Last Friday, a new marijuana legalization Initiative was announced in Colorado, and its supporters, the Cannabis Alliance for Regulation and Education, have begun collecting signatures of support to get it onto the November general election ballot.
Initiative 70 is the third legalization effort in Colorado being proposed to appear on the November ballot. According to the group’s website, Initiative 70, “seeks to equalize cannabis laws with existing laws for the the intended use of products derived from cannabis, be it responsible or industrial use.” The ultimate goal of the initiative is to make marijuana use a right to everyone in Colorado, rather than a privilege to a few for medical purposes.
This measure would make cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana legal for anyone age 21 and up in Colorado. It would also allow commercial sale of cannabis products, which would be regulated similarly to current tobacco product sales.
Under Initiative 70, all laws penalizing marijuana use would be eliminated, which would help protect individuals from losing their jobs should they be drug screened. The measure would allow smoking in public places, similar to the standards that are currently in place in Amsterdam, where many people congregate at coffeeshops to smoking marijuana.
Commercial sales of cannabis would be taxed under Initiative 70, creating new revenue streams for the state, which was over $17 billion in debt in 2009.
Collecting signatures for the initiative began on 4/20, and during a 2 day period they collected 3,000 signatures. There are already proposed Initiatives that have made it onto the Colorado ballot asking to have marijuana regulated like Alcohol, but Initiative 70 looks to have the drug regulated similarly to Tobacco.