Colorado Marijuana Bill Step In Right Direction

††Colorado Marijuana Bill Step In Right Direction

Posted by CN Staff on August 29, 2006 at 07:04:20 PT
By Ian Logsdon, Retriever Weekly Editorial Staff†
Source: Retriever Weekly†

Colorado -- Residents of the state of Colorado will be voting on a ballot initiative this November, as students and activists in the state have gathered over 130,000 signatures to place a bill that would legalize possession of marijuana for the entire state on the ballot. They managed to double the number of required signatures in case of court challenges, and because of their efforts, the Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative will go to the voters this fall. The law will make it so that possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is legal for anyone over the age of 21, with obvious restrictions for driving while intoxicated.
Technically possession is still a crime under federal law, but the federal government does not usually prosecute for possession as small as an ounce. Denver passed a similar bill last year, but state law still applies, meaning conflict between state and city authorities on the possession of marijuana. Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, an organization seeking to aid in this legislation passing has been working diligently to get the legislation on the ballot, and feel confident for the chances of it passing.This initiative is one of the most important of this election cycle, not just because prison terms for possessing a harmless plant that can be grown almost anywhere are unreasonable, but also because the legislation is helping to push student voter registration drives, and hopefully will do a great deal to increase the youth turnout in the Colorado election. Young people are notoriously unreliable when it comes to voting in elections, despite our numbers, and as such it is often common for politicians to nearly ignore young voters and their needs while campaigning. Since we make up a large portion of the electorate, essentially we cut ourselves out of the process by not participating. If this initiative is successful, then the legalization movement will become mainstream, and the potential for more of these sorts of petitions will increase. Eventually, there could be a substantive change to our nationís attitude toward personal freedom and choice, which would have a ripple effect throughout the economy and legal system. The addition of legal marijuana would mean tax revenues, less expenses for nonviolent drug incarceration, and a return of the hemp industry in America. Hemp has been illegal for some time, despite not containing high enough quantities of THC to be used as a drug, and despite being an efficient source of paper pulp, the source of nutritious seeds and oil, and potentially useful as a biofuel. The chance to reverse the years of zero tolerance, drug war style policies is at hand, and it starts and continues through youth action. As more states make changes, the national government will be forced to reevaluate its stance. As more people realize the positive effects of legalization of marijuana, the legalization agenda will be seen for the common sense it is based in, and not as a bunch of disgruntled potheads and hippies. A reasonable drug policy is an important step for redefining the role of government in peopleís lives. This issue is more about whether or not government should be able to dictate what is best of its citizens, whether or not individuals are responsible for their own lives, or whether police can be used to enforce the morals of others on the few. It is likely that some people will come out and say legalizing marijuana is just backing down in the war against drug use, that itís a slippery slope between legal cannabis and a nation strung out on black tar heroin. If these people really cared so deeply about the health and welfare of the American people, they would be taking aim at the most dangerous and lethal drug in the world, tobacco. Tobacco kills people daily, yet it is legal and readily available. The only logical stance is to treat all recreational drugs equally, and to make their use as safe as possible, rather than persecute the users. Anything less is un-American in value. Source: Retriever Weekly (UMBC, MD Edu)Author: Ian Logsdon, Retriever Weekly Editorial Staff Published: Tuesday, August 29, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Retriever WeeklyWebsite: editorinchief trw.umbc.eduRelated Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice By State Legalization Destined for Chaos DEA Rep: Don't Legalize It Pot Would Hurt Kids, and Here's Why

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Comment #5 posted by Wayne on August 29, 2006 at 19:24:48 PT
and i repeat..
"The only logical stance is to treat all recreational drugs equally, and to make their use as safe as possible, rather than persecute the users. Anything less is un-American in value."A-MEN brotha.
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Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on August 29, 2006 at 14:14:41 PT
Physically, I'm 59! Feel younger every day!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 29, 2006 at 11:59:42 PT
Just wait until your 58! LOL! I had to say that.
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on August 29, 2006 at 11:49:56 PT
Fountain of Youth
Good article, but Ian forgot to mention that pot makes you feel young again. I feel great at 48.
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Comment #1 posted by Truth on August 29, 2006 at 08:21:54 PT
Well done
Great article!!!
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