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CNN: Group argues weed is safer than booze
Written by Tricia Escobedo   
Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Colorado advocacy group is spending thousands of dollars to convince people that smoking pot is safer than drinking alcohol.

It's an attempt by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to rally support for a vote in November that would legalize the drug for recreational use. Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use in 2000.

Last Friday, the group aired an advertisement on a local Denver channel during daytime programming encouraging people to "start your conversation about marijuana." The 30-second spot features a young woman typing a message to her mother on her laptop, explaining that after spending her college years drinking heavily, she now prefers marijuana because "it's less harmful ... I don't get hung-over and honestly I feel safer around marijuana users."

The marketing campaign aims to "break down the stereotype about who the typical marijuana user is," explained the campaign's co-director, Mason Tvert.

"Most of them are professional, hard-working people," he said.

It's less harmful ... I don't get hung-over and honestly I feel safer around marijuana users.
TV ad, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

The TV ad, which aired only on Friday, cost about $2,000, according to Tvert. It may run again, depending on fund-raising efforts, he said. Last month, the campaign spent about $4,500 on a billboard near Denver's (Sports Authority Field at) Mile High stadium -- purposely adjacent to the Mile High Liquors store -- to deliver a similar message, Tvert said.

The billboard also features a woman, this one in her 50s, standing with her arms crossed next to the message: "For many reasons, I prefer ... marijuana over alcohol. Does that make me a bad person?"


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Denver Post: Marijuana-legalization initiative qualifies for ballot
Written by John Ingold   
Monday, 27 February 2012

An initiative to legalize limited possession of marijuana in Colorado for adults has become the first measure to qualify for the November ballot.

The Colorado Secretary of State's office announced this afternoon that the campaign turned in enough extra signatures to make the ballot. Initiative proponents came up just short of the 86,105 needed signatures in their first attempt at submitting signatures. Given the chance to get more, proponents handed in more than 14,000 extra, of which nearly 7,000 were found valid, putting the initiative over the line.

The initiative will be Amendment 64 on the ballot...

Associated Press: Marijuana legalization proposal cleared to be placed on Colorado ballots
Written by Kristen Wyatt   
Monday, 27 February 2012

Colorado voters will decide this fall whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use when the state becomes the second in the nation to put such a proposal on ballots this year.

The Secretary of State’s Office said Monday that supporters of the legalization initiative collected enough signatures to get their measure before voters, meaning Colorado will join Washington state in putting a recreational pot question on November ballots.

Voters will be asked whether adults older than 21 should be allowed to use marijuana even without a doctor’s recommendation. The measure would allow adults to have up to 1 ounce of marijuana or six marijuana plants. The proposal also allows for commercial pot sales, though cities and counties would have permission to ban marijuana sales if they choose.

The plan would also direct state lawmakers to put an undetermined excise tax on pot, with the proceeds going to education...

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Colorado Independent: Suicide rates fall when states legalize medical marijuana, says new study
Written by Scot Kersgaard   
Friday, 24 February 2012

A University of Colorado economics professor has co-authored a study, just released by the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany that concludes that suicide rates among young males declines markedly after states legalize medical marijuana. Professors at Montana State University and San Diego State University were also involved in the study.

CU Denver professor Daniel Rees and his coauthors don’t say conclusively why suicide rates fall. They offer evidence that marijuana acts as an antidepressant when used moderately, but also note that using marijuana in larger amounts can actually lead to depression.

They also note that the sale of alcohol to young males declines in states that legalize medical marijuana and note that alcohol is a known depressant the use of which can lead to suicidal thoughts...

Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER (Safer Alternative for Recreational Enjoyment) and one of the organizers of a ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol, which will probably be on the Colorado ballot in November, said he was not surprised by the study’s conclusions.

“We know marijuana has medicinal value, and we know that people living with pain sometimes kill themselves,” Tvert said. He added that the connection with alcohol use was intriguing. “Every credible study ever done proves that marijuana is safer than alcohol,” he said...

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NBC 9 (Denver): Live interview with SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert
Written by SAFER   
Monday, 20 February 2012

Associated Press: More signatures submitted in effort to legalize marijuana
Written by Kristen Wyatt   
Friday, 17 February 2012

Marijuana activists in Colorado turned in thousands more signatures Friday in their effort to once again put a legalization initiative on the ballot.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said it submitted nearly 15,000 petition signatures to state officials — a figure that could bring the total to more than the 86,000 needed to qualify the measure for the fall ballot.

Two weeks ago, the activists were told they still needed about 2,500 valid signatures.

"We saw an amazing outpouring of support from people all over Colorado," said campaign head Mason Tvert, adding that volunteers and paid petition gatherers collected more signatures...

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