Monday, April 16, 2012

UPDATE: Colorado Democrats (sort of) endorse decriminalizing marijuana

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM

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UPDATE: Matt Inzeo, communications director for the Colorado Democratic Party, just gave me a call to say the party does not officially endorse the amendment, though it does support it.

Sort of.

"As part of the business of the state assembly, we had to adopt a new state party platform," he says. "Among the platform planks there is language that is similar to what’s going on with the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. ... So we have that language in here, however that does not confer any endorsement by the Colorado Democratic Party for a ballot initiative."

Here's the platform language, as read by Inzeo: "Point 16: End the war on drugs by focusing on addiction treatment and decriminalization of possession of drugs without the intent to sell," he reads. "Item 17: Regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, limiting its use to those 21 or older. We support Amendment 64, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol."

If that sounds exactly like an endorsement to you, it does to me, too. And yet ...

"The party platform, the party-platform committee and the body that met does not have the authority to make a formal endorsement," Inzeo says. "Our rules plainly state that the party’s central committee is the only body that can make a formal endorsement."

Formally the CDP "is neutral on the amendment." However: "[The CTRMLA] can certainly point to this and say that Democrats are supportive of the direction they are headed."

But they don't endorse it.

——— ORIGINAL POST, 11:25 A.M., MONDAY ———

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Coming on the heels of state Republicans' nice words about marijuana is the news that the Colorado Democratic Party has endorsed Amendment 64, the coming initiative that would decriminalize marijuana in the state.

The move came on Saturday at the state convention and assembly in Pueblo. Also, 15 counties, including eight of the 10 largest in the state, adopted resolutions supporting regulating marijuana like alcohol: El Paso, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, Boulder, Douglas, Weld, Pueblo, Garfield, Eagle, La Plata, Delta, Routt, Elbert and Pitkin.

"This is a mainstream issue. Polls show that more than 60 percent of Democrats and a solid majority of Independents believe marijuana should be treated like alcohol," says Cindy Lowery-Graber, chair of the Denver Democratic Party, in a news release. "A broad coalition is forming in support of Amendment 64 and I am proud to say that it now includes the Colorado Democratic Party."

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