Colorado voters might see two pot proposals on ballot
January 18, 2012
DENVER – A marijuana legalization measure on Colorado ballots this fall could face some competition.
A second pot legalization proposal won clearance Wednesday from a state title board to begin collecting petition signatures. That sets up the possibility of two ballot questions asking whether to set up a direct challenge to federal drug law by legalizing pot for recreational use.
Unlike the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” measure currently awaiting clearance for inclusion on ballots, the second measure sets no age limit. It also allows users to possess any amount and does not set up an excise tax for marijuana.
The sponsor of the second marijuana measure, Michelle LaMay, said her proposal is simpler than the regulation measure, which allows rules for how pot could be sold. LaMay’s measure simply removes criminal penalties for marijuana possession.
If approved, LaMay’s proposal would not affect people already convicted of marijuana-related offenses.
“I’m not competing with them,” LaMay said of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which has received funding from the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project.
The regulation campaign has run afoul of some marijuana activists, who complain it’s too heavy-handed. At least one more legalization-related measure is possible, setting up a potentially confusing slate of pot proposals before voters. The last legalization ballot measure, in 2006, lost badly.
Mason Tvert of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said he wasn’t worried about voter confusion.
“We’re glad there’s so much energy behind the movement to end marijuana prohibition,” Tvert said.
The regulation proposal has turned in signatures and is awaiting clearance for inclusion on ballots. Backers of the second amendment can begin collecting signatures and have six months to collect the needed 86,000 or so signatures to make the ballot.