Denver Marijuana Initiative Likely On Ballot

A proposal to make marijuana the lowest enforcement priority looks headed for the ballot, after supporters announced today that they had obtained more than double the amount of petition signatures required to put the initiative up for a vote.

According to Citizens for a Safer Denver, local group pushing for the measure, they have taken 10,500 signatures from registered Denver voters with approximately 4,000 needed qualify for the local ballot in November.Colorado Confidential first wrote about the proposal in May, before it was known how well supporters would adapt to the ins and outs of Denver’s new election system.

The initiative comes after an increase in marijuana arrests in the city, and the ordinance would also create an eleven-member Marijuana Policy Review Panel to report on the implementation of the new law. 

Denver voted by 54 percent to legalize up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years and older in November 2005, and a state-wide campaign to do the same thing failed in 2006 with 55 percent of Denver voters approving.

SAFER Denver is expected to turn in signatures this afternoon at the City and County Building.

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 erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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