Possession of Ounce of Pot Object of Amendment 44

LdyLunatic

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Colorado -- One measure on the November ballot would amend the Constitution to make it legal for Colorado residents 21 or older to possess one ounce of marijuana.
Amendment 44 was placed on the ballot to offer people a choice other than alcohol, said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the measure. “We simply don’t think it makes sense for the government to discourage the choice of marijuana instead of alcohol,” Tvert said.

The amendment, however, “sends an irresponsible message,” Attorney General John Suthers said.

Alcohol use is linked to an array of social pathologies, from domestic violence to sexual assault to drunken driving, Tvert said. Marijuana use would have far less drastic social consequences, he said, adding that no one has overdosed from marijuana or died as a direct result of its use.

The evidence is, however, that marijuana continues to be a gateway drug, Suthers said. Worse, marijuana has grown in potency over the years and is opening the way for use of even more dangerous substances, such as methamphetamine, Suthers said.

Similar experiments with legalizing small amounts of marijuana have had disastrous consequences, Suthers said, citing decriminalization in Alaska and the Netherlands. In both cases, juvenile marijuana use increased by as many as three times, he said.

Making it legal to possess less than an ounce of marijuana would have some serious legal contradictions, Suthers said, because manufacturing, distributing and selling it would remain illegal.

“Every single activity that leads up to it is illegal,” he said.

And, he said, it’s misleading to suggest marijuana users are uniformly easy to deal with.

“Cops tell me marijuana users are just as erratic as drunks,” he said.

Yet it makes little sense, Tvert said, to defend what is now a petty offense.

“It’s hard to believe that law enforcement is so vehemently in favor of maintaining a $100 fine (for possession of small amounts), which is less than a speeding ticket.”

The measure has strong geographic support, he said, citing the collection of thousands of signatures at Country Jam to place it on the ballot.

Opponents of Amendment 44 are refusing to recognize the reality that Coloradans will use recreational drugs and ought to use marijuana instead of alcohol, Tvert said.

Suthers “suggests sobriety is what we should be teaching people,” Tvert said. “The attorney general would prefer to live in an ideal world rather than the real world.”

Suthers said it remains clear that people want guidance in life and cited the National Household Survey, which he said has consistently shown the No. 1 reason nonusers cite for disdaining marijuana is that it’s illegal.

“In fact,” Suthers said, “a lot of people are deterred by the law.”

Source: Daily Sentinel, The (Grand Junction, CO)
Author: Gary Harmon, The Daily Sentinel
Published: Sunday, October 01, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Cox Newspapers, Inc.
 
A

astra007

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some1 should point out to suthers that the REAL GATEWAY drug is alcohol. bloody idiot. 1 of my favorite subjects as an activist.
 

Hick

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Dear Friends -

As strange as it may sound, we are pleased to report that Amendment 44 in Colorado garnered about 41 percent in the election last night (although less than 50 percent of the votes in Denver have been counted). We are pleased because two out of every five voters in Colorado agreed that it makes no sense to punish adults for using marijuana. We are pleased because this campaign gave us the opportunity to take our "marijuana is safer than alcohol" message to citizens across the state and across the country. And we are pleased because we took the often politically ignored issue of marijuana prohibition and made it a major topic of debate in the state.

With very little money and only two paid campaign staffers -- the amazing (and now notorious) Mason Tvert and Evan Ackerfeld -- we stood our ground against the combined power of the White House, the governor, the attorney general, the state legislature, and anti-marijuana zealots from around the country. How often in history have two people drawn so much attention from the powers-that-be in the nation?

When I say two people, I am in no way trying to slight all of the people in Colorado who have given blood and sweat for the cause over the past 10 months. Although we had a very limited budget, we had volunteers all over the state collecting signatures, distributing literature, and spreading the word about the need to reform marijuana laws in Colorado. We could not have accomplished all we did without their support. To all those who donated your time to the campaign, we extend our most heartfelt thanks.

I also want to thank every person who has made a financial contribution to help support the campaign. Obviously, we could not have carried out any of our activities without those funds. If you were one of the people who gave $10, $50, $300, or just $4.20, please know that you helped make all of this possible. We are deeply grateful.

I encourage anyone disappointed in the result of yesterday's vote to look at the bigger picture. This campaign, following on the heels of our successful legalization initiative in Denver last year, was just one step in a five- to ten-year battle to make marijuana legal in Colorado. One low-budget initiative campaign cannot overcome 70 years of government lies and propaganda. But the writing is on the wall and we will continue to educate the public while pressuring government officials and community leaders to explain why they think adults should be punished for using a substance less harmful than alcohol.

We hope you will join us as we continue to fight for the rights of marijuana users in Colorado and around the nation. Eventually, logic and commonsense will prevail and we will win this battle.

Sincerely,

Steve Fox
Executive Director
Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER)
 

Mutt

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Hey the numbers are higher than they ever were. That is a plus. Someday in our lifetime we will see at least the "decriminilization" of MJ at least. Legalization will of course take longer. but one day hopefully. :)
 

Ravishing_68

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I think it is a huge step... the more often we can get it out to the public how the government has fed the people lies the better and not just in the case of MJ.

Where I am located, our jails are overcrowded immensely due to MJ possession. So when it is time to let some go due to overcrowding, they are the first released, why they arrest them to begin with, I don't know. Could you imagine the money saved? I think they just see the fines as income for the County, but far more is paid out in public defenders, jail space and food, not to mention court costs.
 

Hick

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I believe that is called .."Job security" ravishing...the more they spend on incarcerating any drug cases, the more money is appropriated the following year.
 

Ravishing_68

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((slapping head)) Of course!!! I don't know what I was thinking!?!?!?!

All I know is that if I see a big pot bust on TV where the pot is already bagged and ready to go..., the next week, there is some great pot at very decent prices for sale on 'the street'. They are making money all the way around!
 

Student

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Hick it is good to hear that progress is being made in certain parts of the US and I want to offer my thanks for your efforts. Even though I do not live in the US, believe me, any sort of progress made in the US on MJ issues is good news for the rest of the world's weed lovers. So thanks - your personal efforts are appreciated far and wide (and I sympathise with the whole 'activist' thing - I know it's not easy!)
 
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bejohnst

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There was a good effort made all over the state and for that I'm very proud. It was good to see discussions taking place at the university level over the past few weeks, very encouraging. Next time around I would be very surprised if this amendment doesn't pass.
 

Hick

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bejohn..did you happen to catch the debate on CO LIVE?...
Mason "had his way" with the opposition.
 

Bubba Bear

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well the problem is...the feds still say its ilegal and federal law rules over local law...california found this to be a problem when they made medical pot legal.......the law has to change on the federal level first...they dont have to make it legal but they at lkeast have to trash the current federal laws on pot and then leave it up to states to make their own marijuana laws...for this to happen more people that smoke need to get policaly involved and stand up and they have to vote...growing up in virginia just outside of DC....on july 4th back in the 70's the group NORMAL would hold what wa called The Smoke In....we all and thousands of other people from across the country would get togeather and basicaly have a huge pot party...you could smoke a joint right in front of the police with out having to worry about getting busted...the smoke in would start in the park right across the street from the white house thn move to the Washington Monument grounds for a free concert and fire works show......but I dont think anyone has organized any thing like that in decades....but thats what has to happen....you have to make your voice heard and in large numbers...politicians look at this as votes and a way to keep their cushy high paying jobs....people who smoke need to get envolved politicaly and even run for local and state offices and then on to federal levels......as long as those who are against it are in power it will always be ilegal.....man I loved the Smoke Ins......
 

Bubba Bear

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I just did a search on yahoo and I guess they still do it ......check it out
http://www.smoke-in.org/mission.html

more people need to get envolved with events like this and its very important not to bring alcohol and become drunk and rowdy......just toke up a few and mellow out...let them count the numbers...I dont know how it is now but it was a great event when I use to go...last time I went was back in 1979....I think I may just go on july 4th 2007.......if its anything like it was back in the 70's ...its something realy great to be part of

 

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