DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado voters may soon be asked again to vote on a new marijuana initiative. The petition asks voters to legalize marijuana for adults.
The Secretary of State Office is now reviewing 160,000 signatures to get it on the ballot.
Marijuana advocates say they want to make selling pot a legitimate business. They’d like to have marijuana sold and regulated just like liquor sales. Supporters say fully legalizing pot will keep drugs out of the hands of minors and give the state a huge boost in sales tax revenue.
Campaigning to legalize marijuana has almost become a routine for election years, but this time advocates say they’re trying a new approach.
Marijuana advocates brought in a literal truck-load of signatures — more than 30 boxes of names.
“A majority of Coloradans support making marijuana legal for adults,” attorney Mason Tvert said.
Tvert is running the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
“It’s time that we regulate this drug, we get it out of the hands of young people, and off the black market, and we generate a lot of tax revenue,” Tvert said.
The ballot measure would make it legal to sell limited amounts of marijuana to adults 21 and older. It would also permit growing industrial hemp.
Advocates nearly doubled the amount of necessary signatures to land on the ballot. The campaign is taking a fresh approach to their cause, calling legalization a women’s issue.
“Many women are choosing cannabis for the issues that treat breast cancer, bladder cancer, and the different issues that we have in being able to continue to be mothers and grandmothers to our children,” Wanda James with the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said.
“The dirty hippie is just an ugly, outdated stereotype. Women and conservatives and families and business leaders are all part of this effort,” medical marijuana attorney Jessica Peck said.
Peck calls herself a Republican strategist. She says the issue won’t cut down traditional party lines.
“It would raise much needed tax revenue, it would free our prisons to make room for violent, real criminals; it takes marijuana out of the hands of kids,” Peck said.
The campaign predicts tax revenues to exceed $10 million in the first year if the law passes. They call it common sense.
“This is a responsible initiative and it has the promise of making Colorado a much safer place,” Tvert said.
In 2010 California tried passing a measure legalizing marijuana. That measure failed by 7 percent of the vote. Political analysts in Colorado say it’s just a matter of time before legalization does pass, but that time probably isn’t now.