Denver — Denver-based activists submitted over 159,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office today, well over the 86,500 required to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s Presidential ballot in November. The initiative is being spearheaded by Brian Vicente and Mason Tvert of Sensible CO and SAFER CO respectively.
“This is a job well done and a crucial first step to ensure Coloradans have a chance to make history,” said Art Way, Colorado Manager of the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports the measure. “There’s simply no denying the intense groundswell for change.”
Last year polling revealed 54 percent of CO voters favor responsible regulation of marijuana for adults as opposed to the current prohibition and its many consequences. Moreover, 2011 marked the first time the nation supported marijuana legalization according to the latest Gallop Poll. The most recent poll in from Public Policy Polling reveals independents in CO support legalization 54/34 and the state as a whole 49/40, with the rest undecided.
The Colorado Marijuana Initiative does not allow public consumption, nor amend current employment and traffic safety laws. A savings of over $120 million is likely once Colorado ends marijuana prohibition — the state spends nearly $80 million enforcing prohibition while forgoing upwards of $40 million in possible new revenue.
“This initiative is another indication that Colorado is moving away from non-sustainable drug policies that don’t benefit society at large,” said Way. “The selective enforcement of marijuana prohibition and the often undue collateral consequences associated with prohibition should impel all who believe in individual liberty to support this initiative.”