Advocacy group sues over language in marijuana legalization initiative

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DENVER -- The group pushing for the legalization of marijuana is filing a lawsuit alleging their side would be kept from Colorado voters if the November ballot was released Tuesday.

The backers of Amendment 64 to regulate marijuana like alcohol say the blue book provided to voters currently contains too much of the negative about pot and not enough of the positive.

They’ve even broken it down. Literature explaining the arguments for marijuana contain 208 words. Literature explaining the substance's potential harms contains 336 words.

Referencing lawmakers, Brian Vicente of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol said "this is a body that is tasked with giving voters accurate, fair and impartial information.

"They are giving the argument against marijuana 75 percent more wording," he said.

The campaign took their case to a District Judge Tuesday, saying lawmakers were deceptive and deleted more words from the ballot than they said they would. The omissions include language that advocates say is crucial to their cause – things like “marijuana may be less harmful than alcohol,” and “punishment for low-level, pot-related crimes is too severe.”

Attorneys for the lawmakers say the words were removed last week, and when a motion was made to put them back in, it didn’t pass.

“I don’t think there’s any deception at all,” one of the lawmakers' attorney said. “There’s nothing abnormal that has happened here.”

If passed in November, Amendment 64 would make personal use, possession and some growing of marijuana legal for Coloradan’s over the age of 21. The amendment would also tax marijuana like alcohol.

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