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Colorado Springs independent: Orgs form group to watch Obama on MMJ
Written by Bryce Crawford   
Thursday, 16 February 2012

So that whole thing about President Barack Obama not exactly backing the medical marijuana industry has always drawn the frustration of advocacy groups, but the feeling has finally spilled over into something official: the Patient Voter Project.

"The mission of the Patient Voter Project is to shine a light on the Obama administration’s recent behavior in the state and to keep medical marijuana patients, their families and their hundreds of thousands of supporters around the state up-to-date about the latest hostile actions being carried out by the administration," says a press release from Brian Vicente, head of group Sensible Colorado, who's backing the new initiative, along with everybody else who matters: Marijuana Policy Project, Americans for Safe Access, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of America and others. "The project's goal is to end the Obama administration attacks on legitimate and legal providers of medical marijuana and to trust the state of Colorado to regulate the industry in a thorough and competent manner, as it has done already."

A portion of a missive from the group, labeled "Campaign Alert #1," references the recent actions of the state U.S. Attorney when it says, "It is inexplicable and offensive that the administration sat back and allowed owners of medical marijuana centers in Colorado to invest tens of thousands of dollars in order to comply with state regulations and then decided to seize their properties. The open question now is whether the Obama administration will actually seize the property of these individuals who have diligently followed state and local laws."

A press conference is occurring today in Denver, where more will be revealed.

New York Times: Marijuana Push in Colorado Likens It to Alcohol
Written by Kirk Johnson   
Friday, 27 January 2012

Proponents of marijuana have argued for years that the drug is safer than alcohol, both to individuals and society. But a ballot proposal to legalize possession of marijuana in small amounts in Colorado, likely to be on the November ballot, is putting the two intoxicants back into the same sentence, urging voters to “regulate marijuana like alcohol,” as the ballot proposition’s title puts it.

Given alcohol’s long and checkered history — the tens of thousands of deaths each year; the social ravages of alcoholism — backers of the pro-marijuana measure concede there is a risk of looking as if they have cozied up too much, or are comparable, to old demon rum.

“Why add another vice, right?” said Mason Tvert, a co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which has led the ballot drive. “But we’re not adding a vice — we’re providing an alternative.”

The goal of legalization, Mr. Tvert added, is not to make access to marijuana easier, but rather, “to make our communities safer by regulating this substance, taking it out of the underground market, controlling it and better keeping it away from young people."...

Read the entire story at:

Grand Junction Sentinel: Pot backers could get question on 2012 ballot
Written by Charles Ashby   
Thursday, 29 December 2011

A group pushing for a citizens initiative to legalize small quantities of marijuana will submit more than 155,000 signatures next week to put the amendment on next year’s ballot.

Mason Tvert, a proponent of the measure and head of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said Wednesday he and hundreds of volunteers are nearing the end of the petition-signature stage to get the measure on the November ballot.

Tvert said the group plans to turn in petitions to the Secretary of State’s Office next Wednesday.

“There’s been an ongoing discussion about marijuana in Colorado for the past seven years, and more Coloradans than ever believe that we should regulate marijuana similar to alcohol,” he said. “Because so many people have been hearing about marijuana and about the fact that it’s far safer than alcohol, they are becoming increasingly comfortable with acknowledging that an adult should be allowed to use it without fear of punishment.”

Better than that, Tvert said, it’s also an economic driver.

Read the entire story at:

Drug War Chronicle: Teens Rejecting Alcohol, Tobacco; Selecting Marijuana
Written by Phil Smith   
Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The annualMonitoring the Future survey of substance use by eighth, 10th, and 12th graders was released Wednesday, and it shows students are drinking and smoking tobacco at historically low levels, but marijuana use is on the rise...

While careful to point out that responsible marijuana reform activists do not encourage teen substance use, Mason Tvert, head of the activist group SAFER (Safe Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation) and coauthor of Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? dared to suggest that young people who do use drugs are making smarter choices about which drugs they choose to use.

"We're always concerned about young people using drugs, but it's clear that more young people are understanding that marijuana is a less harmful substance and making that choice," said Tvert. "While we certainly don't want to promote marijuana use among minors, this report suggests they are making the safer choice to use marijuana rather than alcohol."

Tvert attributed both the rise in teen use and the decline in their perceptions of marijuana's risks to their increasing exposure to knowledge about marijuana.

"Ultimately, people are hearing more and more about the facts surrounding marijuana, and as they continue to hear that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, that it doesn't contribute to violence, that there is no danger of a deadly overdose, they are increasingly more comfortable making that choice..."

Read the entire story at:

The Colorado Independent: Denver’s Sexy Pizza declares war on drug war
Written by Scot Kersgaard   
Thursday, 01 December 2011

Marijuana articles giving you the munchies? Now you can turn the need to feed into a donation to fight against the war on drugs. Denver’s Sexy Pizza is donating a portion of its sales to LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), a group of police officers, judges and others in law enforcement who think the war on drugs is counterproductive...

“Kudos to the folks at Sexy Pizza for supporting LEAP and the countless law enforcement officials speaking out in support of ending marijuana prohibition,” said Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER and a lead proponent for the marijuana regulation initiative. “They are invaluable members of our coalition and will play a critical role in the historic 2012
Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.”

Read the entire story at:

Denver Post: Report shows fewer traffic fatalities after states pass medical-pot laws
Written by John Ingold   
Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The passage of state medical-marijuana laws is associated with a subsequent drop in the rate of traffic fatalities, according to a newly released study by two university professors...

Rees said the main reason for the drop appears to be that medical-marijuana laws mean young people spend less time drinking and more time smoking cannabis. Legalization of medical marijuana, the researchers report, is associated with a 12-percent drop in the alcohol-related fatal-crash rate and a 19-percent decrease in the fatality rate of people in their 20s, according to the study.

The study also found that medical- marijuana legalization is associated with a drop in beer sales.

"The result that comes through again and again and again is (that) young adults . . . drink less when marijuana is legalized and traffic fatalities go down," Rees said...

Mason Tvert, the head of the pro- marijuana-legalization group SAFER, said the study suggests legalizing marijuana would be beneficial in unexpected ways...

Read the entire story at:

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