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Marijuana Measure Not Likely To Matter

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
But Hick Promises to Form Panel After 'Symbolic' Initiative

Once again on a ballot measure, Mason Tvert pushed for allowing marijuana possession in Denver, and once again, he got it by a whopping vote total.

And once again, the vote likely means nothing legally.

Ballot Question 100 sought to make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana the "lowest law enforcement priority."

This comes on the heels of a 2005 ballot measure pushed by Tvert and his group, Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, or SAFER, that legalized possession of less than an ounce of marijuana within the city of Denver.

Tuesday's measure passed 53.6 percent to 43.7 percent, with only several thousand votes still outstanding.

Since 2005, Tvert has pushed three pot ballot measures - and has now succeeded on two of them.

The third was a statewide ballot measure in 2006 that sought to legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in Colorado. That measure failed badly in the state, but Tvert pointed out that it actually passed in Denver, too.

"It's just showing more and more people are fed up with the way our city is handling this," Tvert said.

"We hope they will respect the will of the voters."

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper issued a statement Wednesday saying that he understands the frustration with current marijuana laws and that he will create a community-based panel to review the issues raised by the initiative.

"We respect the fact that many voters used this largely symbolic initiative to register frustration with the federal war on drugs," Hickenlooper said in his statement. "Given that adult possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is already one of the police department's lowest priorities, it is unclear what substantive impact, if any, the initiative's passage will make."

And Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman said that the department doesn't currently target possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Tvert said he believes that if he keeps pushing the issue on the ballot, the idea of marijuana being an unusual or strange thing to vote on will diminish.

"It's more and more a legitimate issue," he said

Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
Copyright: 2007 Denver Publishing Co.
Contact: letters@rockymountainnews.com
Website: Rocky Mountain News - Denver and Colorado's reliable source for breaking news, sports and entertainment
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