Marijuana legalization qualifies for Colorado ballot in U.S.

DENVER Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:46am IST

Related Topics

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado voter initiative that would legalize possession of marijuana by adults for personal recreational use qualified on Monday for the state's November ballot, state officials said.

Colorado already is one of 16 U.S. states, along with Washington, D.C., that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Moves to decriminalize marijuana at the state level in the United States face opposition from the federal government, which still classifies marijuana as an illegal narcotic.

A similar measure to permit recreational marijuana use earned a place last month on the Washington state ballot. Legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes was defeated by California voters in 2010.

Under a medical marijuana law enacted in 2000, Colorado maintains a registry of more than 80,000 card-carrying patients and rules governing how physicians and distributors operate.

However, federal prosecutors launched a crackdown last month against nearly two dozen medical marijuana dispensaries located within 1,000 feet (305 meters) of schools, giving proprietors 45 days to cease operations or face civil and criminal penalties. That deadline was to lapse at the end of the day on Monday.

Proponents of legalized recreational possession initially submitted more than 163,000 signatures on a petition to place their measure on the ballot, but the state's secretary of state declared the petition insufficient on February 3.

Advocates submitted an additional 14,000 signatures two weeks ago, and after a second review, the state certified that the proposal would qualify for the general election ballot on November 6, when voters also will decide the U.S. presidential race.

Voters defeated a previous ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes in 2006. But proponents see momentum on their side, citing Gallup poll last October that found 50 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana use, up from 36 percent five years earlier.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Will Dunham)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Racial Unrest

Racial Unrest

Protests in Ferguson dwindle, mass arrests at California rallies.  Full Article 

Protest Leaders Banned

Protest Leaders Banned

Hong Kong student leaders banned from Mong Kok protest site.  Full Article 

Suicide Attack

Suicide Attack

Suicide bomber kills five in attack on British embassy car in Kabul - officials.  Full Article 

Nuclear Deal

Nuclear Deal

Iran Supreme Leader says not opposed to extension of nuclear talks.  Full Article 

Myanmar Reforms

Myanmar Reforms

Dinner with Suu Kyi? - No thanks, say Myanmar military.  Full Article 

Opinion Poll

Opinion Poll

Majority of Russians believe their troops are not fighting in Ukraine - poll.  Full Article 

Political Deal

Political Deal

UK edges towards federalism with Scotland powers deal.  Full Article 

Ebola Epideimic

Ebola Epideimic

Number of Ebola cases nears 16,000 as Sierra Leone loses ground - WHO.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage