Colorado: new referendum on legalizing marijuana for recreational use


A new ballot measure will make Colorado the second US state this year to decide whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, according to The Associated Press.

The state’s Secretary of State said today that supporters of legalization had met the threshold of required petitions to put their initiative to a vote, according to the AP. This means both Colorado and Washington state will have a recreational pot use referendum in November.

More from GlobalPost: More Americans favor marijuana legalization than not, poll finds

Colorado voters will be asked whether people older than 21 should be allowed to smoke pot without a doctor’s prescription, the news agency said, adding that the referendum would also propose an as-yet-undetermined excise tax on cannabis.

According to the AP, a similar proposal in Colorado was voted down in 2006, and another in California was defeated in 2010. But according to the AP, supporters say that, with time, voters have grown accustomed to medical marijuana and may be willing to approve legalization altogether.

Mason Tvert, head of Colorado's Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, was quoted as saying: “The people of Colorado are ready to end marijuana prohibition and begin taxing it and regulating it like alcohol.”

According to the AP, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has endorsed legalization but no major Colorado politician has.

More from GlobalPost: Legalization debate: first pot, now coke?

The Colorado Independent reported Friday that a study co-authored by a professor at the University of Colorado indicated that legalization may reduce suicide rates.

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