Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Colorado

The Campaign

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is the driving force behind a 2012 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Colorado.  It is a locally based effort being carried out by a broad and growing coalition of activists, organizations, businesses, and professionals throughout the state and across the nation.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 makes the adult use of marijuana legal, establishes a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol, and allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp.  Click here to read the full initiative language.  Passage of this initiative will be historic, resulting in Colorado becoming the first state in the nation – and the first geographic area in the world – to make the possession, use, and regulated production and distribution of marijuana legal for adults.

The Campaign’s first goal is to collect roughly 85,000 valid signatures of registered Colorado voters, which are needed to qualify the measure for next year’s election.  This is no easy feat, and it is our hope that marijuana reform supporters from around the state will get involved in the effort to place this initiative on the ballot.  By joining the campaign today you can help end marijuana prohibition in Colorado next year and be part of something that will be written about in history books for years to come.


The Initiative

In summary, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012:

•  makes the personal use, possession, and limited home-growing of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older;

•  establishes a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol; and

•  allows for the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp. 

In particular, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 removes all legal penalties for personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and for the home-growing of up to six marijuana plants, similar to the number allowed under current medical marijuana laws, in an enclosed locked space. 

The initiative creates legal marijuana establishments – retail stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities – and directs the Department of Revenue to regulate a system of cultivation, production (including infused products), and distribution.  Under the provisions of the measure, the Department will license marijuana establishments at the state level, and should it fail to act, localities will be permitted to issue such licenses.  Localities will have the right to ban marijuana establishments through either their elected representative bodies, or through referred or citizen-initiated ballot measures.

The general assembly will be required to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent on the wholesale sale of non-medical marijuana applied at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store or product manufacturer.  This new tax must be approved by a majority of voters in a statewide general election. The general assembly will also be required to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp.

The initiative does not change existing medical marijuana laws for patients, caregivers, and medical marijuana businesses. Medical marijuana will be exempt from the excise tax mentioned above. Consumer privacy will be enhanced because individuals will only need to provide proof of age to purchase marijuana.  

The initiative does not increase or add penalties for any current marijuana-related infractions, nor does it change existing laws regarding driving under the influence of marijuana, or the ability of employers to maintain their current employment policies.

Click here to read the full text of the initiative.


The Coalition

Supporters of marijuana policy reform from across Colorado and around the country have formed a broad and continually growing coalition in support of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and the statewide initiative to end marijuana prohibition in 2012. 

No single organization or individual is heading the effort.  Rather, a wide variety of activists, organizations, professionals, businesses, and others came together to carefully draft the strongest and most viable ballot initiative possible. 

Reform leaders within Colorado, including those from Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and Sensible Colorado, have established the Colorado Alliance for Marijuana Reform to serve as a hub for the effort.  The coalition also includes the Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), and the Women’s Marijuana Movement, among others.


– Press release from The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, Colorado.


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