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Marijuana: Amendment 64's Mason Tvert on Bill Maher's invite, advocate advice

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for mason tvert photograph small.JPG
Mason Tvert.
During a recent appearance on his HBO discussion show, Bill Maher asked Mason Tvert, one of the primary proponents behind Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, to relocate in California and push through a similar measure there -- and Tvert lightheartedly said he would; see the video below. Days later, however, Tvert tells us he has no plans to move west or barnstorm the country to boost legalization efforts in other states.

"There has been discussion among activists and organizations for the past couple of years about how best to move forward in California," says Tvert, referring to the 2010 defeat of Proposition 19, arguably the most high-profile statewide legalization proposal prior to Amendment 64. "But there's no specific plan, and I have no intention of moving."

mason tvert and brian vicente board hearing july 2011.jpg
Courtesy of Cannabis Therapy Institute
Mason Tvert and fellow Amendment 64 proponent Brian Vicente at a hearing earlier this year.
Has Tvert been bombarded by calls from pot reformers in other states since A64's resounding victory? "You're giving me way too much credit," Tvert says. He acknowledges that he's received a steady stream of outreach on the topic in the week-plus since the election, but "not any more than I have every month for the past seven years" -- when his organization, Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), backed the Alcohol Marijuana-Equalization Initiative, aka Initiative 100, in Denver. The measure was approved by the city's voters by a 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent margin in November 2005, instantly making Tvert a star of the U.S.cannabis legalization movement.

But while Tvert notes that "local activists have been getting in touch to find out what they can do in their areas and how they can be most effective," he makes it clear that he hasn't created a blueprint for electoral success that can be easily replicated everywhere.

"I don't know if your'e talking about franchising a campaign -- but that's like saying Barack Obama is going to franchise his campaign to other presidential candidates," he says. "A lot of people who worked on this campaign have valuable insights that would be beneficial in future campaigns," but he doesn't believe they can't be boiled down to a formula.

A key Amendment 64 campaign theme involved the argument in favor of reallocating police and prosecutorial resources from marijuana offenses to more serious, violent crimes. But Tvert doesn't consider it to be a fresh new tactic.

"That's been said for the last thirty or forty years," he points out. "So I wouldn't see that as any kind of unique campaign strategy."

In his view, then, the key to Amendment 64's passage was the message he's preached since Initiative 100 -- marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol.

Continue to read more of our interview with Mason Tvert.


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6 comments
hippie19623
hippie19623

As I see it, The Governor of Colorado is doing his best to stop admendment 64. That Being said, Maybe the words lack of confidence , recall should be looked at. the people of Coloradoin past admendment 64. Laws Change at a state level First then the federal government changes their laws. Look at the speed limit, seat belt laws, mandatory auto insurance, and yes even alcohol prohibition. The gay community has the right not to be discriminated against. The only right a pot smoker has is to go to JAIL

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

"You're giving me way too much credit," Tvert says.

 

Cali doesn't want FAKE legalization laws polluting their existence ............they have already come together to prohibit what CO just passed from being welcome there.    Bill is on MPP"s 'advisory' board.....so no surprise there..........

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

California Activists and Pols will Drink Mendacious Mason's Milkshake !!

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

WHERE IS THE 6 MIN CONVERSATION HICKENPOOPER HAD WHITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ABOUT A64? A real journilist would be chasing that story.  What are you up to Michael?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @CoreyDonahue 

 

Just Legalize Real Journalism in Colorado !!

 

Remember the "good old days" when Westward was a renowned Investigative Journalism rag ... and not the current advertorial fluffer fest it has become?

 

 

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