Michael Dunafon Video ThumbnailMayor Michael Dunafon of Glendale, Colorado, has some advice for cannabis supporters: “Get politically active.”

“Laws are interesting things,” Dunafon said as one of the keynote speakers at the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce’s recent Indo Expo conference. “Embrace the law. Understand it completely. Don’t break it. Change it. Or figure out how much of it is useful to you and change the parts you don’t like.” And it’s time, he said, to change Colorado law to allow adults to consume cannabis openly.

“Don’t put somebody in office that’s livelihood is not dependent on them doing the right thing for themselves, not everybody else,” Dunafon said. “This idea of altruism is a disease. “I need you as much as you need me if we fully understand the necessity to work together to improve our lives. If I’m out there telling you I’m going to fix you, who in the world wants to spend their life dying on the installment plan?”

An amateur historian and storyteller par excellence, Dunafon recounted an incident that occurred during the campaign for Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana by adults.

“There are 41 mayors in the Metro (Denver) Mayor’s Caucus,”  he said. It takes 100 percent approval for the caucus to take a stand on an issue, Dunafon said. “If you have one dissent, the one dissenting mayor prevents the caucus from taking a stand. So when 64 was up, the caucus decided to take a stand against Amendment 64.  That’s pretty powerful. Forty-one mayors are going to come out and advise all of their constituents to vote against Amendment 64. I gave them 28 pages on the Volstead Act and asked them what they thought they were doing by continuing the war on drugs and what we didn’t learn from the prohibition on a far worse drug, alcohol. What did you miss when that occurred?

“That one mayor (Dunafon) prevented them from taking a stand. They couldn’t take a stand. So, (Colorado Gov. John) Hickenlooper came down and (Denver Mayor) Michael Hancock came down and they said, ‘You’re going to destroy tourism.’ I said, ‘No. You’re going to do the opposite. It’s all going to be wonderful. Well, it turned out to be the case.  So what do you think the metro mayors did? They changed the rule to five mayors. This is what politicians do.”

“If we would spend 10 minutes a day holding them accountable for what they do . . . we could change this,” Dunafon said.