Pro-Pot Proposal Takes a Big Hit

Pro-Pot Proposal Takes a Big Hit
Posted by CN Staff on November 08, 2006 at 06:04:34 PT
By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
Source: Rocky Mountain News
Colorado -- By about a 2-1 ratio, voters snuffed out a measure that would have allowed adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. With 701 precincts reporting, it appeared to be doomed to defeat, especially since it was barely getting a split vote in traditionally liberal Boulder County. That was the news Robert McGuire, spokesman for the Colorado Chapter of Save Our Society from Drugs, had been waiting to hear. "We're pretty happy with the way things turned out," he said. "Our goal was to beat it badly enough so we don't see it again on the ballot.
Mason Tvert, campaign manager for Amendment 44, said he "wasn't disappointed by the results" and conceded defeat early in the evening. "We had a yearlong conversation about marijuana," he said. "We still believe there are a larger number of people in favor of changing the laws." "We think the writing is on the wall," he added. If the initiative passed, it would have made Colorado the first state to legalize marijuana use for recreational purposes. Previously, several states - including Colorado - passed medical marijuana initiatives that allowed for the distribution of the drug for those battling illness. Colorado was one of two states considering a recreational use provision on pot this election. The other state was Nevada. Even if it had passed, Amendment 44 wouldn't have technically made pot smoking legal in Colorado. It is still a violation of federal drug laws - though federal drug enforcement officials said publicly they will not actively seek to arrest, try and convict users in possession of an ounce or less. Some supporters of the amendment thought the success of Denver's passage of an initiative seeking to legalize pot possession last year signaled the mood of citizens of the state. Tvert led that successful campaign. The campaign had been opposed largely by Save Our Society from Drugs - a Florida-based group that made several sojourns to the state to drum up opposition against the measure. Through McGuire, they successfully brought the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to campaign against it as well as employing the help of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Suthers said he was pleased to see the amendment go down to defeat and said voters never bought the argument made by Tvert that marijuana was safer than alcohol. "Usually when this issue comes up, the debate centers on Libertarian values," he said. "This was a different approach and one that didn't work." The opponents of the amendment also believed, along with federal drug enforcement officials, that passage would bring more drug traffickers to Colorado because it would be seen as "a drug tourist spot." But Tvert argued that the current fines - a misdemeanor offense and a $100 ticket - show that the government doesn't really consider possession of an ounce of marijuana a serious problem anyway. "If they did, they wouldn't have such light penalties," he said. Voters from both parties were unimpressed with the campaign's strategy to declare the war on drugs as failed. Jared Klarquist, 24, and a registered Democrat, couldn't bring himself to cast a ballot for it. "I think pot is bad, it's a real de-motivator," he said. "As poorly as the war on drugs is going, I don't feel legalizing it is the way to make things better." Amendment 44 Would have legalized the adult possession of an ounce or less or marijuana  Winners: John Suthers. He became the face of the anti-44 movement and used his clout to push against legalization. The campaign group, Florida-based Save Our Society from Drugs, received $37,000 in contributions - the largest from Denver resident Kevin Kaufman who gave $20,000.  Losers: Mason Tvert, campaign manager for Amendment 44. He was able to spearhead legalization in Denver last year but couldn't muster enough support statewide. The campaign was mostly funded by the SAFER Voter Education Fund, which poured more than $148,000 into the losing effort.  What's next? It's possible Tvert could try again, but for now, pot is still illegal.Note: Overwhelmingly, voters just saying no to legalization.Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)Author:  David Montero, Rocky Mountain NewsPublished: November 8, 2006Copyright: 2006 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Safer Colorado Choice Marijuana Amendment Going Up in Smoke Pro-Pot Ads Target Bush, Cheney 44 Step Toward Clear-Headed Drug Policy 
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Comment #2 posted by jasgrave333 on November 08, 2006 at 09:08:17 PT:
yep - Toker00
...and stop destroying our drugs with your society! 
"Dat spot on; hit the nail right on it's tin cap!Society is trampling all over the grass; Society get education! Cannabis is good for you
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Comment #1 posted by Toker00 on November 08, 2006 at 08:58:16 PT
Save Our Drugs from Society! Society has become such a problem for drugs. Our drugs need protection from society. It's not your father's SOCIETY. No, this new society is much stronger, and much more dangerous. Many people in this new society, think drugs can be helped by society. I disagree. Leave our drugs SOCIETY FREE! Let's all stand up and call for SOCIETY FREE DRUGS IN AMERICA! No body wants you rich people hanging around on corners, styling up the place! Go back to your Mansions, and stop destroying our drugs with your society! Right, guys?Toke. 
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