From Darkness To Light

6 Nov 2012

Amendment 64 passes, state-sponsored marijuana prohibition ends in Colorado

Posted by Adam Howell

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Voters in Colorado fought to end marijuana prohibition tonight by passing Amendment 64, the Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Cops in Colorado will now have to find better things to do with their time than to needlessly arrest 10,000 non-violent adults every year, with a disproportionate, racist number of those being blacks and Latinos.

Farmers will be allowed to grow and sell hemp for clothing, food, textiles and fuel.

New public school facilities will be funded with millions in freshly generated tax revenue, with the State getting an estimated $60 million every year.

People with medical conditions not recognized by the State Department of Public Health can circumvent this slow-moving agency to grow, buy and consume cannabis once election results are certified. Veterans with PTSD will NOT be denied the legal right to possess an herb that can put their minds at ease!

Those just wanting a way to relax their mind after work will have a safer alternative to alcohol.

For all of the reasons why prohibition of marijuana was equally as harmful as the prohibition of alcohol, many were offensive to most people in Colorado. While the negative social implications of prohibition were staggering, my own selfish reasons gave me inspiration to rise against.

All of this energy for creating change could not be held on probation forever, and that’s where the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol came into my life as a movement towards a real policy reform.

It was a campaign that I helped out with over the past year and a half. From the beginning, I helped get the Initiative on the ballot by collecting signatures with many others throughout the state.

After our campaign collected enough to legitimately get it on the ballot, I helped by getting it the endorsement of the La Plata County Democrats, and later with the help of others, the Colorado Democratic Party.

Our campaign began educating voters, which included working events with literature and conversation, phone banking, and canvassing local neighborhoods. We talked it up, and many locals were passionately supportive.

My father Robert Howell unknowingly inspired me to become an anti-prohibition activist.

For me, all of this pro-pot activism was deeply-rooted in one divisive moment in my family’s history. It’s a wound that remains open and festering to this day.

Seventeen years ago when I was a teenager in high school, my dad turned me into the police for possession of marijuana.

I was arrested at my dad’s house, and hauled off to the detention center. Ever since that day I’ve been an activist resisting marijuana laws with tactical and direct action.

Tonight I’d like to thank my dad for unknowingly inspiring me to change this counterproductive law that’s been supporting gangs and cartels that are funded by an underground black market. More importantly, I’d like to thank Mason Tvert, Betty Aldworth, Brian Vicente and everyone else at the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol who helped make this drug-policy reform possible.

This movement against prohibition is my passion and will continue indefinitely with successes and failures to learn from. YES on 64!

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