Art Way 720-288-6924 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384</p>
April 20, the quasi-official holiday for people who enjoy marijuana, is recognized by millions around the world. This year’s holiday will have a deeper significance for Coloradans as Amendment 64 is on the ballot to tax and regulate marijuana. Amendment 64 decriminalizes marijuana for adults and allows local municipalities and the state to establish a non-medical, regulatory framework for cultivation, distribution and sale.
CU-Boulder regularly holds one of the biggest events around the country, but CU administrators have drawn a constitutionally dubious line in the sand by closing the campus to the public and threatening arrests.
Despite the threats, the Drug Policy Alliance and other local activists plan to mobilize support for Amendment 64 at the 4/20 event. This collaborative effort will include full-page ads in the Daily Camera and the Colorado Daily calling for the end of marijuana prohibition, educating people on the ground about the ballot initiative, registering them to vote, and even planes flying overhead with a “No More Drug War” banner.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of federal marijuana prohibition. The original prohibition of marijuana in the early 20th century wasn’t grounded in reasoned, scientific analysis, but in racial prejudice and politics. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest during the 1910s and 20s, were overtly directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Today, Latino and black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices.
This year also marks 95 years of marijuana prohibition in Colorado. Colorado first prohibited the substance in 1917 when divisive politics concerning long time Spaniard families attempting to distance themselves from Mexican migrants provided an initial political impetus for the state to prohibit marijuana. This near-century of prohibition has amounted to a colossal waste of lives and public resources.
Below is a statement from Art Way, Colorado Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance:
“Marijuana is increasingly a mainstream political issue – more than 100 million Americans have used it in their lifetime and 50% now support its legalization. While 4/20 is a celebratory occasion, marijuana is at the epicenter of a catastrophic war on drugs that is destroying as many lives as ever. More than 750,000 people are arrested every year for nothing more than a low-level marijuana possession – nearly half of all drug arrests and twice the amount of marijuana possession arrests as in the 1980s. Once you're arrested, even for just a small amount of marijuana, you can lose much more than just your freedom – you can lose your job, financial aid, housing, and even custody of your children.
It's time to end nearly a century of marijuana prohibition in Colorado. This policy has failed as badly as alcohol prohibition. And the common sense solution is the same: regulate it.”