February 27th marked yet another exciting day in cannabis law reform in 2012 as Colorado’s Secretary of State announced that the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol had turned in more than the required number of valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. Colorado voters will be able to move towards a more sensible cannabis policy on November 6th of this year.
“The people of Colorado are ready to end marijuana prohibition and begin taxing it and regulating it like alcohol,” Mason Tvert, head of Colorado’s Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told the Associated Press.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol hopes that voters agree that cannabis prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, is a failed policy. Colorado voters will have the opportunity to allow adults 21 and older to possess and use limited amounts of marijuana. The measure also calls for the establishment of a system of regulations to control and tax cannabis sales, much like the regulatory system in place for alcohol. Furthermore, voters will be able to direct the Colorado state legislature to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sales of industrial hemp, providing more job opportunities and revenue sources for the state.
While it is unclear how the regulation of cultivation and sales of both hemp and cannabis will be treated by the federal government, it is a great step forward to put the issue up for debate, and hopefully, end the arrests of thousands of nonviolent cannabis users in Colorado. With the legalization of cannabis on the ballot in both Colorado and Washington, voters, politicians and policy makers across the country will have to take notice that more and more voters are realizing that cannabis prohibition is a failed policy that wastes resources and hurts the citizenry.