Why Signing the People’s Initiative on Marijuana Matters
I campaigned against A64 based on vaguely written language that could be ‘twisted and
turned’ into future over-regulation that was not in sync with the marketing of A64 or the
intent of the voters who passed it. Whether you or I voted yes or no, we all now live
under the Constitution so we need to make it work for our community while giving the
majority of the voters what they voted for, marijuana “regulated like alcohol.”
People 21 and over can buy alcohol in licensed stores to take home or they can
consume it socially on a licensed premise or on private property. Adults are not forced
to make alcohol at home or obtain it without remuneration (compensation or trade) of any
kind to the ‘brewer.’ Adults are not criminally charged if children see alcohol or see
adults consume alcohol or see pictures of alcohol. Businesses require licenses and
follow rules of operation. Localities also collect tax on alcohol sales.
Nederland voters passed A64 by 73 percent (according to Town Staff)) and in the ‘greater
Nederland, Ward, Jamestown area’ by 75 percent 95 percent, even with pro-cannabis advocates like myself voting no. Local communities have three options under A64. They can ban MJ businesses outright. They can temporarily ban MJ businesses or they may enact local language to
regulate marijuana businesses “like alcohol” by Oct. 1, 2013. Within a week of A64
passing, local city councils began banning a lawful way for adults to purchase cannabis.
When I saw the direction local city councils were taking, I co-authored regulatory “like
alcohol” language for MJ businesses here in Nederland (the People’s Initiative on Marijuana),
to give the majority of voters what they voted for. We are currently collecting the signatures from any registered voters in the Town limits, who want to implement A64 and establish local MJ businesses. You can register online with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office today at https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter-classic/secuRegVoterIntro.do, and then sign.
The initiative language considers, borrows, blends current law from Amendment 64, the
Colorado Liquor Code, the Colorado Clean Air Act, Nederland Town Code (zoning, licensing,
permitted use, alcohol, MMJ), and International Treaties and Federal law. The Mayor’s Task
Force on Marijuana has generally supported the initiative language they have reviewed and
will complete their review this week.
The language complies with Nederland zoning and building regulations, limits the number of retail outlets, sets up reasonable rules and regulations for business licensees, allows
for consumption on licensed premises and allows home MJ growers who want to wholesale to
retail outlets to comply with current Nederland ‘home occupation’ rules, regulations, licensing
for all other non MJ crop cultivation businesses. Without implementing A64 businesses
and welcoming any interested growers or sellers the option for a license, the word
“legalization” has no purpose and the untaxed, unregulated market will thrive.
With the reveal of the ‘illegal grow map’ (through no judicial process proving
illegality) with no follow up explanation of where the authority to create it came from
or what ‘evidence’ was gathered or what ‘qualified’ a residence as ‘illegal’, this option
for home growers to have the opportunity to get a license to legally wholesale looks to
be the best way to ‘resolve’ the intent of legalization by the voters and the creation of
the map by Town. With 73 percent support to legalize MJ “like alcohol,” the only use of such a
map would be to rectify anyone in town limits from being labeled “illegal,” especially
when the only “legal grow” on the map was in the CBD, the only zoning in Nederland that
bans crop cultivation outright.
Locals Misunderstand A64
At the last Nederland Board of Trustees meeting, our Mayor mentioned he thought that Nederland voters didn’t really interpret/understand A64 to include MJ businesses, just personal cultivation and private use, when A64 has six sentences regarding personal use and two full legal size pages addressing businesses. He also mentioned he was being accused of moving A64 along too quickly (after having delayed the People’s Initiative two months, missing the April 2013 ballot).
He would like to pay for further local polling on MJ businesses. We can show support via a poll (for free) with signatures on the initiative. If you voted yes on A64, we need your support to follow through with local implementation. Please look for us gathering signatures on the street or at the One Brown Mouse Boutique or for collection times and places posted on Nedtalk and stop to sign or contact Mark Rose at 303-258-7268 or myself at 1-888-eat-hemp. Let’s make A64 work the way the voters in November 2012 intended.