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Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act aims 160,000 signatures at 2012 ballot

In July, the folks behind the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 launched a petition drive to land the measure on the November 2012 ballot -- and at 11:30 p.m. today, they'll celebrate the effort at a press event before formally submitting nearly 160,000 signatures. Proponent Mason Tvert notes that backers overshot their original goal.

"We need 86,105 valid signatures to qualify for next year's ballot, and initially, we were aiming for 145,000," he says. "But we came to find there was so much support for Colorado putting it on the ballot that we kept going."

Thumbnail image for mason tvert photograph.jpg
Mason Tvert.
Tvert adds that signatures are continuing to trickle in from volunteers -- and that's probably a good thing, since the Colorado Secretary of State's office, which approves measures for the ballot, typically disallows a hefty chunk of them. "One of the general rules of thumb you often hear when it comes to initiatives is that you should get 150 percent of what's required," he points out. "And we surpassed that, collecting nearly twice as many as we need. So we're confident we're going to have more than enough valid signatures."

Secretary of State personnel are expected to start verifying signatures shortly, and given Tvert's belief that "they don't have any other significant election issues going on right now," he expects to get confirmation of the act's place on the ballot within the next few weeks. Not that supporters plan to wait around for the high sign.

"This campaign has already grown to include more than 500 volunteers and 150-plus businesses throughout the state, and we're ready to hit the ground running," he says. "We're going to begin reaching out to Coloradans to talk about the fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol and the need for a more sensible approach. The current situation with medical marijuana demonstrates that this is something that can be done, and if it passes, there will no longer be penalties for adult possession of small amounts of marijuana."

Of course, the federal government has been getting tough on MMJ in California and elsewhere in recent months. Could passage of a Colorado measure prompt the sort of crackdown to which Colorado has thus far avoided? Tvert doubts it. "We certainly hope the federal government won't fight against a state controlling the legal use of marijuana," he says.

wanda james posing on balcony.jpg
Wanda James will also be part of today's event.
In the meantime, he goes on, "the latest Public Policy Polling survey," released in early December, "showed 49 percent to 40 percent support for regulating marijuana in Colorado, and we've done significant internal polling throughout the year that consistently shows support of between 49 percent and 54 percent, and opposition of 42 percent or below.

"These polls show Coloradans believe it's time to regulate marijuana like alcohol, generate tax revenue and allow our state to focus on far more pressing issues. And we're going to be working to insure voters are comfortable with the system. We'll be reaching out to voters on the fence, and those voters who already understand that it's time to end marijuana prohibition."

Today's event will take place at the main atrium of Mile High Center, 1700 Broadway. Speakers are expected to include Tvert, Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente, activists Jessica Peck and Wanda James, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs student Stephanie Morphet and other supporters of the initiative. Page down to read it.



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137 comments
Advanced LED Grow Lights
Advanced LED Grow Lights

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Mike Goldberg
Mike Goldberg

You really believe marijuana has no medicinal value? That's pathetic. Just because MMJ is being 'abused' by people who don't really need it or only need a small amount doesn't mean there aren't other people who need it desperately for very serious illnesses.

If you don't know that alcohol is a drug, and that  it's use is far more likely to lead to death or maiming than cannabis, that's pathetic too.

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

Right, and all of those alternatives kill people. I'd rather be "high", death sucks. But hey, pop till you drop baby Einstein. Pills kill, marijuana doesn't. If you can't understand that, I can't help you.

Кабель HDMI
Кабель HDMI

FTA: ....it's time to regulate marijuana like alcohol, generate tax revenue and allow our state to focus on far more pressing issues.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You are completely wrong.  Cannabinoids have unique medical effects and benefits.  Research into the endocannabinoid system is demonstrating the utility of cannabis and its chemical principles for a variety of diseases.  Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids have been demonstrated to induce apoptosis in cancer cells and has undoubted curative application in oncology.  Squamous cell carcinoma is not the most dangerous of cancers, but see:  http://www.cannabisscience.com...

You must be some ignorant moralist, totally out of your depth when it comes to the science of cannabis.  The fact that euphoria is a side-effect of the medical application of cannabis is as irrelevant to the issue of public policy as that people use cannabis to experience euphoria; it is not the business of the government to tell adults what they may put into their bodies.  Absent a compelling public health argument that cannabis is extremely harmful (and none can be made), there is no conceivable justification for our war against people who choose to use cannabis.  The United States of America used to like to style itself "the land of the free", but that is no more than a hollow lie in an age in which we imprison more people (both absolutely and per capita) than any other nation on earth. People like you who would sell our birthright because of prohibitionists' stupid fearmongering are the problem.

Кабель HDMI
Кабель HDMI

 So the answer to a problem CAUSED by the government is MORE government? Just legalize it and let it remain untaxed. The government is spending too much money to begin with, it does't need any more to spend.

TDKS FBT
TDKS FBT

The state that does this first will have such a boom in their economy that other states will be forced to follow or else risk losing revenue. I hope this goes through, but I'm sad that my state might not be the first.

Mikoe Wozz
Mikoe Wozz

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Norman Gooding
Norman Gooding

Because I have been labeled a criminal for so long,,the worry of this legalization initiative not being completely protective of me doesn't bother me. And I know that eventually it will work out the kinks that worry some.

If the writers don't make the initiative fit my needs,then I guess I will just continue to take care of my own needs the best way I know how.

Jim P.
Jim P.

 What a new and refreshing take!  I sent 9News a copy of your posts and they want to contact you as soon as is humanly possible, I'm not even being sarcastic Lance!  You've crafted an airtight argument that is sure to stop this movement in its tracks, you may very well become the voice of a generation.  If initiative 30 should fail, its opponents will cite your thoughtful posts and the incontrovertible evidence you were able to provide as  the primary reasons.  What's next, medical masturbation???   Keep fighting the good fight compadre, all of the heathens must know we're onto them....... we're too perceptive to fall for their pitiful semantics and charades!!  You provide a vital service to the community my friend, where would the world be without upstanding, virtuous folks such as yourself!? I need to go now, I split my time equally between posting judgmental comments on the Westword and also going to LGBT activist sites and droppin' truth on those freaks, because you know, what I think is really important to everyone on the internet.

hengdoo
hengdoo

Wow, no way man, I enver thoughtabout it liek that. www.Total-Privacy dot US

Between Unemployment
Between Unemployment

Hmmm, maybe I am feeding the troll here, but tell me, Lance, why would someone with these diseases with, arguably, access to both pot and a prescription drug take the former?  Just to get high?  Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are less side effects, less (or no) chemical addictive qualities and even more efficacy when it comes to pot vs. many prescription drugs.  I just can't tell why you are so anti-pot. 

Between Unemployment
Between Unemployment

Lance, From your "Nuh uh," comment, I'm assuming you're a fairly young guy, uneducated or both.  Not a slight, just an observation.  Take a second to watch this.  You might change your views a bit:  http://y2u.be/nLsCC0LZxkY

Monkey
Monkey

Pills instead of plants huh? That's your answer? You have been brainwashed! Kids these days smoke oxycotin not weed, wake up before those pharmaceuticals keep you down.

Matt Brownski
Matt Brownski

Let's talk about Section 1 (b) (III) of this initiative, which states  "DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA SHALL REMAIN ILLEGAL". Proponents say that this "just keeps things the way they are." But the fact is that it creates a new crime called "Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana" and gives it the power of the Constitution (stronger than mere statute.)

First off, there is no specific "driving under the influence of marijuana" law in Colorado statute right now. Driving under the influence of marijuana is covered by the DUI statutes which govern all drugs and alcohol. So singling this out creates a new crime.

Then, the authors of initiative 30 fail to define "driving under the influence of marijuana" or limit the penalties for such. Sooo, what do you think will happen with this grey area?

Because this constitutional amendment creates a new specific crime but does not define it, the General Assembly will have a *mandate* to define it and create penalties for it. If this amendment passes, we can look forward to another attempt by the General Assembly to create a 2ng or 5ng per se limit on THC in the blood stream, outlawing driving by all cannabis consumers. And this time they will have the constitutional authority to do it given to them by the Constitution.

Based on this one sentence alone, I would vote against it. This kind of crap language does not belong in our Constitution.

Gary Rose
Gary Rose

Prohibition of Marijuana is prohibited by the US Constitution, which is why all regulations mandated by Government in this bill are still unconstitutional. The will of the voters is amazing though! Yes!

Rosskarr
Rosskarr

As a professional horticulturist I find that regulation to not allow outdoor growing absurd at best and uneducated corrupt folks are behind this proposal.

kathleen chippi
kathleen chippi

Let us NOT forget who brought us PROHIBITION of cannabis in the FIRST PLACE

1. William Randolf Hearst who owned all of the newspapers and printed FALSE information--propaganda--in the media2. a newly unemployed HEAD ALCOHOL law enforcement officer-Harry Anslinger-3.  Big business (Industry)

I am going to ask the Westword again to PLEASE TITLE the #30 language with the TITLE the Title Board put on the language.   it is NOT TITLED  "Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012"  and this just mis leads voters. 

Monkey
Monkey

I agree, all drugs should be legal, but the ignorant person is you.

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

If your too retarded to jump on Google an educate yourself, don't waste the bandwidth with your absurd "opinion". Saying marijuana has no medical value is about as intelligent as saying the earth is flat. Your stupidity precedes you my good man. Read more, talk a LOT less.

Sampson
Sampson

@facebook-100001543131964:disqus  - So.... you are denying the seniors who use cannabis lotion for their arthritis.... you are denying the people with MS who use cannabis for their seizures.... you are denying the cancer patients who use cannabis as a palliative AND curative agent... you are denying the people who use cannabis for glaucoma...etc...etc...etc...

No, Sir, it is you who are ignorant. Good day.

Legalize2012.com
Legalize2012.com

If you want to support a true legalization campaign, go to http://www.legalize2012.com and send us an email or sign up for our mailing list ASAP. We are in the final stages of writing the ballot initiative that will give control of cannabis back to the people and take control away from corporations and law enforcement.

Unlike Initiative 30, the Legalize2012.com ballot initiative is *not* funded by out-of-state corporate billionaires, is *not* written by Washington, D.C. lobbyists, and does not create or fund another branch or marijuana law enforcement. If you are against RFID chips on cannabis, you are for Legalize2012.com! Let's make it happen in 2012!

Contact us if you would like to help:http://www.legalize2012.com

Sampson
Sampson

At this point, the only place you 'sign' is your voter registration card... ;)

Thank you for your willingness to support this exciting initiative!

Phil Abong
Phil Abong

Is it time to start a boycott of Progressive Insurance companies? Without the $800,000+ of out-of-state money that Peter Lewis (chairman of Progressive) put into this campaign, it would not have seen the light of day.  The I30 people have gotten almost no money from Colorado locals for this campaign. Ever wonder why the insurance industry is interested in marijuana regulation? Could it have anything to do with higher rates for pot smokers? There WILL be a registry under I30, a registry if you want to buy at a dispensary and a registry if you want a home grow. There is no confidentiality requirement in I30. And since it is all being run through the DOR, who also runs the DMV, wanna bet they have plans to put a green leaf on your drivers license saying you are a mj user??

Boycott Progressive Insurance!

BushDoctor
BushDoctor

Two possibilities: he is either ignorant or benefits financially from the status quo.

Monkey
Monkey

Most people read what they want to read, they don't really comprehend what there reading. You seem to understand this is opening pandoras box but most can't get past the "legal marijuana" hype. I'm sick of the idea something is better than nothing, that is not a reason to vote for anything. Thank you for having common sense, I think you will find most do not.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Initiative 30 requires that cultivation take place "in an enclosed locked space" and not "openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others" (?!?).  This is an entirely reasonable concession given non-users' perceptions, and it does allow growing in a locked greenhouse not visible to passers-by.  The Initiative allows for the cultivation of cannabis using the free energy from the Sun rather than wasting electricity we make by burning coal.

Rosakarr
Rosakarr

How can anyone be for something that allows for criminal prosecution? Educate yourself folks. Legalize 2012 is the only position that's not corrupted!

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

I think the initiative 30 if passed takes the medical out of marijuana by making it like alcohol which has no medical value is what Lance is trying to say....

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the post, Legalize2012 folks. Keep us up to date on any developments.

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

Hey folks - you guys need to back off the BS.  If you have something to offer, show us.  Until then, stop bashing the only alternative out there.  There was seriously a time when I thought about joining your effort, but I've never seen anything constructive come out of legalize2012.  Like my momma used to say "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!"

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"There WILL be a registry under I30, a registry if you want to buy at a dispensary and a registry if you want a home grow" -- no and no, although the Fascist Assembly could pass an unconstitutional law on the latter subject.  I do not totally discount the notion that Progressive Insurance could benefit from the passage of initiative 30, but proponents of this theory are very murky on details. Your rhetorical question about higher insurance rates is ludicrous -- right now, people across Colorado who are found to have used a controlled substance while driving do not have insurance rates, high or low, because their licenses have been suspended!  Initiative 30 does lend unfortunate rhetorical support to our existing irrational laws regarding cannabis as it relates to driving, but it does not change those laws in any way, so it is hard to see how Progressive will profit -- they can't sell insurance to people without drivers' licenses.  All such attacks on Peter Lewis that ignore his obvious and genuine personal motivation to legalize the medicine which eased his treatment for cancer are scurrilous.

Monkey
Monkey

Using the sun is not growing outside. Plenty of coal will be used to mask the sight and smell of these "outdoor" plants with a house built around them. My windows may let sunlight in but I don't live outdoors.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Ross, 80% of Coloradans do not use cannabis.  A significant fraction of that 80% disaprove of cannabis, and a significant fraction of those support existing criminal penalties.  Those in the latter category outnumber the 20% who do use cannabis, and Prohibition is our law.

To ask "How can anyone be for something that allows for criminal prosecution?" suggests that you are not in touch with the political realities I just cited.  I want to sweep away our present scheme of arbitrary persecution and institute a rational scheme for the regulation of drugs which respects the right of adults to choose what they put into their own bodies; we cannot somehow just prise cannabis out of the fire of of our failed system of law, we need to make rational laws.  The regime under which we live is driven by a reactionary mania to control human behavior which has made a nonsense of the concept of America as the "land of the free"'; reality is that we imprison more people than any other nation.  In this context, and given the fact that we are outnumbered by those who would seize and incarcerate us, how can you possibly pretend that we have only to propose what is right in order to put it into effect?

Initiative 30 declares that possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis shall not be illegal under various arbitrary limitations -- it is impossible to make a rational argument that this increases anyone's criminal liability; the measure will prevent a certain significant fraction of all criminal charges related to cannabis from being brought in the first place.  It is not what I would write; I like the Danish Plan as embodied in Michelle LaMay's Initiative 40 (i.e. no punishment for possession and cultivation subject to limitations based on intended use).

Legalize2012 and Kathleen are in the vanguard of our most highly motivated and capable activists for our rights, but that does not mean they are inerrant.  Even if the most explicit and expansive declaration of our rights could somehow be made to appeal to most voters (which is impossible in the near future), the main issue with regards to any other intitiatives on cannabis in 2012 is whether their supporters can organize, enlist others, and raise money on the scale necessary to conduct another petition drive -- very, very soon.  Before May Day, these organizations need to have had their petition certified and titled, to have already collected at least tens of thousands of dollars, to have fielded dozens of circulators, and to be collecting ~5,000 valid signatures (i.e. ~10,000 total) signatures every week until the election in order to succeed in collecting the required 85,853 valid signatures and getting their initiatives on the ballot.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Legalize2012 is trying to moderate its tone and to make necessity a virtue -- any other intitiative besides 30 will have to be funded not by out-of-state billionaires or national drug policy organizations, because they have determined to support Initiative 30 exclusively.  Bearing in mind how much of an uphill battle organizers backing another initiative face, it is natural that they seek to peel off supporters of Initiative 30 -- don't hold it against them!  Again, we can support any and all initiatives that attack Prohibition.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

With what in my arguments do you disagree?  I do not happen to think that it will be very productive for people who use cannabis to join the prohibitionist majority (should the latter defeat Initiative 30).  I support any measure which promises to drive down the rate at which we are creating cannabis-criminals, and Initiative 30, for all its flaws, qualifies.

Monkey
Monkey

Yea, kind of nit-picky huh. If that's the way you spell such a word.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

True -- I have removed the offending reference, but you are straining out a gnat; growing in a greenhouse drastically reduces the cost of growing cannabis for much of the year, and that is what should be the primary concern of cultivators of cannabis and environmentalists in general.

Why Timmy?
Why Timmy?

Where these the debates that Timothy Tipton recorded for you, CTI/ legalize2012.com?

Google "Tim Tipton" mmj scam. For more information about this lowlife.

Why do you all have Tim as a vital member of your group when there are TONS of people alleging he did/does VERY bad things to innocent people? How many people are behind bars, right now, because of him? 10+?

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

I apologize if my statements come across as an attack.  That is not my intention.  My intention is to point out that it is VERY difficult to figure out what your organization is FOR, rather than AGAINST.  I sort of wrote off your website as a source of knowledge quite awhile ago because I never found any useful information there.  My bad.  It does appear that you've added quite a bit of content since I last checked there.

Does the summary below represent the current approach that you are thinking of?  I took it directly off your website from a link that said " DRAFT LANGUAGE being debated in the Great Legalization Debates of 2012 for the Colorado ballot in 2012"

Cannabis Re-legalization Act - Legalize 2012.com

The Legalize2012.com amendment will be a true legalization amendment. It will abolish all marijuana crimes from the Colorado Revised Statutes. It also removes the word "marijuana" and "marihuana" from the statutes because of its racist origins, and replaces it with the word with cannabis. The Legalize2012.com proposal uses "intent" to determine whether an amount was for personal use or commercial use, thereby avoiding the need to institute "seed to sale" tracking of cannabis users. Any time there is a number in a statute (like 1 oz / 6 plants), you create a position for law enforcement to count, measure or weigh that number. This results in more prohibition laws, not fewer. The Legalize2012.com amendment will create an independent Cannabis Commission, which will be comprised of cannabis experts appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Cannabis Commission will be charged with implementing the new law and creating regulations. This eliminates the problem that we have currently in the General Assembly, Health Department and Department of Revenue where people who have absolutely no cannabis experience are creating all the rules and regulations for the industry.

The Cannabis Re-legalization Act (language coming soon)

Thanks

Legalize2012.com
Legalize2012.com

Hi Matt,

We hosted and organized two major policy debates last fall. We put out requests for other ballot initiatives to be considered and have been analyzing cannabis policy all year. We posted it all on our website. No other group has solicited public input like we have. We are writing a true "citizen's" ballot initiative, giving control of cannabis back to the people, not the police. We will be releasing a draft soon that will be open to public comment. Init. 30 was never revealed to public before it was filed.

If you would like to help, send us an email so we can contact you and take this conversaion offline. If you just want to attack us in public, then I am sorry you feel your time cannot be spent more productively.

http://www.legalize2012.com

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

If Legalize2012 actually had a proposal to consider, I would agree with you.  It does not cost much to create proposed language for an initiative. 

I fully support any and all initiatives that attack prohibition.  I just haven't seen anything other than negativity come out of Legalize2012.  If they come up with language that sounds better than Initiative 30, I'll be happy to support them.  I absolutely cannot support anybody who says (for months on end), "Those other guys suck, give us money and we'll tell you how to do it the right way."  That's basically all we've gotten from Legalize2012...

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