Skip to comments.Colorado: Marijuana Amendment Will Be On Ballot
Posted on 08/17/2006 3:38:19 PM PDT by Wolfie
Marijuana Amendment Will Be On Ballot
Denver -- Coloradans are to decide this fall whether to make it legal under state law for anyone age 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Secretary of State Gigi Dennis said Wednesday that backers of that initiative had turned in enough signatures to qualify for the Nov. 7 general election. The proposal will be Amendment 44 on the state ballot, Dennis said.
Under Colorado law, anyone in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana can be charged with a Class 2 petty offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100.
Legislative staffers preparing an analysis of the initiative report that during the 2005-06 state budget year, state courts convicted 3,700 adults for possession of such amounts of marijuana.
The legalization proposal is being pushed by SAFER, an organization that asserts that marijuana is a Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation than alcohol.
The campaign will highlight the hypocrisy of laws that prohibit the use of marijuana while allowing and even encouraging the use of alcohol, an infinitely more harmful drug, SAFER spokesman Mason Tvert said Wednesday.
If approved by voters, Amendment 44 would change state law to allow adults age 21 and older to possess or use small amounts of marijuana, according to the legislative staff analysis, as long as that use doesnt occur in public. It still would be illegal for anyone younger than 21 to possess any amount of marijuana or for people 21 and older to possess amounts more than an ounce.
It also would still be illegal for individuals age 18 and older to transfer any amount of marijuana to anyone younger than 15.
State laws also would continue to ban: growing or selling marijuana; open and public display, use or consumption of marijuana; and driving under the influence of marijuana.
SAFER has noted that even if voters OK the initiative, home-rule cities and towns would still have the ability to ticket and prosecute marijuana users under local ordinances.
Last year, SAFER successfully campaigned for an ordinance change to make it legal for an adult to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in Denver, but the organization has complained that Denver continues to prosecute people under state law.
Tvert said in an interview that voter passage of a state legalization measure would send a large message to home-rule municipalities about how the people of Colorado feel about this.
Tvert said alcohol abuse contributes to social problems like fighting, sexual assault, property damage and domestic violence. Marijuana use has never been linked to these types of issues.
Tvert said he expects Amendment 44 to be opposed by members of the states law enforcement community, including Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
Suthers spokeswoman Kristen Holtzman said Wednesday that the attorney generals position on this issue has not changed. He is adamantly against the legalization of marijuana.
Foes of SAFERs proposal have argued that marijuana use can lead someone to other illegal drugs and thus increase overall drug use and drug abuse in Colorado.
Right, Wrong, or Indifferent, isnt this in conflict with Federal Law?
I am betting that alot of the people gathering signatures and those signing looked like they were heading to a Grateful Dead concert
There was no reason to make it illegal in the first place. The US army did a large study in Panama years before and found no adverse effects on the troops. The Mexicans that were associated with it at the time caused racism to be the main influence in characterizing it as potentially dangerous and setting up the "stamp" issue. I do not smoke it personally. (flame suit on)
Not exactly. Colorado can't stop the Feds from enforcing Federal (national) drug laws, but their state laws don't have to be in synch. They are deciding what their STATE law (and hence their law enforcement) should be.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition -- LEAP. In the trenches, judges, prosecutors, LEOs, DEA, FBI etc. that have witnessed the WOD from the inside. Watch the 13 minute introduction video. Its excellent. The Web site is most informative.
Man, I was up in the Springs a while back and the whole place looked like a college campus in 1965. If they get it on the ballot dont be surprised that enough of those grateful dead fans crawl out from under their rocks and vote it in.
I smoked pot (as almost all my freinds did) for more than 20 years and have seen all kinds of other "issues" linked to marijuana use.
I've known people who drinking never displayed the problems linked to alcohol above, but when they smoked pot had all kinds of mental problems and couldn't drive a car safely.
I still don't think pot is that big of a deal in general, but I can say that since I quit, my mind is clearer and I am more stable emotionally than during the years I smoked.
I wonder what companies would do, that test for (and prohibit smoking) pot, if it became legal?
if it passes, put a fork in California real estate, it'll be done
I'd vote it in.
I think there are two lessons here. No one should use intoxicants in large quantities or frequently. Two, the government shouldn't be involved in it.
"I smoked pot (as almost all my freinds did) for more than 20 years and have seen all kinds of other "issues" linked to marijuana use."
It's a sad state of the pro-marijuana movement when the best line they can come up with is: "alcohol is worse."
Be careful what you wish for...legalization will be followed by MASSIVE taxation, and the price will skyrocket, causing the same black market that exists today.
The difference will be that the price will undoubtedly rise (due to taxes), and the supply will continue to be mainly from illegal sources.
I saw beautiful South Beach Florida turned into a hell-hole by crack heads for a couple of years and THANK GOD the government got involved and cleaned it up.
The idea that Govt shouldn't be involved in drug use enforcement is totally nuts.
I don't smoke anything and the strongest thing I drink is coffee but the idea that the nitwits in the government can tell grown people what vegetables they can enjoy is what is totally nuts
The pro-marijuana movement has always been sad, and impotent, probably reflecting the passive useless disposition of most pot heads.
Yes, getting high was fun for years during my youth, but most of these were wasted years.
Amazingly, I smoked pot all through college and yet graduated first in my class with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Weird.
You are a really unusual case. You know that don't you.
I'm saving my popcorn for that thread.
Because I think grown-ups should have the last word on what goes into their bodies and because I trust the individual to decide for himself what folly he will pursue? That makes me unusual?
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