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Billboard Goes Up for Colorado Marijuana Initiative

In the opening move of its election season effort to pass Amendment 64, a marijuana legalization and regulation initiative, the Colorado Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has put up a billboard in the heart of Denver featuring a nice, middle aged woman who says, "For many reasons, I prefer marijuana over alcohol" and asks "Does that make me a bad person?"

the first billboard in the Colorado campaign (CRMLA)
The billboard near Mile High Stadium sits above a liquor store. It went up last Thursday.

The initiative, which takes the form of a constitutional amendment, legalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and over. Adults would also be able to possess up to six plants -- three mature -- and the fruits of their harvest.

It also calls for the licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores. It would require the legislature to pass an excise tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana and that the first $40 million in tax revenues each year be dedicated to the state's public school capital construction assistance fund. It would give local governments the ability to regulate such facilities or prohibit them.

In the most recent polling on the issue, a December Public Policy Polling survey found that 49% supported the general notion of legalizing marijuana -- the poll did not ask specifically about Amendment 64 -- while 40% opposed it and 10% were undecided.

That shows that victory is within reach, but by no means assured. One of the key demographic groups needed to win is mothers and middle-aged women, like that nice lady on the billboard.

Colorado isn't the only state where marijuana legalization will be on the ballot. A similar effort in Washington has qualified for the ballot, while signature-gathering for initiatives continues in a number of states. Of those, efforts in Oregon and Montana now appear to have the best shot of actually qualifying for the ballot.

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Billboard: friendly critique

I think the tone and effect of the ad are pretty good, with one exception which maybe no one has "consciously" noticed, i.e. when you see a person with FOLDED ARMS it sometimes implies a "nothing doing" attitude, "I'm not getting involved" etc., and probably the same attractive lady in a more overtly positive stance would be a sufficient correction to make this ad work even better.

At risk of annoying some who have seen the following comment from me before, I would compare the above issue involving the billboard with something else I've seen repeatedly on cannabis articles on the Net: for some reason ($igarette corporation money?) websites carrying cannabis stories almost always put a picture of a big fat hot burning "joint", or someone smokin' one, at the top of the article.   News organizations need to be lobbied to put a picture of a VAPORIZER there instead, or of a one-hitter with an extension tube (the public is barely starting to learn that by holding the flame far enough away you can truly vaporize with a narrow screened pipe).  Show viewers that cannabis users understand Moderation and Control as embodied in the shape and function of equipment used, and the fears of social ruin will dissipate. 

"At risk of annoying some"

It doesn't annoy me in the slightest, I think your crusade to reduce the amount of 'hot burning gasses" that people ingest, especially tobacco but also cannabis, is admirable. You may underestimate how much people like their joints of marijuana and how much culture change would be involved in changing that, but I think it's a worthy project. And your ferocious enmity towards the tobacco companies is an inspiration to me

Yea , Man

Let me get a 1/5 of Jack Daniels and a 1/4 oz. of  Afghani  Kush .  Here`s my I.D.  . $$$ .  Thank ya` very much..... Off to the party .. ..   Good Cannabis will cause people to not want to drink some " liquor " .  Why is thang`s spin`in ! ????  A Relaxed and thinkin` Nation is better than a Drunk and Discombobulated Nation any day . What ? Rocky Mountain High . . .   Imagine if the " Beer " seller`s @ the Rockies games also offered Cannabis ? What kind of message would that send to the children ? The children are already aware of the Hypocrisy of it all anyway . Can`t see the Mountains for the Tree`s ?  Vote  2012 . 

To me, the folded arms were balanced by the relaxed attitude

I took the folded arms as a gentle insistence that her concerns be addressed. And I like the "for many reasons" phrasing, it sets the stage, in 3 short words, for spelling out those reasons during the campaign. I think using a liquor store as a background is great, the Colorado activists seem intent on pounding home the fact that cannabis use is far safer in what really counts than alcohol use, far less likely to cause catastrophe (and better in relatively minor ways too, like no broken bottles or public urination).

 The prohibitionists get all shifty or disappear when you try to get them to focus on alcohol vs. cannabis, they know they don't have a leg to stand on when the subject is life and death and alcohol vs. cannabis.

alcohol vs cannabis

At my sentencing on various marijuana  charges I told the judge if he said marijuana was bad, alcohol is 10 times as bad. He said two wrongs don't make a right so take 8 years. No really, a nation of relaxed and  thinking marijuana smokers is much preferred to a nation of drunks. I mean no offense to responsible drinkers. I leave you in one love. 

"I mean no offense to responsible drinkers"

Neither do I, not in the slightest, but my definition of responsible drinker includes supporting equal rights for cannabis users, as part of being honest about what irresponsible users of alcohol do to innocent people and themselves, and honest about the fact that there is no such association because cannabis and death, serious injury or serious disease. The public health community should really be curious about whether legalizing cannabis would reduce alcohol related violence. The more society studies cannabis, and alcohol vs. cannabis, the sooner this sorry law will go to its well earned home in the well filled and bloody trash bin of history.

Glad you're still talking about love after meeting 'justice' at the hands of a joker judge.

regarding tiobacco industry bail-out

Thanx sayno to for the kind statement, with one adjustment: I don't recommend ferocious enmity toward the tobacco companies, actually maybe the best way to solve the problem is to BUY them out:

1.  Grant and loan assistance to ex-$igarette industry workers retraining to reforestation or other virtuous neglected jobs in the public interest.

2.  Philip Morris, R. J. Reynolds et al. survive, using all that monster rolling machinery to make a kind of tree-planting "cigarette" with high quality starter-soil and a SEED inside the biodismantlable paper wrapper, to be planted by billions in little pokeholes stickjabbed into strategic wet and/or shady ground locations everywhere to grow wild weed and future forest trees wherever "plaIn", "desert" or "tobacco field" had been previously found around the planet. 

3.  Replanting schedule: cannabis is described as excellent precursor crop for tree planting; corn-- temporarily predominant in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana etc.-- as precursor crop for cannabis,.) 

Until now the tobacco "curing" industry-- burning LOGS for heat to pre-toast the tobacco leaf making it easier for helpless addicts to inhale $igarette-sized overdoses of-- has been identified as one of the leading agents of deforestation worldwide, so (forgive not forget).it might work out especially well if the former perpetrators get on board with a chance to redeem themselves doing pro-forest jobs together with the rest of us. 

riddle me this

Okay has anyone really read the amendment? Cause I have, now how can you regulate something when you're allowing people to possess and ounce and have 6 plants? It's the 6 plants I don't get. So if you think like a criminal that means in a household of 10 you can legally have 60 plants. Hmmm....sounds like a nice little way to make some money and not pay taxes. And if  the average joe can think that way imagine what drug cartels and mafia think. So I really don't see the profit when the profit will go to the dealers in the black market. Really, why can't people be happy with decriminalization and medical marijuana. 

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