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.