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Governor fights legalizing of pot in Colorado
Prohibition would be lifted
Amendment 64 limits sales to one ounce, but “it would be next to impossible to prevent out-of-state visitors from buying several ounces at various outlets and returning home,” said the editorial.
The law-enforcement conflicts already present with medical marijuana would only intensify, say critics. The Justice Department said in 2009 that it would leave regulation of medical marijuana to state authorities, but has since conducted raids on dispensaries in California and Colorado.
Longtime Denver legalization activist Mason Tvert said Amendment 64 would actually decrease drug crime by instituting a legal marijuana-regulation framework.
(Corrected paragraph:) “We would put drug cartels out of business by regulating marijuana,” said Mr. Tvert, who was the driving force behind the 2005 Denver initiative that was the first in the nation to remove all penalties for adult marijuana possession. “Right now, it’s entirely uncontrolled. What we’re proposing is a system where we do know where it’s being sold and we can track it.”
Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli predicted the Colorado measure would fall short, but agreed that support for decriminalization is gaining more converts.
“I give a lot of speeches to civic groups, and I find a surprising number of people who say, ‘It’s time to regulate it and tax it already,’” Mr. Ciruli said. “These are people involved in business and civic organizations. It’s not just for college students or dopers in Pitkin County.”
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About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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