Even for cannabis-friendly Colorado, this was impressive. On Wednesday, the Denver-based chronic coalition known as Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 160,000 collected signatures supporting The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 to the Secretary of State’s Office, also located in the Mile High City. The pro-pot organization’s efforts almost doubled the required number of signatures (86,000) to place the initiative on the November 2012 ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana use for Rocky Mountain residents age 21 or older.
Beyond legalizing personal use and possession (of up to an ounce) of pot, the initiative would also permit private cultivation of up to six plants (allowing only three “mature” plants max), just as individual adults are permitted to brew their own beer in their homes. The state has 30 days to certify the signatures as valid and decide whether or not to place the initiative on the ballot, though the AP reported it would likely be approved.
But legal pot in Colorado by 2013 isn’t a sure thing just yet. A previous statewide recreational legalization measure was shot down in 2006 and a recent poll reported only 49 percent voiced support for pot legalization, where a poll number closer to 60 percent is desired in order to confidently project an initiative winning come Election Day. Activists still have ten months to increase awareness and support with the aim of convincing a majority of Coloradoans that legalization is way overdue, especially in their progressive pot state.
Equally encouraging was the recent announcement that Colorado became the fourth state (joining Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont) to request that the federal government reschedule marijuana so it can be legalized and prescribed for medicinal purposes.
Colorado Dept of Revenue executive director Barbara Brohl sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency in late December with the request that marijuana, with its “potential medicinal value,” be removed from the list of Schedule I drugs in the Controlled Substances Act, and be placed with the Schedule II drugs that have accepted medical use (even cocaine is a Schedule II drug due to its use in certain types of surgeries). And if deadly, addictive coke can be a legitimately used drug, so can cannabis.