The Colorado Marijuana Initiative

For those of you who don’t follow marijuana legalization efforts, Colorado is considering an absolute legalization ballot measure for 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.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Old Crow is Tom Knapp’s favorite — but I think it’s a Hunter S. Thompson thing. :)

  2. I hope the marijuana debate is on national TV to show how strong Mason Tvert’s/marijuana activists arguments truly are. He will make a fool of the other side.

  3. You don’t really think they’ll take your keyboard away do you?
    They’ll try to flood your apartment, like they tried with mine this week.

  4. Mmm, Makers Mark. I dig the Makers Manhattans.

    The city council of Whittier, CA (in my neck of the woods) just allowed medical marijuana shops to open. I can’t wait for Al Gonzalez and his porn & drug squad to rush in and save the day.

  5. Another huge problem in Colorado is that the laws regarding petitions are so extreme that it is difficult to get anything on the ballot. However, there is hope to change this, the Petition Rights Amendment

    Several years ago Colorado had a medical Marijuana petition that supposedly failed to collect enough signatures. Later, after the Secretary of State died, they discovered a drawer full of valid petitions hidden in her office that would have put it on the ballot.

  6. Hmmm, I prefer purple sinsemilla with an extra long filter, with just a dash of ‘spin’ for easy drawing, perhaps with a noice (sic) chilled glass of Aussie chardonnay, aaaaaaahhhhh! Both the state of South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory decrimed small-time pot about 10 years ago and NO increase in usage has been recorded! Last time I got busted I laughed at the young copper and told him it was a $200 fine (NSW), sure enough it was, I wasted his whole day in court and gave him a wink as I pulled out the dosh. Of course, if I was unlucky enough to be American I’d be tasered, beaten with clubs & butt-fucked, just B4 I was given life in one of your gulags. Regards. PS here is a poem for you./
    Oh Hydra Heads!
    American sabres
    blunting fast…

  7. I’m a Jack kinda guy and I’ve been known to toke here and there.

    Anyway, this is right next door for me and I hope they pass it. Of course, even if they do pass it the DEA could come in and still uphold the federal laws on the matter. But I figure if enough states legalize it, they don’t have enough black helicopters to get everyone.

  8. More than one state will legalize pot before the Federal government relents. This is great news, we’ll see if the organizers of SAFER can pull it off. I hope they can!