Pot measure up in air

May 072006
Authors: Vimal Patel The Rocky Mountain Collegian

So how’s the effort to place a pot-legalization measure on November’s ballot going?

“It’s going, man,” said Mason Tvert, campaign director for Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). But the 24-year-old quickly quelled the doubt: “We’re pretty confident we’re going to get this done.”

So far, proponents estimate about 25,000 signatures have been collected, well under the 68,000 valid signatures needed before the Colorado Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative can be placed before voters.

The signature collection started about two months ago, and the deadline is about three months away. Do the math. It’s going to be close.

The main focus now is gathering the petitions already circulated, Tvert said. To do this, the group is holding turn-in rallies throughout the state.

“We’re really trying to get stuff back,” he said.

The initiative would eliminate penalties for use and possession of small amounts of pot for Coloradans aged 21 and older. It would eliminate the overarching statewide ban on pot, and allow individual cities to determine the plant’s legality.

Fort Collins doesn’t have its own ordinance and is guided by state law.

Even if voters approve the measure, pot would still remain illegal under federal law. But experts say it’s extremely rare for the federal government to intervene in minor pot cases.

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