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Encyclopedia > Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation
SAFER Logo
SAFER Logo

Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) is a non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado. The SAFER campaign was initially launched in Colorado on the campuses of the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and Colorado State University (CSU) in response to the alcohol overdose deaths of CSU sophomore Samantha Spady, 19, and 18-year-old CU freshman Lynn "Gordie" Bailey. SAFER argued that students should not be punished more severely for using marijuana – which is incapable of causing death by overdose -- than for using the potentially fatal (and for many college students illegal) drug alcohol. The University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder, UCB officially[2]; Colorado, CU colloquially) is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system. ... Colorado State University is a public land grant institution of higher learning located in Fort Collins, Colorado in the United States. ...


The pilot project took off quickly. Within months, organizers had coordinated and passed student referenda at both campuses. These referenda called on the universities to make the penalties for the use and possession of marijuana no greater than the penalties for the use and possession of alcohol.


In the summer of 2005, SAFER leaders decided to run a citywide marijuana legalization initiative in Denver, Colorado. The proposed initiative would have made the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for individuals 21 and older under city ordinances. After a campaign in which the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol were repeatedly highlighted, the initiative passed by a 54-46 margin.


In December 2005, the SAFER Voter Education Fund announced that it would be supporting a statewide campaign in Colorado to make the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal under state law. Again, the main argument of the campaign was to be that Colorado residents should not be forced to use alcohol rather than marijuana when they want to unwind or have fun. In August of 2006, the Colorado Secretary of State announced that the campaign had collected enough signatures to qualify for the November 2006 ballot. The Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative Committee is the issue committee in Colorado coordinating the initiative campaign.


Across the country, new SAFER campaigns are sprouting up on college campuses and in cities and towns. In the spring of 2006, students passed “marijuana-and-alcohol equalization” referenda at numerous schools, including the University of Texas at Austin, Florida State University, and the University of Maryland. In these campus efforts, SAFER often works with campus NORML and SSDP chapters. The SAFER campaign has even gone international, with a group taking form in an appropriate venue – Dublin, Ireland.


SAFER introduced the Denver Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative (Initiative 100) in May 2005, and it was approved by Denver voters in the November election. I-100 amended Denver city ordinances to make the private use and possession of one ounce or less of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. In order to place the initiative on the ballot, SAFER coordinated the collection of more than 129,000 signatures, which is more than 10 percent of Denver’s voting population and double the 5 percent required.


Currently, SAFER is the proponent behind Colorado's Amendment 44. The Colorado Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative proposes a simple change to the Colorado statutes. By changing one sentence, it would make the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana legal under state law for individuals 21 years of age and older. Amendment 44 was a proposed amendment to the state statutes submitted for referendum in the 2006 general elections in the U.S. state of Colorado. ...


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