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‘Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’ claims enough signatures for Colo. ballot

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, February 17, 2012 15:39 EDT
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A man and a woman use alcohol and marijuana at a July 4 celebration in Washington, D.C. Photo: Flickr user ElvertBarnes.
 
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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said Friday morning that it had turned in more than enough valid petition signatures to get their initiative on the ballot later this year.

The activists said they had submitted 12,000 additional signatures, on top of the 163,000 submitted earlier this year. The additional signatures were required after the Secretary of State said that a random sampling of entries found less than 50 percent were valid.

In order to secure a spot on the Colorado statewide ballot, initiatives must carry at least 86,105 valid signatures. Out of the 163,000 signatures initially turned in, only 83,696 were declared valid, forcing the campaigners to carry out an extended effort.

If Colorado voters opt to legalize marijuana in November, the law won’t exactly change: the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause guarantees that states cannot overrule the federal government.

Still, the proposed initiative calls for the law to allow adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants at home. It would also establish a regulatory framework for the sales of marijuana at storefronts, but gives local governments the opportunity to deny permits for commercial activity related to marijuana.

Campaigners and health experts insist that while it has many drawbacks, using marijuana is actually safer than using alcohol, and causes fewer health effects than smoking tobacco. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency insists that legalizing marijuana “will come at the expense of our children and public safety.”

California voters turned down a similar initiative in 2010 by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. A Gallup poll published in Oct. 2011 found that, for the first time ever, more than half of Americans favor legalization, marking a dramatic turnaround from just15 years ago when more than 70 percent of Americans favored continuing prohibition.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol did not respond to a request for comment.

(H/T: The Associated Press)

Photo: Flickr user ElvertBarnes.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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