Marijuana and Cannabis News
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Proponents Submit 159,000 Signatures to Put Cannabis Legalization on November Ballot in Colorado
Voter Initiative Would Generate New Revenue and Increase Public Safety
Denver-based activists submitted more than 159,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office on Wednesday, well in excess of the 86,500 required to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the state's Presidential ballot in November.
"This is a job well done and a crucial first step to ensure Coloradans have a chance to make history," said Art Way, Colorado manager of the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports the measure. "There's simply no denying the intense groundswell for change."
|Art Way, Drug Policy Alliance: "There's simply no denying the intense groundswell for change"|
Last year polling revealed 54 percent of Colorado voters favor responsible regulation of marijuana for adults as opposed to the current prohibition and its many consequences.
Moreover, 2011 marked the first time the nation as a whole supported marijuana legalization according to the latest Gallup Poll. The most recent poll in from Public Policy Polling reveals independents in the Highest State support legalization 54 percent to 34 percent, and the state as a whole 49 percent to 40 percent, with the rest undecided.
The Colorado Marijuana Initiative does not allow public consumption, nor does it amend current employment and traffic safety laws. A savings of more than $120 million is likely once Colorado ends marijuana prohibition -- the state spends nearly $80 million enforcing prohibition while forgoing upwards of $40 million in possible new revenue.
"This initiative is another indication that Colorado is moving away from non-sustainable drug policies that don't benefit society at large," Way said. "The selective enforcement of marijuana prohibition and the often undue collateral consequences associated with prohibition should impel all who believe in individual liberty to support this initiative."
The initiative is being spearheaded by Brian Vicente and Mason Tvert of Sensible Colorado and SAFER Colorado respectively.