Marijuana De-Criminalization Will Be On Ballot

An initiative to decriminalize up to an ounce of cannabis for adults 21 years and older in Colorado will be up for a vote this election season, as the Secretary of State confirmed today that the over 129,000 signatures gathered are sufficient under state law.

The group that gathered the signatures, Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), successfully passed a similar measure in the city of Denver last year, and will now campaign to have it extended to the state level in a vote that could make history and set a precedent for the future.

Currently, no state has successfully decriminalized cannabis-a drug declared illegal under federal law. And, while Republicans and Democrats alike have come out criticizing the measure, SAFER claimed at their last press conference that support did not come solely from the more liberal Denver-Metro region, but from cities like Colorado Springs.

About 68,000 signatures were needed to get on the ballot this year.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at