BY JAY SMOKER
Wed. June 1, 2011
Review and Comment Hearing on
MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER 2012 ballot initiatives
House Committee Room 0109
Basement of the State Capitol Building
200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO
On Wed., June 1, the MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER alliance will have a Review and Comment Meeting with the Colorado Office of Legislative and Legal Services and the Colorado Legislative Council to review the language of the 8 ballot initiatives they filed on May 19. The purpose of the meeting is for the State of Colorado to give comment on the language to make sure it expresses the intent of the authors.
The Review and Comment Meeting is open to the public, but no public comment will be taken.
Legalize2012.com has been working on a Colorado legalization ballot initiative campaign since May 2010. We became aware that the MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER alliance was close to finishing their own initiative on May 12, 2011, when they gave Legalize 2012 a draft of one of their initiatives. However, a week later the MDSS alliance filed 8 versions of their initiative without warning.
Surprised, Legalize2012.com complained to the MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER alliance that none of the cannabis reform groups in the state had been asked to comment on their final language before the initiatives were filed. The MDSS alliance countered that they had solicited comments on vague “legalization ideas” several months previous. Steve Fox of the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the main authors of the Colorado initiatives, told Legalize2012.com in an email lastweek that changes could only be made to their initiative IF the suggested changes were discussed during the Review and Comment Hearing and only IF the proposed changes were in direct “response to something discussed at the hearing.” Similarly, Mason Tvert of SAFER sent out an email last week that said that they could make “only slight changes to the language if they seem necessary.”
Strangely, the MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER alliance had agreed to participate in a community policy debate on June 22, to try to find unity among Colorado cannabis reform groups on initiative language for the 2012 ballot. Since their alliance filed their initiatives without warning and can make only “slight” changes to it, it is unclear whether they are still interested in participating in this community policy debate.
Wed., June 22, 2011
Great Legalization Debates of 2012 — Part One
Casselman’s Bar and Venue
2620 Walnut, Denver, CO
Participants: Legalize2012.com, Paul Danish (the Danish Plan), Rev. Brandon Baker of the Greenfaith Ministry, MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER alliance (invited) and others to be finalized soon
DESCRIPTION: Several Colorado groups have indicated that they are going to try to put a citizen’s initiative on the ballot in 2012 to “legalize” cannabis, but what does “legalization” really mean?
With increasing public support for legalization, the question is not
cannabis will be re-legalized, but
it will be re-legalized. Cannabis hasn’t been legal in Colorado for all adults since 1937. Will Colorado’s new legalization look like it did in the early 1900s, or will it look like something new in the 21st Century?
In attempt to find unity among all the groups in Colorado who have marijuana legalization ballot initiative language that they would like to see enacted, Legalize2012.com has organized the “Great Legalization debates of 2012”. The goal of the debates is to discuss ideas, policy and strategy on what will work best to protect Colorado cannabis consumers from arrest, prosecution and discrimination. Colorado is a model for the rest of the country, yet we don’t have a clear idea of what is the best cannabis law for the state.
Join us in this lively and friendly debate amongst legalization supporters to determine the best path for a Colorado citizen’s ballot initiative in 2012.
The debate on June 22 will be moderated by Patricia Calhoun, editor of Westword, Denver’s alternative weekly newspaper. Calhoun has hosted many political debates in her long career covering Colorado politics. Westword has covered Colorado cannabis politics extensively, so Calhoun will be the perfect unbiased referee to what is sure to be a heated discussion.