There shall not
Michelle LaMay's proposed Initiative 40 was always an interesting bet. In contrast to Amendment 64 — the coming question from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol — the Relief from Cannabis Possession Act would have skipped the regulatory talk and asked voters a straight question: "Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado state constitution directing the judiciary branch of all governing bodies in the state of Colorado to prohibit their courts from imposing any fine or sentence for the possession of cannabis?"
But with an Aug. 6 letter to the Secretary of State's office, LaMay announced it was all over: Her group would no longer seek signatures to qualify for the ballot. And the reason?
"Each signature was examined by our team of volunteers and more than 40% were found to be invalid," she writes in a Facebook conversation. "We believe, since we were so strict about registered voters only signing, that many are not aware that they may be disenfranchized [sic] by 1) recent Census redistricting or 2) deactivated by their county clerks seeking their party's advantage.
"If any initiative must collect twice as many valid signatures as required, more than volunteers are needed and, at $1.85 a signature, only out-of state interests seem to be able to advance their goals in our state with the $200k it takes to get a question on the ballot."
The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project has contributed almost all of CRMLA's budget.
• The Colorado U.S. Attorney's office announced last Friday that it's issued the third wave of letters to 10 MMJ centers still located within 1,000 feet of a school. Spokesman Jeff Dorschner confirms one is located in Colorado Springs, though he declines to elaborate which one. (Please contact us if it's yours.)
"Action will be taken to seize and forfeit their property if they do not discontinue the sale and/or distribution of marijuana within 45 days from today, September 17, 2012," reads the release. Thus far, all notified centers have complied — either closing or moving — with at least three thusly affected in the Springs.
• A few weeks ago, El Paso County changed its policy on MMJ centers. The requirement to survey the neighborhood when opening or moving was replaced with a requirement to notify via mail, the Gazette reports, and set-back requirements were increased from 500 to 1,000 feet.
• The folks backing Amendment 64 are looking for volunteers interested in engaging with people attending President Barack Obama's stops in Colorado Springs and Pueblo on Thursday, Aug. 9. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 303/861-0033, for more information.