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Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act: Mason Tvert upbeat despite infighting claim

mason tvert photograph small.JPG
Mason Tvert.
"Infighting Trips Up Supporters' Legalization Bid," a story on the front page of today's Denver Post, missed the mark for Mason Tvert, among the most prominent proponents of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, and not just because much of the information in it had already been widely reported or was out of date. He also thinks the headline's claim is inaccurate. "I wouldn't characterize it as being tripped up," he says. "The process is moving along very smoothly."

Example? When Tvert spoke with Post reporter John Ingold last week for the story, he mentioned that 35,000 signatures had been collected on petitions to put the act on the November 2012 ballot -- a figure that wasn't updated prior to publication. By now, however, "we're over 40,000," he says.

Much of the other information in the article will be familiar to readers of The Latest Word, including activist Miguel Lopez's admission that he took a Regulate petition (reported here on July 26). The piece also stated that Crazy for Justice's Corey Donahue was arrested for disrupting a meeting at Boulder Public Library last month, when it actually took place in July, too. Since then, a warrant was issued against Donahue for allegedly stealing documents from the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division without paying for them.

From Tvert's perspective, using incidents that took place more than a month ago to illustrate conflict between advocates with different perspectives on marijuana reform misses a larger point. "This is a historic ballot initiative effort," he stresses. "It's being looked upon as perhaps the best opportunity in history to end marijuana prohibition at the state level. We haven't been derailed or deterred by any opponent, including those both for and against marijuana. What we've found is that everyone appears to be rallying behind this effort, with perhaps the exception of a few. All the momentum is on our side."

When making this claim, is Tvert factoring in the continuing efforts on the part of numerous communities to prohibit medical marijuana sales? Note that a Longmont ban just went into effect, and a vote will take place this November to outlaw retail MMJ businesses in Fort Collins, long one of the friendliest cities to medical marijuana operations.

From Tvert's perspective, however, "it's apples and oranges. Obviously, there have been votes against medical marijuana, although those votes keep taking place in odd-number-year elections and city elections where there's clearly low voter turnout and a more conservative voting base. If those votes happened in 2012, I don't know that a lot of them would necessarily win.

"But the initiative we've put forward does allow localities to make those decisions, either through a vote of the people or their representative bodies," he continues. "It conforms to Colorado's status as a home-rule state. Some counties issue many liquor licenses, others do not -- and some states have dry counties. There's no black-and-white with alcohol, and that would be the case with our initiative, too."

In the meantime, the petition process continues. "We've got hundreds of volunteers out there collecting signatures, and we have petitions in more than a hundred businesses, most of which are medical marijuana businesses," he says. "They're helping the campaign by allowing petitioning in their establishments."

No wonder he's more optimistic than ever that the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act will make next year's ballot where there are reports of infighting or not.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana: Patients who only need caretaker for pot can't have one, new rules say."


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12 comments
conservative liberal
conservative liberal

Keep in mind excise taxes (such as the “regulate marijuana like alcohol act of 2012” calls for) is indirect; sales tax is levied on the total cost—which includes the excise tax—and is therefore a tax levied on a tax.

TABOR has budget caps. The above initiative completely ignores TABOR (or worse, seeks to bypass it). Therefore, “magic” revenue. This would be illegal. Note also this provision at the end:(8) Self-executing, severability, conflicting provisions. ALL PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION ARE SELF-EXECUTING EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED HEREIN, ARE SEVERABLE, AND, EXCEPT WHERE OTHERWISE INDICATED IN THE TEXT, SHALL SUPERSEDE CONFLICTING STATE STATUTORY, LOCAL CHARTER, ORDINANCE, OR RESOLUTION, AND OTHER STATE AND LOCAL PROVISIONS.This does not over ride state constitution—which TABOR is a part of. Thusly, it will directly conflict with TABOR, and will crumble in flames in litigation.

Greenleaf PR
Greenleaf PR

To: MPP/SAFER/Sensible/NORML/DPA/NCIA:Why do you keep calling your initiative "legalization" and "ending prohibition" when you purposefully gave up the use of the word "legalization" in your ballot title because you didn't want to mislead people?  Removing the petty offense penalty for one ounce, but keeping all the other penalties for one ounce and above is not "legalization" or "ending prohibition" in any sense of the terms, and you know it. Otherwise, why remove the word "legalization" from your own ballot title? If it's too deceptive for the ballot title, why is it OK for your marketing? The authors of the initiative admitted that it was not "legalization", only more "regulation" (read "prohibitions"), so why can't you be honest with people? How can you defend this false marketing?

Michelle LaMay
Michelle LaMay

Answer this simple question (Initiative #40): SHOULD THE JUDICIARY BRANCH OF ALL GOVERNING BODIES IN THE STATE OF COLORADO BE DIRECTED TO PROHIBIT AND RELIEVE THEIR COURTS FROM IMPOSING ANY FINE OR SENTENCE FOR THE POSSESSION AND CULTIVATION OF CANNABIS? http://www.relief4possession.w...

Cpt Obvious
Cpt Obvious

Guns are more dangerous than both, are in our constitution, and still have restrictions on their sale.

Morons.

Monkey
Monkey

I would love to see something a little simpler. How about all criminal law regarding marijuana be removed in colorado. I'm not a fan of new laws replacing old laws, I think they are unnecessary unless the real push is for commercialized cannabis, otherwise regulation would not be an issue. If you want to regulate commercial weed than say so, don't use legalization as as a tool to confuse people. I hate warehouse buds, I think they are disgusting, but if thats the goal then fine, regulate it and protect the store owners but take the commercial crap out of the picture and 1 oz limits seem pretty stupid, It wont clear up police time, court costs or really anything because it's already decriminalized here in colorado, why keep 2 oz a petty offense and add 1 oz as acceptable, get rid of it all if you want to call it legalization or compare it to alcohol. I still might vote for it, but I'll be voting for commercial weed stores, not legalization, commercial weed stores make what I grow look even better, after you eat too much burger king you start looking for something good.

KaDargo
KaDargo

If I am allowed to have an unlimited amount of the far more harmful substance, alcohol, then I should be allowed to have an unlimited amount of the far less harmful substance, cannabis.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

If one of those signature clipboards makes it into my hands I'm going to steal it too.  I am against this bull crap initiative.  6 plants and 1 ounce is a joke.  What's that 2 clones, 2 veg, 2 flower?  1 ounce?  What are you morons talking about.  Legalization = as much as I can possibly grow and carry and then some, then I will consider it legal. 

This is all about putting power in big retail outlets for marijuana. Where is the language that talks about the new recreational marijuana dispensaries? 6 plants a person isn't going to cut it. The dispensary model of 1284 has been a failure and so is this crap, a failure. It didn't work in Cali dumb asses because half the people who grow weed in Trinity, Mendocino, and Humboldt voted it down. I'm an avid smoker, grower, been busted, say fuck the regulations and shove your legalization bullshit down the toilet.

This thing should be renamed 'regulate marijuana for the alcoholics' maybe that's who can't handle more than an ounce without refer madness occurring.

Buddhartha
Buddhartha

The US government is the alcohol industries bitch. Trix are for kids, marijuana is for adults. Lets call it cannabis so all the racists don't get offended. Try going to the grocery store without wall paper made of alcohol products. We are adults who have a right to chose a substance that is harmless and has anti-oxidants or a substance that kills your liver. We are not juvenile delinquents we are responsible intelligent rational adults who are responsible enough to know when it is an appropriate time to smoke out and get happy and relaxed. I can go without it for days no problem and know that is 1% as addictive as cigarettes as I use to be addicted to that poisonous herbicide/insecticide. If it wasn't for God's gift to man I would still be addicted to those "organic" poison sticks. Have fun getting cancer all you "legal" drug users. Bend over for the alcohol industry just like the corrupt government does. Right... you know more about medicine than the most highly trained and experienced doctors. Ayn Rand would be proud of congress and their selfish corrupt evil reasoning. They should put you in the Oxford under hypocrisy.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

Please!---regulating guns verses cannabis---the safest therapeutic substance known to man that has no known lethal dose? 

And it doesn't "end prohibition" or "legalize it like alcohol" or happen in 2012---READ THE god damn language---it 2014 when this BS language might be implemented. 

Hey, WW, is there a law against fraudulent marketing to collect signatures for constitutional ballet initiatives?

GetReal
GetReal

Is there a limit on the number of firearms I am allowed to have?

Dan Pope
Dan Pope

Why, yes there is. The sales and possession of firearms are highly regulated. You can own 0 machine guns. Also, felons are prohibited from possessing any firearms, and, the carrying (concealed or otherwise) of firearms in public is highly regulated. Furthermore, I believe that in the city of Chicago you can't even own a handgun. So what is your point?

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