Colorado: State Democratic Party Announces Support For Marijuana Regulation Measure

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from today’s NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.]

The Colorado Democratic Party on Saturday announced its support for Amendment 64, a statewide ballot initiative that seeks to eliminate civil and criminal penalties for the limited possession and cultivation of cannabis by adults. The Party indicated its support for the measure during its state convention.

“This is a mainstream issue,” Cindy Lowery-Graber, chair of the Denver County Democratic Party, stated in a press release. “Polls show that more than 60 percent of Democrats and a solid majority of Independents believe marijuana should be treated like alcohol. A broad coalition is forming in support of Amendment 64 and I am proud to say that it now includes the Colorado Democratic Party.

Now included among the Party’s 2012 ‘essential platforms’ is the following: “Regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, limiting its use to those 21 or older. We support Amendment 64, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol.”

If enacted by voters this November, Amendment 64, The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, would immediately allow for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to establish regulations governing the commercial production and distribution of marijuana by licensed retailers.

The initiative does not change existing medical cannabis laws for patients, caregivers, and medical marijuana businesses. The measure also prohibits the imposition of an excise tax on any retail sale of medical marijuana.

The Colorado Democratic Party’s support for legalization comes approximately one month after a slim majority, 56 percent, of Denver County Republicans also voted to endorse Amendment 64. However, the position was not officially adopted because of the local party’s requirement of a two-thirds majority to change its platform.

Amendment 64 is backed by a broad coalition of drug law reform organizations, including NORML, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, SAFER, Sensible Colorado, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), the Drug Policy Alliance, and the Marijuana Policy Project. Gary Johnson, former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, and Pat Robertson, evangelist and founder of the Christian Coalition, have also recently endorsed the initiative.

The full text of Amendment 64 is available here.

33 thoughts

  1. This is good to hear.

    QUESTION: Is this the first time one of our main political parties has supported a ballot initiative like this?

  2. “QUESTION: Is this the first time one of our main political parties has supported a ballot initiative like this?”

    yes, in 2010 the young republicans group endorsed prop 19 but that was it, no major controlling political party has ever changed it’s platform like this, now both are…to me that means the war is won!

    with the democrats on their side it’s pretty much a shoe in, and it will be a major win altogether, once dem’s in other states see that there is no backlash, the national party will quickly step in line behind full federal legalization.

  3. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. If this gets passed I will never complain about the cold and snow again. Proud to be a Coloradoan!!

  4. Wow this would be such a huge step towards proper regulation throughout the US! Remember, it starts with ONE!

  5. Congrats to colorado i hope it passes the ballot that would increase the legalization across the U.S. Good job norml and colorado props from cali.

  6. I was unsure what the outcome of this Amendment would have on Colorado dispensaries. Thank you for the informative article, I now know that dispensaries will maintain business as usual, and eventually may become retail store fronts. This information means a lot to me, because I Love Colorado Dispensaries. Keep up the great work, NORML!

  7. Finally, Democrats with spines! Even though the recent Gallup poll shows that 57 percent of those identifying as Democrats and 69 percent of those identifying as Liberals support legalization, “Democrats” like Obama, Dianne Feinstein and many others continue to oppose even medical marijuana. The Colorado Democratic party gives me hope, but I’m not counting on many others in Democratic leadership to follow their lead. They are too gutless or misguided. It’s hard to say whioh one Obama is.

  8. This is a step in the right direction. Legalization in all states would solve many problems associated with making things illegal that should not be. Crime rates would instantly go down because we would not be making criminals out of good hard working people. We all have a vote, and we should no longer vote for anyone that does not support our points of view.I hope that everyone realizes that this whole thing is ridiculous. Broad awareness of actual facts should be the key to eventual legalization.

  9. Even though Colorado and Oklahoma share a few miles of borderline, they are as far apart as Pluto is from the Sun. Could Denver, Ft. Collins, or some other place use another HVAC tech? Been thinking of setting my controls for the Sun.

  10. Congrats. What is even more remarkable is how many Colorado Republicans voted in favor of endorsement, 56% of Denver County Republicans voted to support Amendment 64, though they lacked the 2/3 majority required to change the platform.

    By the way, The Washington State Democratic Central Committee officially endorsed Initiative 502 in mid-September of last year. I-502 will appear on the November ballot in Washington State. A copy of the reasons for the Dem’s support can be found in the link below.


  11. Great. My Boulder State Senator, Rollie Heath, has voted for this bill every single time it’s come along. I’ve written, I’ve blogged, and he won’t give me an explanation of why he votes for it, nor even acknowledge my requests. He needs to be voted OUT!

  12. OK folks its time to make a stand.

    The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. Email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

    To the President, Members of the US Congress, State and local elected officials:

    Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965 with over 800,000 arrests in 2010. The problem is getting worse – not because of the benign plant, but because of the obsolete laws. The time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

    I can no longer vote for elected officials that support the the current laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.


    Voting Citizen
    & Member of the Movement

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