For those of you who don’t follow marijuana legalization efforts, Colorado isfor people with small quantities of marijuana.
Marijuana advocates vowed from the Capitol steps Wednesday to put a statewide measure legalizing adult pot possession on Colorado’s November ballot and mobilize an army of voters to pass it.
The statewide campaign is fueled by outrage over Denver authorities’ rejection of Initiative 100, said Mason Tvert, campaign director for the initiative’s sponsor, Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation.
City voters passed the initiative in November, ostensibly making it legal for adults to possess up to 1 ounce of pot. Denver law enforcement officials, however, continue to ticket small-time pot-possession violators under state law. They always have prosecuted the vast majority of possession cases, saying that state law is unaffected by local statutes.
The Colorado Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative seeks to pass a state law identical to the Denver measure, Tvert said, so Denver officials can no longer “ignore the will of the voters by hiding behind state law.”
To be placed on the ballot in Colorado, the measure requires around 68,000 validated signatures. While a tough goal, this should not be an insurmountable hurdle for this issue. What’s interesting to me is that the state is trying to outlaw the will of the local voters in Denver. This is very similar to what the Feds do whenever medical marijuana initiatives or legislation is passed at a state level.
Quite often on political campaigns I’ve worked, the candidate used lines or arguments which were thought up by me or members of my team. As political whores, we custom tailor such sound-bytes to be picked up by the media or to influence votes, and quite often they work for the desired purpose. I rarely remember these lines, but I do have a strong tendency to remember the lines actually from the candidates when they are on the Johnny-on-the-spot on some issue or another.
One line of reasoning on this topic I’ll always remember is from Aaron Russo. As I’ve heard the general argument a million times (or so it seems), I’ll paraphrase from the originator of the Constitution Party who also was a presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. It goes somewhat like this:
Early in the last century, America outlawed alcohol. In order for this law to have been considered legitimate by the American people, a constitutional amendment had to be passed. An amendment to the United States Constitution must be ratified by three-quarters of the state legislatures in the country. While I’m not stating that I agree with alcohol prohibition, it was handled in a totally legal and proper manner. This is not the case with marijuana, where no such amendment has ever been passed.
The Constitution is essentially the contract between our government and the people. Each time it is violated by our Congress (which swears to uphold our covenant every two years) is an act of tyranny. One really great place to block the tyrants, both at a national level and in Colorado, is on this specific issue. Let’s do it!
As the author of this article, I’d like to make it very clear that I do not smoke marijuana (although I’ve tried it on several occasions before and did actually inhale). Maker’s Mark is my drug of choice, and weed simply ain’t my cup-of-tea. This is a freedom thing to me, and I’ll continue to push such issues until they take my keyboard away from me.