De­spite Amend­ment 71, Colorado’s pe­ti­tion process is far from dead

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Re: Richard B. Collins,

“As bal­lot tough­ens, what now? Pol­icy ad­vo­cates un­sure if they’ll turn to lob­by­ing or statu­tory ini­tia­tives,” Dec. 5 news story.

Your article on Amend­ment 71 greatly un­der­val­ued statu­tory ini­tia­tives. Washington state, which le­gal­ized pot with Colorado, has only statu­tory ini­tia­tives yet a vi­brant pe­ti­tion­ing cul­ture. Cal­i­for­nia, like Colorado af­ter Amend­ment 71, makes it much eas­ier for a statu­tory mea­sure to get on the bal­lot. As a re­sult, all 17 statewide mea­sures on this year’s Cal­i­for­nia bal­lot were statu­tory — in­clud­ing le­gal­iz­ing mar­i­juana.

You quoted Elena Nunez of Colorado Com­mon Cause re­lat­ing our leg­is­la­ture’s fool­ish move to over­turn the 1998 cam­paign fi­nance ini­tia­tive. She ne­glected to say that this was the only such in­stance since 1931. Any of the three pro­posed amend­ments on our 2016 bal­lot other than Amend­ment 71 could have been statu­tory, as were Propo­si­tions 106, 107 and 108. So could ei­ther of the anti-frack­ing mea­sures that did not get enough sig­na­tures.

Pe­ti­tion­ing in Colorado is far from dead.

Boul­der The writer is a Univer­sity of Colorado law pro­fes­sor. Send let­ters of 150 words or fewer to open­fo­rum@den­ver­ or 101 W. Col­fax Ave., Suite 800, Den­ver, CO, 80202. Please in­clude full name, city and phone num­ber. Con­tact us at 303-954-1331.

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