Mason Tvert celebrates marijuana decriminalization in Nederland

In its article about Nederland decriminalizing marijuana within town limits last night, the Boulder Daily Camera describes the town as the second in Colorado to take such a step, following Breckenridge, whose voters passed a similar measure last November.

Marijuana advocate Mason Tvert, founder of SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation), notes that the Camera left out one other community: Denver. Indeed, Tvert helped lead successful initiative campaigns in the Mile High City in 2005 and 2007.

Tvert wasn't part of the Nederland movement, but he hardly feels left out. "It was a totally citizen-led effort," he notes, "and it demonstrates that citizens around the state are becoming increasingly fed up with irrational marijuana policies that steer people toward drinking and away from using a less harmful substance."

This message is the same one Tvert and hundreds of supporters delivered at campuses around the country on April 1. He judges the effort a success.

"We generated news coverage around the country," he says. "A feature story appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and there was an item on the Washington Post education blog. And that was part of our mission -- to generate debate about laws that steer students toward drinking instead of making the safer choice of marijuana."

Locally, Tvert and a group of Metropolitian State students delivered information (and a copy of Tvert's book) to the office of Stephen Jordan, Metro's president. Jordan wasn't there at the time, but Tvert says his receptionist was "an incredibly nice person," and encouraged the reps to set up a time to meet with Jordan, which they plan to do. "The students will be following up to have a discussion with him about this subject," Tvert says.

As for the Camera forgetting to mention Denver in the context of marijuana decriminalization, Tvert says, "Denver's obviously the epicenter of the marijuana reform movement in Colorado -- and without a doubt, we'll see more cities following the lead of Denver, Breckenridge and, now, Nederland, in taking actions and passing local measures. They're sending a very clear message to their elected officials that it's time to reevaluate how we treat marijuana in this state and nationwide."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts