Medical marijuana bans don't spell doom for pot legalization in 2012, says Mason Tvert

mason tvert photograph small.JPG
Mason Tvert.
This week, Grand Junction and Castle Rock banned retail sales of medical marijuana, joining Loveland and many other Colorado municipalities that have enacted similar prohibitions.

Do these votes suggest that a proposed 2012 ballot measure to legalize pot for adult recreational use is doomed to failure? Hardly, says SAFER's Mason Tvert, who's expected to be at the center of the campaign.

"It doesn't make me fear that at all," Tvert says. He chalks up the failures of Grand Junction and Castle Rock voters to support medical marijuana businesses to the votes taking place in April, when turnout is traditionally lower than for November elections in even-numbered years, with the majority of those taking part skewing older and more conservative.

Thumbnail image for marijuana plants under lights.JPG
As such, he believes that "those communities represent a minority of Coloradans when it comes to their opinions about marijuana." Most of the survey he's seen of late show support for marijuana legalization in the 50 percent range, "and the rate is increasing dramatically with each poll, as it has for the past five years. And that's been fueled by people seeing the medical marijuana industry emerge and the lack of problems it presents."

Moreover, the passage of a 2012 ballot measure doesn't necessarily mean pot shops will pop up on every corner. "The initiative hasn't been finalized yet," he says. "But overall, the idea is about removing penalties at the state level. So it would be no different than is the case with medical marijuana currently. Even though Castle Rock has banned retail sales, there's no penalty for a patient there to possess up to a certain amount of marijuana and use it privately. And the same would be the case if a 2012 legalization initiative passes. Adults will not face criminal penalties for possession, but it will ultimately be up to the locality to decide if they want to allow retail sales or not.

"Colorado is a home-rule state," he continues. "So you're going to have communities that choose to have local regulations or zoning laws that prohibit retail sale, just like we have communities that can prohibit alcohol sales." In other words, "having a law that allows adults to use marijuana without fear of penalty doesn't necessitate having retail stores in a certain community."

Thumbnail image for marijuana plant outdoor shot cropped.JPG
Of course, those that do would receive the tax benefits currently being enjoyed by Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and numerous mountain communities that allow medical marijuana retail sales -- and Tvert thinks cities that ban MMJ dispensaries and the like will be hurt as a result of their decision. "They're going to miss out on revenue that's helping to keep various programs afloat, and they'll have empty pieces of real estate that are going to become blighted because there's no business to fill them -- and they otherwise would have been filled by medical marijuana centers. And there'll be citizens who might have found jobs in the industry who'll no longer have that opportunity..."

With that in mind, Tvert is enthusiastically moving ahead with plans for a Legalize It 2012 campaign -- although no kickoff date has been set. "We've been working for months on the language with dozens of attorneys both in Colorado and around the country who specialize in this type of thing," he says. "We hope to have the best initiative possible, and we're going to do whatever it takes to do that before moving forward. But we're going to move forward."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Mason Tvert touts marijuana-is-better-than-alcohol rallies at eighty-plus colleges nationwide."

My Voice Nation Help
35 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Aaron Leforce
Aaron Leforce

who listens to anything this mason tvert douche says?...just LOOK at him.

TheTruth
TheTruth

Boycott

(S) ell out (A) tivists (F) or (E) liminating (R) ights

Their 2012 "legalization" effort is a corporate handout. That keeps the prohibition complex in place, strips personal grows, keeps punishing cannabis felons, creates new crimes and is designed for an out of state interest monopoly, who do you think is funding them?

Lead Tech
Lead Tech

When marijuana is finally legal, head on down to http://www.dankweed.com to mail-order the dankest weed on earth direct and discrete to your home. For now, enjoy our pictures and blog.

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of hypocrisy, incompetence, corruption and human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use, among all echelons of society, is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model - the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous and ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved. Thus the allure of this reliable and lucrative industry, with it's enormous income potential that consistently outweighs the risks associated with the illegal operations that such a trade entails, will remain with us until we are collectively forced to admit the obvious.

There is therefore an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. Anybody 'halfway bright', and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us. So put away your pipe, lock yourself away in a small room with some tinned soup and water, and try to crawl back into reality A.S.A.P.

Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment, no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again. Only an end to prohibition can do that! How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

If you support the Kool-Aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, tortured corpses, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, economic tribulation, unemployment and the complete loss of the rule of law.

The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!

Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.

AnnOnaMice
AnnOnaMice

The anti-medicine and prohibition grannies are just making things too easy for 2012...

You can already read or watch the ads in your head... "YOU voted "yes" over and over again, and THEY said "no," as if you weren't an adult or responsible enough - Let's LEGALIZE onece and for all. Take OUR medicine out of THEIR hands. Re-legalize marijuana AND freedom."

It's no longer so much a "debate," as it is about reinforcing the truth and known science about the relative harmlessness of cannabis.

At the present rate of death, after one more election cycle, the majority of old, ignorant voters will not be enough to stop the forces of truth.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

"We've been working for months on the language with dozens of attorneys both in Colorado and around the country who specialize in this type of thing,"

Yeah because the people don't know how to do this, democracy and change in government only happens when a shit ton of lawyers get together and decide that they can write the bills and that it will be good for the people. Thanks Trav god I wish I was smart enough to stand up for democracy like you are I guess I should listen to you MMIP and the others and let the process happen and not rock the boat because then how would you guys keep a place at the table.

"We hope to have the best initiative possible, and we're going to do whatever it takes to do that before moving forward. But we're going to move forward."

Hope in one hand and shit in the other. Legalize 2012 the real homegrown Colorado legalization movement is already doing what Trev hopes to do. Ask the NORMAL, DPA, SAFER, MMP people who want to descend on this state like a pine beetle where have they been when HB-1250, HB-1261, Chris Bartkowitz's trial, the hearings in Fort Collins etc. have been going on? They were nowhere to be found and they want to piggy back on real activists that will stand up for everyone's rights.

Sorry for the rant let me just end on this NORMAL, DPA, SAFER, MPP, MMIG, all have their places at the table of government a citizens initiative and a real legalization of cannabis is not on their radar what they care about is keeping their place at the table. I want nothing more then to see this drug war on us ended. What good is SAFER and the like if we have a citizens initiative that truly legalizes cannabis? We won't need them and they know it so self preservation is a strong thing to work for.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Sorry, Trav is Mason, if that confused anyone. I just haven't seen him around any of the legislation on legal sessions regarding cannabis. But maybe he is looking for a nice office in DC to become a lobbyist so he can tell us how to do what we are doing and get paid for it.

Tim Martin
Tim Martin

I dont think you have to pay many people in Colorado.

yall just hate on Masons message cause he doesn't pick up yours. The success is in his focus. But some dont want to give him that. All these pro-cannabis votes for Denver and a legalization initiative that helped kick the debate off into high gear.happened because of a focused message that relates to all people. Marijuana is SAFER than alcohol. Now that other orgs have gained a foothold now its your time to shine on the dime that you can gain.

If Mason didn't do a great job I doubt he would still be around. I see people give him shiat all the time in public get togethers, online, etc. Just because he wont pick up your message and sacrifice his and a lot of other peoples...

Enoch
Enoch

their legalization effort will attract feds, and he was even here in 2000 btw. Safe and sensible have a agenda and it isn't about personal liberty.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

"People are being prosecuted with medical cards all the time, only dispensaries are protected to keep the taxes flowing."

Patients, caregivers, physicians and MMC applicants are all being prosecuted. No one wants or they don't get any press. They contact Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project after the hammer hits......we need to take action before the hammer hits, not after. It's always better to be a plaintiff in court than a defendant. ;)

The constitution says no criminal prosecutions for medical use. Medical use includes "acquisition, possession, production, use, transportation of marijuana and paraphernalia" related to marijuana.

We need a class action lawsuit to clarify our fundamental rights. Donations can be made at cannabislawsuits.com

Justt Saay Noww
Justt Saay Noww

Beat cannabis prohibition the old fashion way. With jury nullification. A jurist can throw away a million dollar cannabis investigation with one refusal to convict. Do that enough times and the drug war against cannabis will end.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

God help Colorado, do NOT LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!!! Legalization is more of a joke than medical marijuana. People are being prosecuted with medical cards all the time, only dispensaries are protected to keep the taxes flowing. Legalization will bring with it a host of more regulations and finally take all the fun out of just trying to get high.

AnnOnaMice
AnnOnaMice

It's NOT about "getting high." It's about self medicating. If you were really happy, and healthy (physically as well as mentally), you wouldn't want to get high, or drink.

Using to relieve stress is the same as "self-medicating." Make no doubt about it.

Please, go ahead and tell me about a "social drink," and I can show you millions of "social" cocaine, meth, and opiate users.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Here is a list of 51 unconstitutional Colorado bans on mmj dispensing and caregiving. If anyone knows of someplace I'm missing, please add.

Bayfield, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Cedaredge, Durango, Grand Junction, Greely, Hayden, Kremmling, Superior, Vail, Westminster, Las Animas, Akron, Antonito, Aurora, Castle Pines North, Debeque, Dinosaur, Elizabeth, Federal Heights, Fountain, Granby, Hillrose, Hot Sulfer Springs, Jamestown, La Junta, Lake City, Lone Tree, Loveland, Olathe, Otis, Ouray, Paonia, Ramah, Sugar City, Windsor, Conejos, Custer, Douglas, Las Animas, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Otero, Washington, Montezuma, Dolores and Adams.

"... and the lack of problems it presents."

Lack of problems with mmj? Is this growing list not a problem for anyone? Mason has publicly admitted to ignoring the mmj program for the last year and 1/2. This quote seems to back that up. Is anyone else paying attention to MMJ's demise not only in Colorado, but Montana and Washington state as well.

Jordan
Jordan

Brighton Colorado has a ban as well

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

Lafayette effectively made caregivers illegal with a limit of 12 per dwelling.

Mason Tvert
Mason Tvert

Kathleen,

I simply said that the use of medical marijuana itself, and the emergence of dispensaries, have not caused any problems (eg. crime, emergency room visits, etc.).

As for my "admission" that I have been ignoring medical marijuana...

I have made it clear from the beginning that SAFER has a specific mission of educating the public about the relative safety of marijuana and advocating for laws that treat it that way. Sensible Colorado, who we work with very closely, has always done great work on this issue, and there are now several other groups, as well as the industry, all working on that issue. Those who sign up for SAFER's mailing list, and who donate to SAFER, did not intend to support work specific to medical issues.

I'm always happy to hear from you if you'd like me to clarify or explain something I've said.

Mason Tvert

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

I have a question for you. Explain this position.

This is from SAFER in collusion with MMP.

Hello, my name is (your name) and I am from (your town). I am calling to ask Rep. (your representative above) to amend HB 1261 when it comes to a floor vote. Currently, the bill creates a per se DUI standard, criminalizing driving with 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. I’m afraid this will result in unjust convictions. There is very little research on THC levels in the blood of regular users, such as medical marijuana patients, and some may have far greater levels of THC and still be sober. Coloradoans should at least have a chance to prove their innocence and introduce evidence if they pass a roadside sobriety test or can otherwise prove they were not impaired. Can I count on Rep. __________(last name of representative) to replace the per se DUI limit with a presumption of intoxication in HB 1261?

HB-1261 is illegal according to the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution and the section 7 of the Colorado Constitutions Bill of Rights and all this has been up held by the U.S. Supreme Court Winston v. Lee, 470 U.S. 753 (1985) No. 83-1334. Specifically,

"A compelled surgical intrusion into an individual's body for evidence implicates expectations of privacy and security of such magnitude that the intrusion may be "unreasonable" even if likely to produce evidence.”

Also Dr. Sewell the head researcher of the most current report "The Effects of Cannabis Compared with Alcohol on Driving said this,

“Field sobriety tests are a much better measure of functional impairment. The current field sobriety test is tuned to pick up on alcohol. I don't think they've developed one for cannabis yet, but that would be the way to go, not blood measurements."

So my question is, why is SAFER, MMP and NORMAL, DPA, MMIG, Sensible selling out the patents and people of Colorado and supporting a bill that is in direct violation of our Constitutional rights? Do you not like science and the constitution or do you have a vendetta against the people of Colorado? If you could clear that up for me that would be great.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

No they don't have a vendetta against us they are just more interested in self preservation and they see how what is going on in Colorado and because of their failure in California have turned their eyes and wallets to this state so that they can remain relevant. When we do it with out them people in other states will take up the fight themselves and then will not need these groups and then no more swanky DC party invites. And mom how many times have I told you only one R in my name and that doesn't answer my question,

Sean Swanson
Sean Swanson

i completely understand what you are getting at. but don't you think implying that all of these excellent programs have some sort of a "vendetta" is a bit over the top?

Correy's Mom
Correy's Mom

@Correy ~ Thanks for asking that important question. My answer would be... Why ask a loaded question? Return to GO.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Mason,

My 'problem' with your admission that you ignored Colorado's mmj program isn't the actual problem.

The problem is that when you talked about Safers 2012 intentions at CU at the SSDR you said your intent was to use the system that had been set up in CO for mmj as the model for everyone. I'd say about now at least 50% of the patients and caregivers understand they are getting screwed and the rest will follow.

And again, Sensible Colorado and Brian Vicente helped write and then supported hb1284, the demise of Colorado's mmj registry.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

@Dan, you can't change history as much as you would like to. Brian Vicente is on record testifying in support of hb1284. He celebrated it's passage.

Dan Pope
Dan Pope

Sensible Colorado did not help write HB-1284. Our position all along has been that we do not support any legislation that limits or restricts patients' safe, convenient, and affordable access to their medicine.

Bilbo
Bilbo

Kit Carson, and Cheyenne Wells, in Cheyenne county

Andrew
Andrew

I believe Mr. Tvert was referring to the lack of problems caused to Colorado by medical marijuana -- that is, western civilization has not collapsed due to legalized medical marijuana. No doubt problems have been created for patients and providers by the lawmakers.

Legalize 2012
Legalize 2012

The Legalize 2012 Campaign (legalize2012.com) is writing a citizen's initiative for the ballot in Colorado in 2012 to amend the Constitution to re-legalize cannabis and hemp for all uses. The Legalize 2012 Project is a grassroots organization working with all cannabis activists in the state to write an initiative that has a broad base of support. We started the Legalize 2012 Campaign in May of 2010, when it became clear that HB 10-1284 would destroy the rights of patients to safely and confidentially access cannabis as medicine. Amendment 20 was poorly-written, and the goal of the Legalize 2012 campaign is to write a citizen's initiative that cannot be subverted by the government.

We currently have no relationship with Safer.

If you would like to get involved or donate, go to:Legalize 2012 Campaignhttp://www.legalize2012.com/

Legalize 2012 Monthly Networking MeetingWed., April 13, 2011Time: 6:30pmCasselman's, 2620 Walnut Street, Denver, COFREE and open to the public.This month's legal panel discussion is on the topic of "How Medical Marijuana Patients, Caregivers and Dispensaries Can Protect Themselves"http://www.legalize2012.com/

observer
observer

You can't very well claim to be working with all advocates in the state and then, two paragraphs later, say you have no relationship with Safer.

another observer
another observer

Activists are motivated by passion and principle. Grassroots activists like CTI work full time for free on behalf of everyone.

Advocates don't always ACT (tivists).

Mason is paid to be in Colorado(mostly by out of state interests). He was sent here in 2005. He pushes what the people who pay him want pushed.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...