Pot legalization: Women's Marijuana Movement supports Prop. 19 via events in Denver & beyond

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Eva Enns.
Proposition 19, the measure to tax and regulate cannabis for adult use in California, which initially looked doomed, is now registering more than 50 percent support in one major poll -- and Eva Enns of the Women's Marijuana Movement wants to build on that momentum with events today in Denver and twenty-plus locations nationwide. In her view, the support of women for marijuana legalization is key to its success in Cali and beyond.

"We want to empower women to be more vocal in their support of legalization," says Denver-based Enns, who's also outreach director for SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation), fronted by prominent marijuana advocate Mason Tvert. "Marijuana is the second-most popular recreational drug, but there's a large disparity between the level of usage and women's level of support for legalization. So we're encouraging them to shed their fear and speak up for legalization."

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A graphic from the Women's Marijuana Movement website.
Why does Enns feel women don't publicly back legalization in greater numbers?

"Traditionally, women are seen as nurturers, caretakers, mothers," she maintains. "They have the role of being protectors, and marijuana is currently an illegal substance despite the fact that it's far safer than alcohol. And there are consequences to breaking the law."

At the same time, though, "marijuana isn't associated with things like sexual assault, personal injury, domestic violence," she continues. "October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and alcohol is often associated with that. And if marijuana was available as a legal alternative, there would be fewer incidents of domestic violence. That's something women need to consider and understand."

Another reason more women don't support marijuana legalization, Enns feels, is their fear that decriminalization would cause more children to smoke. In her view, the opposite would be true.

"Drug dealers don't ask for ID," she says. "They're not going to card a twelve-year old or refuse a young person service if they want marijuana. But a regulated retail store would ask for ID and would limit access to children -- and eliminate that element of the black market. And currently, there's the unfortunate reality that if someone goes to a drug dealer specifically for marijuana, he may have access to harder drugs. But taking marijuana out of the black market would not only restrict children's access to marijuana, but also to those harder drugs."

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Another WMM website graphic.
In addition to expressing support for Proposition 19 at the Denver event, taking place at noon at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building
, 201 W. Colfax Avenue (see full details below), Enns and other speakers will also be laying the groundwork for a similar Colorado measure likely to be placed on the 2012 ballot. If Prop. 19 passes, she believes it will help boost efforts here.

"The whole country is watching California, not only to see if it wins, but also to see if there are going to be any major problems associated with its passage if that happens," she says. "I don't predict any major problems -- and that will be very important for the whole country, including Colorado to see. This would be the entire population of a state saying they do want to see marijuana taxed and controlled and regulated in a manner that's similar to alcohol. And that sends a very powerful message."

Page down to see the Women's Marijuana Movement release about today's Denver event, complete with a schedule for cities in California, Texas, Nebraska, Florida, New York and more.

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