Colorado marijuana activists seeking recreational use legalization for adults are hoping that the additional 12,000 signatures they have gathered will be enough to make the 2012 ballot. The group, who will turn in the new signatures on Friday, only needs roughly 2,400 more signatures to reach the 86,105 valid signature total, according to Westword.
In January, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in more than 160,000 signatures in favor of the legalization initiative -- nearly double the 86,000 signatures required to put the question of pot legalization on the 2012 ballot, The Denver Post reported. However, the Colorado Secretary of State's office determined that the activists fell short by about 2,400 verifiable signatures after conducting a random sample of the signatures that showed only roughly 50 percent of the signatures handed in were valid. Colorado state law requires that a random signature sample meet a certain threshold of validity or it triggers an automatic review.
The amendment seeks to make the personal use, possession and limited home-growing of marijuana legal for adults aged 21 and older. It establishes a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol is currently. The act also would allow for the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp, according to the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol website.
The Associated Press reports that if the measure makes it onto the 2012 ballot, which appears likely with this new batch of signatures, the much more difficult road of convincing a majority of Coloradans to challenge a federal drug law, like this measure would do, is ahead.
This would be the second recreational use legalization measure to appear on Colorado ballots, the first, which appeared in 2006, was voted down.