Will California Lead to a Rocky Mountain High?

With California ready to vote on legalizing marijuana this November, pot lobbyists in Washington, D.C. say Colorado will be a legal weed battleground come 2012.

“Colorado is a state that looks intriguing for 2012,” said Steve Fox, Director of State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group that has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Colorado’s pro-pot fight over the past several years.

The cash — from both side of the issue — will likely increase dramatically, especially if California voters pass the marijuana initiative this year.

“There is a short list of states that have the (ballot) initiative process and look ripe for an initiative to tax and regulate marijuana,” Fox said.

Colorado is a good testing ground for pot. The state has a ballot initiative process. Colorado also allows people to obtain marijuana for medial needs. In 2000, Colorado voters approved Amendment 20, a ballot measure that let people with certain illnesses and pain to obtain and consume medical marijuana. There are currently 60,000 people on the state’s medical marijuana rolls — a list of those who have received a doctor’s recommendation to obtain marijuana for medical needs. The numbers are likely to increase, which could create an insurmountable voting block by 2012.

“The Denver City Council has approved regulating medical marijuana dispensaries,” Fox said. “So the concept of taxing and regulating marijuana is not foreign.”

Though polling indicates Californians support legalizing pot, no one can say how the vote will fall in November.

“I think the vote in California will be close,” Fox said. “But the momentum in the country is showing increased levels of support. We are nearing a tipping point and the consensus is that it does not make sense to keep marijuana illegal.”

Fox said his organization is busy gathering pro-pot signatures for a legalization ballot test in Nevada. After that, Colorado is the next likely target.

While many law enforcement agencies, parent groups and Colorado’s attorney general oppose all things marijuana; those savvy in the ways of sativa see good things on the horizon.

“I hear that 2012 is the time for Colorado,” said Kayvon Khalatbari, owner of Direct Relief, a Denver-based medical marijuana dispensary that handles about 200 patients. “California has always been a few steps ahead of the Colorado (medical marijuana industry). They have been at the forefront in changing on how people think about it.”

California voters approved a medical marijuana ballot issue in 1996, and as Khalatbari points out, the Golden State remains intact.

“People now realize that the sky will not fall, and there is a huge amount of taxes to be gained from taxing marijuana similar to alcohol and tobacco.”

Though Khalatbari has an established dispensary, he welcomes full legalization.

“If you could legalize it, you would open the market to more people and they could try it and see it is safer than alcohol,” he said. “In time, there would be more acceptance of marijuana and that would lead to more medical testing to learn what the potential is for medical marijuana.”

But don’t expect the law and order types to line up behind the pro-pot movement. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is chief among marijuana critics — medical or otherwise. He has called marijuana a gateway drug. He has warned that easy access to marijuana has played a major role in the state’s high school dropout rates.

“A lot of people say, ‘He’s just a dinosaur drug warrior,'” Suthers told Denver’s Westword newspaper recently. “But I care about future generations, and somebody’s got to have their eye on the ball … has anybody stopped to think the problem is too many kids are coming to school high? That’s why we have the dropout rates we do.”

But even Suthers knows this matter will come down to a ballot vote in the near future.

“The Attorney General has said that the issue of legalization is an appropriate issue for Colorado to address,” said Suthers’s spokesperson, Mike Saccone. “But he won’t be voting in favor of any legalization.”

– Article from The Huffington Post.



  1. Anonymous on

    Have you ever considered i was HIGH my whole highschool career and GRADUATED with ALMOST STRAIGHT A’s…… it didn’t effect me at all other than putting me in a better mood and relaxing me allowing me to think and go to work on shit. Yes there are times you don’t need to be high but thats just called being EDUCATED about MARIJUANA. GOD IF YOUR OUT THERE HELP THIS WORLD!!!!!!!!

  2. Layton Gabriel on

    im sick and tired of people saying that it will lead to so many more problems, for example during the prohibition of alcohol EVERYTHING was worse, crime went up because it was illegal people wanted it some controlled it and because it was illegal the mafia and limitless other gangs sprang up to take advantage of this new money market. now if pot was legal then there wouldnt be dealers atleast not to the extent it there is, because it wouldnt be as profitable gangs would disperse more or less crime would go down and LESS teens would smoke it because then it would be sold in stores in other words “YOU HAVE TO BE OLD ENOUGH” so, no, kids wouldnt get it easier and its not gonna be the same case as drinking or smoking tobacco because so many people including pot smokers disagree with young children smoking it its just wrong. so:

    cons of pot being illegal? high crime, younger kids getting it, people have to go deal with the mostly dangerous dealers.

    pros of legalization? lower crime, regulated sales (not to minors), less money spent on this joke of a drug war(which they should just call war on pot cuz thats all they seem to focus on), more tax money the government could use to repair roads build hospitals improve health care all around, more money to improve education.

    the fucking list goes on, why cant people see this is rediculous?!

  3. BLazedAndConFuzed on

    Im here reporting to you guys from Denver Colorado. I will have to say whatever Politician that thinks that marijuana legalization can’t work should come to colorado and see how everything is just fine. I think thats what theyr’e scared of is a peacefull relationship with the pot people. I saw a political cartoon the other day that had depicted a picture of two cops. one ducking for cover and the other shooting at the bad guys…… it had METH scraped on the hood… and die pigs on the side…… The one cop has a thought bubble that says “i wish it was the old days when we just had potheads to hassle”…. thats the problem is the police are afraid of the real criminals….. I mean shit these people are actually dangerous…..

  4. Ganja Santa on

    Sounds like the people of Colorado need to replace their A G! This guy is either stupid…which I doubt or he is crooked, which makes more sense! I wonder how much cash,land and cannabis he has stolen from the people of Colorado and how much of it is lining his pockets. As long as he can keep it illegal he has an easy way to keep his corrupted department going! And hey, what kind of bozo is it who doesn’t follow the will and the law of its people!

  5. Anonymous on

    The fight will be brutal. Its all or nothing for the Drug Warriors. It will be like the Berlin Wall and fall like a house of cards as soon as one state votes to legalize pot. Its time to free the world of this tyranny.

  6. Anonymous on

    If your son or daughter got caught with a bag of weed, would you want your child to go to prison?
    Or does that seem a little harsh?
    If you have a few plants in your home, do you think it’s good to have the government install cameras in your home to watch you?
    Or do you still want a little privacy?
    is it ok to be killed in your own home for having a few plants?
    the chance to vote is coming, your vote is needed.