Colorado Launches Petition Drive to Legalize Marijuana

Colorado marijuana activists officially launched a petition drive yesterday to get an initiative on the 2012 ballot to amend the Colorado Constitution to legalize adult possession of marijuana for personal use.

The initiative is called The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 and you can read the text here.

86,000 valid signatures are needed to make the ballot, a relatively small number. In 2006, Colorado voters rejected a similar initiative. Will the growth and acceptance of medical marijuana in the state change the result this time around?

Key provisions in the initiative: [More...]

The new version directs state lawmakers to add an excise tax of up to 15 percent on recreational pot, in addition to sales taxes. The amendment would direct those excise taxes to public schools.

This year's Colorado pot amendment also would say that pot cannot be used while driving and limits possession to 1 ounce. It bans marijuana use in public. Colorado's 2006 measure didn't mention taxing or regulating pot, and it didn't set limits on its use.

If it passes, Colorado will become the first state in the country to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

If you'd like to get involved in helping the initiative get on the ballot, here's the campaign's website.

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    Nice touch... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:01:05 AM EST
    throwing alcohol in the title...remind all of the rampant different rules/different fools vice edition...stresses the silly of the prohibition.

    I Was Thinking... (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:41:58 PM EST
    ... the last time I saw a piece of legislation with an actual name that reflects the contents and I came up empty.

    The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act

    It's perfect in it's simplicity and to the point.


    The method... (none / 0) (#8)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 08:54:02 PM EST
    to their wording.

    A campaign to legalize small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use in Colorado is aimed at middle-aged, budget-conscious voters -- not the pot smokers typically associated with such efforts.

    Two marijuana legalization advocates started a signature drive Thursday to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that they say would regulate and tax recreational marijuana to raise money for schools without making make weed available to all.

    The representatives of the "Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol" wore suits and stood on a public lawn before the state Capitol and made their case that marijuana legalization would raise needed tax revenues and save money spent on arresting and prosecuting small-time pot users.

    Again and again, they talked about how they would aim to limit the legalization effort -- only for adults and only in small quantities.

    it's about time (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:08:08 PM EST
    Passing a real law to legalize without red herrings like "medical marijuana".  Wonderful.

    Medicinal use... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:10:48 PM EST
    is no red herring, I can assure you of that...one of the oldest medicines known to mankind.  

    Legalization for medical use only is an inadequate half-measure though, with you there...lets cut to the chase.


    Wouldn't efforts be better devoted to (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:43:44 PM EST
    support of this proposed federal bill?  Bernie Frank and Ron Paul proposed legislation to remove mj from controlled substances act.  

    Well That Doesn't Need Congress (none / 0) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 05:07:37 PM EST
    Not sure who or what agency keeps the control substances up-to-date, but it's not Congress.  I do know, they can add a drug like yesterday, seems like they should be able to remove one as quickly.

    The controlled substances act is (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 05:12:15 PM EST
    the result of federal legislation.

    We all know (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 11:30:55 PM EST
    that the bill hasn't a chance in Hades of passing.  The sponsors know that as well.  But they also know you have to get it out there--and keep putting it out there--until it gets somewhere.  Much like was done on a local level here with TABOR and is being done in many states with the anti-abortion initiatives.  

    Getting it on the ballot in Colorado is part of that over-all process.  If we pass it and other states follow suit, it only adds to the pressure at the Federal level.  Given the decision today to leave it as a Schedule I substance, more pressure is clearly needed.

    I applaud Rep. Polis for being part of the these efforts by co-sponsoring the Federal bill and the passionate, dedicated people working to get it on the ballot here.