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April 17, 2012

Colorado the new "ground zero" for debates over pot prohibitions and policies

For the last few years at least, California has been the state to watch concerning state reforms of marijuana laws and the broader realities of modern pot prohibition and policies.  California has long had the most lax regulation of its medical marijuana industry, and in 2010 there was a state referendum to fully legalize pot that garnered well over 40% of the statewide vote.  As highlighted by this new Huffington Post piece, however, it appeals that Colorado is now the state to watch in this arena.  This piece is headlined "State's Proposal To Legalize Pot Gets Big Push," and here are excerpts:

On Monday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced that the Colorado Democratic Party officially endorsed Amendment 64 at its state convention and assembly in Pueblo over the weekend.

In a press statement, Cindy Lowery-Graber, chair of the Denver County Democratic Party, said this about the Democratic support of pot legalization:

This is a mainstream issue. Polls show that more than 60 percent of Democrats and a solid majority of Independents believe marijuana should be treated like alcohol. A broad coalition is forming in support of Amendment 64 and I am proud to say that it now includes the Colorado Democratic Party.

The support should come as no surprise, earlier in March, after the Democratic Caucus, the Denver County Democratic Party released a document outlining the planks of its current platform which stated a support of not only "well-regulated, taxed, medical marijuana facilities" but also the decriminalization of marijuana, "allowing its sale, regulation and taxation similar to alcohol, subject to local control."

Amendment 64 seeks to legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults and will appear on Colorado ballots this November....

While the feds continue their crackdown on medical marijuana shops in Colorado, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is on a bit of a roll.  Prior to Colo. Democrats announcing their endorsement, fifty-six percent of the delegates at the Denver County Republican Assembly voted in support of Amendment 64.

The support from both Republicans and Democrats appears to echo the findings of a December 2011 poll released by Public Policy Polling which showed that a large group of Coloradans believe that marijuana should not just be legal medically, but fully legalized. From the Public Policy report:

Coloradans are even more strongly in favor of legalizing marijuana, and they overwhelmingly believe it at least should be available for medical purposes. 49% think marijuana use should generally be legal, and 40% illegal.  But explicitly for medical use, that rises to a 68-25 spread.  Just five years ago, a referendum to legalize simple possession by people over 21 failed by 20 points.  On the medical question, Democratic support rises from 64% for general use to 78%; Republicans rise from 30% to 50%, and independents from 54% to 75%.

April 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The Obama Administration has proven to be just as bad as mainstream Republicans on this issue.

If a doctor recommends marijuana for his/her patient's medical purposes, why should government officials put the doctor and/or the patient in jail? How long will government officials continue to cling to their tired old Reefer Madness dogma?

Hopefully, voters in Colorado and elsewhere, who support the liberty of individuals to choose for themselves whether to consume marijuana, will not vote for Obama or Romney.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Apr 17, 2012 3:36:06 PM

"California has long had the most lax regulation of its medical marijuana industry, and in 2012 there was a state referendum to fully legalize pot that garnered well over 40% of the statewide vote."

Quick! Tell President McCain!

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 17, 2012 6:52:49 PM

We always seem to do it backward.

I guess I'm the only member of the "Treat Alcohol Like Cocaine" party.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 17, 2012 7:53:19 PM

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