Marijuana legalization debate preview: Meet the advocates who'll be hashing it out
The event is being advertised as a "lively and friendly" debate -- but if it's as impassioned and fiery as the comments on our marijuana blogs have been, it might be closer to a royal rumble.
While most of the groups agree that legalization is the ultimate goal, there's heavy disagreement on how to get there. Last month, attorneys Brian Vicente and Mason Tvert submitted ballot language. That prompted outcry from other groups, including the Cannabis Therapy Institute, about being left out of discussions. Blog posts about the perceived exclusion (like the ones accessible here and here) garnered hundreds of passionate takes from people on both side.
Editor's note/update: Tvert strongly disagrees with the assertion that CTI and other groups were left out of discussions about the initiatives with which he's involved. Get his take on the controversy in the May 24 post "Marijuana legalization: Mason Tvert touts initiative process openness, seeks more input." He also stresses that the initiatives were the work of advocates representing a broad coalition of interested parties, not just him and Vicente.
To hash things out and (hopefully) reach some common ground, Legalize2012.com has organized the Great Legalization Debate of 2012 Wednesday night at Casselmans, 2620 Walnut Street. Speakers representing five of the leading proposals will discuss why their approach is the best for Colorado. And while everyone interviewed told Mile Highs and Lows they were open to discussion, they were also sure their plan took the right approach.
Westword editor Patricia Calhoun will referee/moderate the event, which is free and open to the public. She usually prefers a cold beer to a bong -- but by the end of the evening, she may be eager for both.
Great Legalization Debates of 2012 -- Round One
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22
Casselman's Bar and Venue
2620 Walnut St. in Denver
Page down for speaker profiles and summaries of their proposals.