Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act endorsed by ACLU, petition signatures reach 60,000

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 hasn't sparked up love from all pro-marijuana activists, but it continues to win support from other sources. According to Regulate proponent Mason Tvert, the latest organizations to endorse the measure are the American Civil Liberties Union and the Libertarian Party of Colorado.

The ACLU announcement about its decision to back the proposal declares that "the war on drugs has failed. Prohibition is not a sensible way to deal with marijuana. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will move us toward a more rational approach to drug laws."

The organization's endorsement is huge according to Tvert, corresponding by e-mail. "The ACLU of Colorado is one of the state's most widely recognized and well-respected organizations working on criminal justice issues," he writes. "It will be a huge resource when it comes to raising awareness of the issue and spreading the campaign's message about the benefits of ending marijuana prohibition."

In the meantime, the petition drive rolls onward. "Hundreds of volunteers and businesses are circulating the petition throughout the state, and we expect the ACLU's endorsement will bring this campaign to the attention of thousands of like-minded Coloradans," Tvert notes. "The campaign has already collected more than 60,000 signatures, but there's still a lot of work to be done."

True enough. In order to reach the ballot, the act's backers must collect 86,000 valid signatures -- and to be certain to cover their bases, their announced target number is 140,000. By that measure, Tvert and company aren't quite halfway there. But given that the election in question is more than a year away, they're well ahead of the game.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana fight: Dept. of Revenue's deletion of e-mails improper, activist charges."

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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.
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