Can Colorado create a legal market for marijuana?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 1st 2012 by THCFinder
Back in 1932, Colorado voters took to the polls and approved Amendment 7, a bill that legalized alcohol consumption and ended prohibition.
Now, 80 years later, the state is weighing Amendment 64, a voter proposition that would similarly legalize marijuana.
Colorado voters aren’t alone: Oregon and Washington will take up similar measures on Tuesday. If any of the three voter propositions succeed, they would put the an American state left of the Netherlands on marijuana policy – and upend the economics of a contraband market.
“It would be unprecedented,” said Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University whose research focuses on marijuana legalization. “If one of these things passed, the United States would be right out there in the front of the liberal reform movement for drugs.”
This isn’t the first time that a marijuana legalization effort has landed on a state ballot. In 2010, a similar proposal landed on a California ballot. Proposition 19 would have legalized the purchase and consumption of marijuana in the state.
Proposition 19 failed by a seven-point margin. Legal marijuana advocates say they learned lessons from that first state ballot, lessons that helped them land three new ballot initiatives in 2012.
“Proposition 19 definitely pushed the issue into the mainstream, and got people thinking about it,” said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It taught us that the most effective message is one that shows prohibition doesn’t work, that it comes at a cost to communities and taxpayers.”
Seventeen states had efforts to land a marijuana legalization proposition on the ballot in 2012. Three of those – in Oregon, Washington and Colorado – succeeded.
In those states, both sides are now pitching voters on what it would mean to go beyond decriminalization. Marijuana sales and production would become a legal, regulated commodity.
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