Denver do-gooders propose ballot measure to make weed illegal in Colorado… again

Denver do-gooders propose ballot measure to make weed illegal in Colorado… again

Despite the success of legalization, people still can't chill

VicesFebruary 11, 2020 By Will Brendza

It took almost 45 years of hard work, advocacy and education to get cannabis legalized anywhere in the US.

The controlled substances act of 1970 officially marked the beginning of cannabis prohibition (although it had been stigmatized and legally penalized since the early 1900’s). It took many years, a lot of protesting and a shift in the culture surrounding cannabis to put an end to that. But, in 2014, Colorado became the first state to recreationally legalize weed and officially kill the prohibition.

Colorado’s cannabis industry has since become a $1 billion tax machine — providing funding for construction and education projects throughout the state.    

But now, a pair of do-gooder anti-cannabis activists have filed a new ballot initiative proposal that would turn over that legalization and re-instate the prohibition of pot. Denver resident and resident square, Mary Lou Mosely and Willard Behm, a stiff lawyer out of Rocky Ford, see cannabis as a threat to this state’s culture and spirit. In the eyes of these two righteous activists, cannabis has made the good state of Colorado a more dangerous and less-enjoyable place to live.

They even go so far as to call cannabis a “state-wide concern.”

Right. A state-wide concern which, has resulted in exactly zero overdose deaths since prohibition ended in this state. A concern which, has generated over $6.5 billion just since 2014. A concern which has created thousands of jobs, allowed people to build their own businesses and better their lives — making the American Dream a real possibility for many.

Sadly, Mosley and Behm did not respond to requests for comment on their proposed ballot initiative. However, here is the full text of their proposal:

The people of Colorado declare that the recreational use of marijuana is a matter of statewide concern.

Article XVIII, Section 16 of the Colorado Constitution (Personal Use and Regulation of Marijuana) is repealed.

Laws regarding medical marijuana and industrial hemp are not changed.

This amendment is effective upon the official declaration of the vote hereon by the Governor pursuant to Section 1(4) of Article V of the Colorado Constitution.

Before the state can even take that proposal seriously, though, Mosley and Behm need to rewrite it, according to state legislative staffers. Apparently, even with the professional help of Willard Behm, esquire, that text isn’t specific enough about what state laws would have to be changed and what specific language would have to be added or removed. It pretty much just says, “Cannabis bad, make illegal again!”

Which, is neither specific nor realistic enough for state legislatures to even consider.  

And, even if they figure out adequate language, Mosley and Behm would have to get 124,326 signatures from registered Colorado voters, just to get this measure on the ballot.

Good fucking luck. As Matthew Schweich, the deputy director of Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment, “We view this initiative as a deeply misguided and futile attempt to roll back a successful legalization policy that Coloradans firmly support … This initiative would kill jobs, destroy businesses, deprive the state of tax revenue, and restore the injustice of prohibition.”

If anything, the recreational legalization of cannabis in Colorado has proven that there’s no legitimate reason to maintain its prohibition. This stuff is fun to use, it isn’t addictive, it offers many an organic alternative to alcohol or opioids, creates jobs, and generates a billion dollars in tax revenue a year which then goes right back into our communities.

You couldn’t make a sensible argument to try and put this genie back in the bottle, if you tried. Some 67 percent of Americans agree that cannabis should be legal everywhere in the US, according to PEW research — a number that’s likely much higher in Colorado alone.

Mosley and Behm are in the minority on this one. It would be incredible if they even got enough signatures to get it on the ballot, let alone enough votes to repeal legalization. And even if they did, Schweich says that the reform movement will be ready for them.

“We are confident that Colorado voters would firmly reject it,” Schweich added. “But we will not be complacent. If this initiative qualifies for the ballot, the marijuana reform movement will make sure that there is a strong and well-funded campaign to defeat it.”