November 7, 2012
On Tuesday, Colorado joined Washington State in becoming the first two states to end the costly and harmful prohibition of marijuana, sending a clear message to the federal government that citizens are not willing to spend any more money and effort on the unnecessary prohibition of marijuana. The amendment passed with a sizeable majority, 54.8% for and 45.1% against with 96% of precincts reporting. The decision means that Colorado adults over the age of 21 will be able to purchase, grow, and consume small amounts of marijuana, with revenue gained from sales going to the construction of public schools. In addition, it will free Colorado law enforcement to pursue more serious crime and will eliminate the racial profiling that so often accompanied marijuana prohibition enforcement.
Many of the "nuts and bolts" of the new marijuana legalization and regulation still need to be worked out by the state legislature and there are still many questions that await answers. However, none of that takes away from the major civil liberties victory achieved by the voters in our state yesterday.
To learn more about the next steps, check out this video from the Denver Post in which Brian Vicente, Executive Director of Sensible Colorado, discusses the amendment and what it means for Coloradans.
Additionally, the ACLU of Colorado will be working with our coalition partners and others to develop a marijuana legalization fact sheet in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!