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MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER Colorado Initiative is Not "Legalization"

"It would be inaccurate to call this legalization," says author.

Steve Fox, Washington D.C. lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project and the main co-author of the MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER eight ballot initiatives that were filed with the Secretary of State on May 19, 2011, says their initiatives should not be considered "legalization."

This announcement came at the Title Board held a hearing on June 15, 2011 to se the titles for the MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER eight ballot initiatives. The ballot title is the short description of the ballot initiative and it is what voters will see on the ballot when they go to vote on a measure. The Title Board sets the language of the title, in a way that fairly and accurately describes the initiative so that voters know what they are voting on.

The Title Board wanted to put the word "legalization" in the title, but the MPP/DPA/Sensible/SAFER alliance argued strongly against it. Steve Fox argued that the word "legalization" should not be included in the ballot title for their initiative because it would be misleading to voters. He said, "Tomatoes are legal, you can buy them anywhere. Tomatoes have been legalized. As you've seen with medical marijuana, it's a highly regulated system by a regulatory agency and not what we're proposing that marijuana be regulated because it's entirely unregulated right now."

Mason Tvert of SAFER and their attorney Ed Ramey both also argued that their initiatives consisted of more regulation, not less. They stated that their initiative was definitely not "legalization" as the term is commonly understood., testified to the Title Board that they would be "happy to own that term." representatives pointed out that the MPP/DPA initiatives were very much modeled after the Medical Marijuana Program, which has resulted in hundreds of pages of new laws and regulations, not fewer. They agreed that the MPP/DPA initiative could not be considered "legalization" and told the title board that was bringing forth a different ballot initiative that would be "true legalization."

Steve Fox testified that representatives "made our point better than we have, which is, legalization is not what this is." Fox continued to say that "said it clearly, and they're going to propose an initiative regarding the legalization of marijuana. What we are doing is regulating marijuana. There is a significant legal difference. It would be inaccurate to call this legalization."

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