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Proponents of Legal Pot Say Foes Blowing Smoke


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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Denver -- The proponents of a ballot question calling for the legalization of small amounts of marijuana said Tuesday their opponents have been trying to mislead voters about the measure.
Mason Tvert, campaign manager for the proponent group called Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, said their chief opponent - Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana - has been trying to frighten voters into believing that a vote for Amendment 44 on this year's ballot is a vote to turn children into drug addicts.

Tvert said that the reverse is more true, that prohibiting the use of marijuana only turns people to the shadows of the black market that can expose them to more dangerous drugs.

"This initiative is not about children, it's about adults," Tvert said. "Right now our laws in this state and this country are based on lies and propaganda. If we're so concerned about what our kids think about marijuana, why on earth would we not tell the truth about it?"

Tvert said that not only are laws against the use of marijuana not keeping teens away from the drug, but actually leading them to it.

"Right now our opponents over at GOCAM are spreading false and misleading statements to lead people to believe that this is going to lead to marijuana use by young people," he said. "Every study that's been done on de-criminalization efforts has found that marijuana use has not increased."

The ballot question calls for decriminalizing possessing less than an ounce of marijuana for anyone 21 years of age or older. It is similar to a measure Denver voters approved last year.

To help in its effort, Tvert's group has formed a new proponent committee - Guard Our Children Against Marijuana Prohibition.

But Beverly Kinard, a Canon City resident who created the opposition group GOCAM, said Tvert and his new group are just being silly.

"We have been so successful that they are having to mimic us," Kinard said. "I would say to them that this (amendment) is the same as child abuse and child endangerment to trick children into something that will damage their developing central nervous system.

"If they formed a group that was called Prohibition Against Polio Vaccine, would they go out and protect children against inoculations?" she added. "They're trying to use a mind control on people with propaganda, and they're trying to make kids believe that it's safe."

Under the proposed initiative, it would still be illegal to grow or sell marijuana, use marijuana in public, drive while under its influence, give any amount of marijuana to a child or possess more than an ounce of marijuana.

Marijuana use and possession would still be a federal crime.

Currently, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a class 2 petty offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100.

Newshawk: Mayan
Source: Pueblo Chieftain (CO)
Author: Charles Ashby, Chieftain Denver Bureau
Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Copyright: 2006 The Star-Journal Publishing Corp.

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