Thursday in Colorado a broad coalition of organizations officially launched the petition drive to put the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 on the ballot next November. To get on the ballot, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will need to gather 86,000 valid signatures over the next 180 days.

According to the campaign, the amendment to the state’s Constitution would (the full legal text can be found here):

  • Removes criminal penalties for the private possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, and for the home-growing of up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed locked space, similar to the number allowed under current medical marijuana laws;
  • Directs the Department of Revenue to establish a tightly regulated system through which it licenses retail stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities;
  • Requires the general assembly to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent on the wholesale sale of marijuana applied at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store or product manufacturer (sales tax will also be applied at the point of retail sales);
  • Directs the general assembly to establish a system of regulating the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp

In 2006 a similar ballot measure to legalize marijuana, Amendment 44, was rejected by the people of Colorado in a vote of 41% yes-59% no. Yet between 2006 and 2010, nationally an amazing 10 percent more Americans now support marijuana legalization. The continued rapid growth in support for marijuana legalization combined with the fact that 2012 is a presidential year election (which means higher youth turnout) should give this current effort a much better chance of succeeding.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at