even that's okay, because if I'm bi-curious and I'm somehow made from God, then I figure God might be a little bi-curious himself!"

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I'm Almanian, and I'm type O, too! AND bi-curious, so we have TWO things in common!

    Well, three if you count beliving SugarFree is Satan! Four if you count believing God is bi-curious!

    LOL! We should get together sometime!

  • John||

    God made you with his eyes closed.

  • ||

    any comment that makes me think of a Creed song is an instant fail

  • ||

    The court is in session.
    The v'rrrrrrrrrrrrrrdict is in.

  • Killazontherun||

    'fraid I'm not familiar with that band. I think I may have heard like an eight bar intro to a tune, but it was boring so I lost focus even while it was still playing. Are they anything like Limp Bizket?

  • Killazontherun||

    Wait . . I retained a little bit more than that. The lead singer sounds kinda like Eddie Vedder?

    Anyhoo, new Sound Garden out in a month.

  • John||

    Wasn't Creed pretty much the standard high school prom band in the late 1990s?

  • Killazontherun||

    Didn't the lead singer have sex in a video with Kid Rock?

    I can almost picture the guy in my head, but the music alludes me.

  • ||

    yes. the lead singe sounds exactly like vedder. not that they are the first band to get accused of that. back in the day, scott weiland of stone temple pilots got accused of that, and rightly so

    tons of garage bands of that era, that late became successful were obviously pearl jam/grunge enthusiast

    Creed is a POOR pearl jam ripoff with a saccharine religious message shoved down your throat every song

    i have no rpblem with religion in rock. (or country e.g. Johnny Cash). Lots of great bands are very religious etc.

    But Creed, just ugh...

    this is the song i was referring to ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRrdP8bUZI4

    AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Killazontherun||

    I'll give them 'Immortality'. Brilliant tune. Besides that, PJam is the definitive overrated band of the 90's.

    And Weiland is more of a Morrison cover guy than a Vedder one. Listen to Atlanta, it's chilling due to the great job of getting that tone down. Almost ruined by the lyric about 'cake' though. Fucks it up. Ruins the moodscape.

  • ||

    i'm just alright with pearl jam. was never a big fan. out of that group, i liked alice in chains best

  • ||

    speaking of kick ass songs with a religious theme, you gotta love social distortion

    mike ness has been doing his thing for over 20 yrs. and still rocking hard.

    when i think of, "all you need is a guitar, three chords and truth", social D comes to mind

    When the Angels Sing
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOt6EFqUubk

  • Killazontherun||

    I'm pretty familiar with them. In fact, I recall listening to him one evening giving an interview on a local radio station some years back, and he played a cover of an old sea chanty.

  • Mensan||

    Social D is my all time favorite band. Plus, their lead guitarist endorsed Ron Paul back at the Iowa Caucus.

  • ||

    cool. i've loved social D for many a year. probably i first got introduced to their music because it was on a few surf video soundtracks.

    surf videos back in the day had a lot of bands like Social D, Agent Orange, stuff like that

  • ||

    He sounds like a douchey karaoke dude who THINKS he sounds like Vedder singing Nothingman.

    Moreover, [in the voice of Chris Cornell] RITUALLLLLLL!!!

  • Killazontherun||

    RITUALLLLLLL!!!

    Fuck YEAHH. Made that movie watchable for all of three minutes.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    At one point I forgot Plush was done by Stone Temple Pilots and thought it was Pearl Jam.

  • ||

    btw, if you like STP and Guns n Roses , check out Velvet Revolver.

    Scott Weiland on vocals. Slash on guitar

    Duff McCagan on bass (from GnR)

  • Hugh Akston||

    I hope you appreciate how many bags of waffle fries I had to eat to send you to that camp.

  • ||

    I don't, Hugh. I really don't. What's a waffle fry?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    similar to a deep dish casserole...

  • Paul.||

    Straight, Inc. is not, however, affiliated with the pray-the-gay-away camp that seemed to work wonders on Episiarch.

    It was a dark time for Epi.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So are the Prohibitionists starting to panic as they see their house sinking into the sand a little?

  • Paul.||

    No, they're widening their market share to the food industry. Do you have any idea how many products there are that can be banned?

  • pmains||

    Sherman's organization, Smart Colorado, is being bankrolled to the tune of $150,000 by a Florida-based drug war profiteer named Mel Sembler.

    Yup. If the talking point doesn't fit the facts, be sure to only select the facts that fit the talking point. If that doesn't work, lie.

  • ||

    ...publically financially opposed to Amendment 64.

    Dear Mr. Sherman, FIFY.

  • Fluffy||

    Don't use the term "drug war profiteer". Use the Fluffy-originated term "member of the slaveholder lobby".

  • ||

    Disgusting? I thought we were all free speechy around here.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Jesus Jones, are you really that big an idiot?

  • ||

    You disgust me!

  • Hugh Akston||

    You have no right to say that!

  • ||

    You shut your neck or I'll report you to the board of equalization!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    His freely made speech was disgusting.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They can't verbally abuse cops. That's our job.

  • Proprietist||

    Aspen Times endorses Amendment 64:
    http://www.aspentimes.com/arti.....ofile=1061

    I hope common sense is prevailing in Colorado.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Dude...it is comin LIKE THA THUNDA!!!!

    GJ has been here twice pushing it.

    Mason Tvert has been instrumental in making it successful and his track records is pretty good.

    The LP is pushing it.

    I think we are going to do it this time. No sarcasm.

    So, when election day comes and it loses who is going to stop me from jumping off the royal gorge bridge without a bungee?

  • ||

    i think WA's legalization initiative has an excellent chance of passing

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I'm having a hard time sympathizing with the former retired Pig™. Cause he's a Pig, even if he's retired. So fuck him and his dumb rent-an-ass bitch Pig self.

    He's the worst character EVER!

  • Tim||

    You're a towel!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Episiarch told me that earlier. I haz a sad :(

  • ||

    LEAP members and Oath Keepers get a hall pass.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Not sure if serious. To clarify my poorly constructed point above:
    Tony is an excellent human being. There is a reason he was only an LT after 36 years. He has served on the LNC and locally here in the LPCO for many years. I have never known him to defend the actions of bad cops. I have seen him bring a few cops to the LP however and when Gary Johnson was in town for an event a local DPD officer actually (literally) broke ranks to shake Gary's hand and thank him for running. So Tony's positive influence on the DPD for liberty is noticeable.

    The douche on the anti-64 side is a moron...add him in with Dan Caplis, another anti 64 guy out here.

  • ||

    sounds cool. btw, nothing wrong with being "just a lieutenant" after 36 yrs. or just a patrol officer.

    i know some awesome cops 30 yrs on have NO desire to promote and have never taken the test.

    same thing about detecitves. because of teevee, where i see on shows cops refer to detectives as "sir" (lol, not in my dept. same rank.), people think a detective is "better" or the patrol guy couldn;t cut it as a dick

    i worked detectives for a few years. boring as fuck to me.

    one of my partners worked homicide for 10 yrs. she chose to come back to patrol

    that being said, he sounds like a good guy

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    LEAP or Oath Keeper or not, almost anybody who was a cop and was a "decorated" cop after that long a time frame, certainly did perjure themselves on the stand at least a few times to earn their reputation.

  • ||

    hmm...

    let's look at this more closely

    "Today's endorsement by two out-of-state law enforcement organizations and a pro-pot rent-a-cop pales in comparison to"
    ...
    " the dozens of county sheriffs,"

    as a rule, county sheriffs are elected. they are for better or worse... first and foremost ... POLITICIANS. in many jurisdictions, they do not even have to have any law enforcement experience. don't get me wrong, many sheriff's run for sheriff after serving many years as a real cop. but the point is when they are serving as sheriff, they are an elected politician. they don't have civil service protection. they can be voted out next election.

    "chiefs of police,"

    chiefs of police are appointed politicians (contrast with above). in many cities, they serve solely at the pleasure of a mayor or city council . iow, mayor wants a new police chief, ... he gets one

    so whatever public stance they take, at least consider that if that stance is contrary to those who appointed him , he risks losing his job

    also note in many jurisdictions, there are little to no requirements for a police chief or sheriff. they don't even need to be a police academy graduate in many cases. because they are politicians who wear a cop uniform. not cops who are acting in a political role (USUALLY)

  • ||

    here's something else i notice. if you go the LEAP page, every single law enforcement affiliated person on that page who is named and is coming out against marijuana is an "ex"/... ex-cop, ex-chief, ex-da, etc.

    why? probably because in many places it's political suicide to take that stance publicall.

    " school resource officers "

    school resource officers are at least rank and file "real cops" (granted, i would rather swallow my glock than deal with the petty bullshit politics that go on in a high or middle school. however, it is difficult for any rank and file cop to come out publically pro-mj. but at least, from my opinion the stance of the SRO's is WAY more relevant than the previous two

    i can just say -amongst the street cops i work with, and the MJ issue comes up fairly frequently, i'd say at LEAST 1/3 support decrim and/or legalization

    also, in my experience, when you engage civilly and point out 'when was the last time you went to a spousal abuse call and the guy beat her up after getting stoned?" or "when was the last time a stoner assaulted you on a traffic stop (vs. a drunk which is hella common)...

    many will reconsider their position

  • mr simple||

    I think this position from SROs is somewhat understandable, because they have to be "for the children." Not logical or relevant to the debate, mind you, but understandable.

  • ||

    yea, that too

    i just honestly think, all other factors aside, that legalizing it will NOT increase its usage

    also, when we legalize it, that means we can devote MORE resources to guys who sell to KIDS.

  • Tim||

    Legalize pot so New York can ban big joints.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    DUDE! I'm SOOOO wasted!! haha!

  • John||

    That is discrimination against Jamaicans.

  • ||

    lol. total win. good one

  • Cliché Bandit||

    speaking of New York Shark Jumping. My thoughts: OVER MY DEAD BODY!!!!

  • John||

    If you just agree to wear this bright yellow star, crooks will know you are in the program and thus won't rob you. Trust us.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    In this case the first thought through my head was "The cops want my phone registered so they know who to shake down if they need a new phone" Tied to those drugs they found in my pocket so it's evidence right?

  • Invisible Finger||

    during which time he was shot in the line of duty, responded to the massacre at Columbine, and won numerous awards for his service.

    Do we need to submit a FOIA request to find out how many dogs he shot??

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "Smart Colorado" would be a good name for a head shop.

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