Marijuana: Initiative 70 would make pot use right, regulate it like tobacco | Westword

Last Friday, the Cannabis Alliance for Regulation and Education began collecting signatures for Initiative 70, the third legalization measure to be proposed for the November elections. We caught up with spokesman Rico Colibri, who broke down his proposal and why he feels it is Colorado's best option for ending cannabis ban in 2012.

Colibri adds that his proposal would legalize marijuana use in public spaces, much is the case at coffee shops in Amsterdam. "The beauty of our language is, we want to be able to go to a place with responsible adults and consume with other responsible adults." [Amendment 64] 's language does not legalize anything; it decriminalizes. "

Initiative 70 would limit personal cultivation to a quarter-pound per month. However, there would be no limits on the amount of cannabis purchased at a shop. Colibri says the language is modeled after federal home-brewing laws that limit the amount of untaxed beer to private individual can manufacture at home.

"That's an eighth a day," Colibri said. "If you want to go to a cannabis retailer because you're having a party or whatever, and there's no limit to how much you can purchase." if you do not want to. "

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in possession and sales to minors. As mentioned above, the bill does allow for eighteen-to-twenty year olds to eventually be given the right to consume cannabis legally, though it would require the approval of the Colorado general assembly to do so. If the Colorado legislature ever votes to allow eighteen year olds the right to consume herb, or if the feds ever get around to changing their minds, such penalties would be deemed irrelevant.

Retail sales would be taxed and 25 percent of taxes generated would go to "safer communities fund," with 10 percent earmarked for public K-12 schools, 10 percent headed to state health care and 5 percent split between state drug and prison rehab programs. Voters can also approve an excise tax on cannabis up to 21 percent of the listed price, though such taxes would not apply to industrial hemp or seeds.

It's not a bill for the no- regulation crowd of "hippies," Colibri says.

The proposal is limited to one person's personalization of eight plants, four in flower and four in varying stages. of vegetation. It also limits the amount of "consumable raw cannabis" one person can grow and smoke to four ounces per month. If two or more people are living together, the max amount is sixteen plants and eight ounces per month. Violation of those limits would result in a misdemeanor charge. Colibri said the restrictions are similar to federal home brewing laws currently in place.

The measure also addresses the THC DUI issue, stating that driving while impaired would be subject to state laws but adding THC blood levels would be considered refutable evidence. Likewise, lawful marijuana use would be an affirmative defense to THC DUI per-se limits. THC DUI will be subject to state laws, implying that either THC DUI laws would remain or that new ones would have to be created Finally, the bill would end Colorado funding of any federal marijuana laws against people in compliance with Initiative 70.

Colibri started collecting signatures for I-70 at the 4/20 rally in Civic Center Park and estimates that 3,000 signatures were collected over the two-day span. For more information check out www.equalizecannabis.com, and read the full text of the bill here.

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