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Marijuana: Could Amendment 64's success hurt Barack Obama in Colorado?

Thumbnail image for marijuana plants under lights.JPG
The presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will likely be very tight in Colorado, a key swing state -- and a close vote is also expected for Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. But could a big turnout for the latter undermine Obama in the state? This theory is being floated by at least one major political website, and proponent Mason Tvert thinks one race could wind up impacting the other.

Yesterday, Talking Points Memo published an item entitled "Poll: Colorado Pot Amendment Could Pass -- and Hurt Obama."

gary johnson.jpg
Gary Johnson.
The item notes a recent poll showing that 47 percent of likely voters surveyed by Public Policy Polling supported Amendment 64, a one point uptick from the previous report, while opposition dropped from 42 percent to 38 percent.

Enthusiasm for 64 could prompt more young people to show up at the polls this November, TPM surmises -- but given that the Obama administration has been tougher on marijuana than many anticipated, such voters might not automatically cast their ballot for the president. Instead, a sizable number could line up for Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson and running mate Judge Jim Gray, who are presently polling at around 6 percent in Colorado, according to the site. And since these votes would mainly come at Obama's expense, Romney is the probable beneficiary.

Johnson, by the way, is the candidate most associated with marijuana reform -- and he traveled to Colorado in February specifically to express his support for Amendment 64, as he told us in the post linked here.

Gray is expected to formally endorse Amendment 64 as well. Indeed, he was originally slated to do so at 11:45 a.m. today at the City and County Building in Denver, but that event has been postponed. Instead, Gray will take part in a meet-and-greet at 6:45 p.m. tonight at Chopper's Sports Grill.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for mason tvert photograph.jpg
Mason Tvert.
Given Johnson's endorsement of Amendment 64, why doesn't the campaign return the favor? Tvert says he's not sure that's possible under current election law, and even if it is, "we're focused on passing our initiative. So we have no position on a presidential candidate. We're not supporting or opposing any of them. We have our eyes on our race."

At the same time, Tvert notes that the decision to push the Regulate act in 2012 has a presidential component.

"We know turnout is far greater in presidential election years than it is in off years," he says, "and we do expect that will benefit our initiative. Typically, the more people who vote, the more support that's expressed for ending marijuana prohibition."

Page down for more about Amendment 64's possible impact on the presidential race.



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44 comments
WaywardBill
WaywardBill

PICTURE THIS SCENARIO ...We bust butt and get Gary Johnson & Jim Gray on the Colorado Presidnetial Ballot then just maybe just maybe The Prez who holds Colorado like a prized oyster bearing a pearl now just maybe just maybe because the Johnson/Gray contingency holds 6% of the electorate here in Colorado but they are not on the ballot (YET) so just maybe just maybe The Prez out of fear of having his oyster snatched might get bold and get some CANNASENSE and just maybe just maybe KIDZ WE CAN BE THE GRAIN OF SAND IRRITATING THE OYSTER!

Peace, Pot, Politics

Wayward Bill Chengelis

Chairman, US Marijuana Party

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Mason seeks to turn the recent piece in Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/02/us-usa-campaign-colorado-idUSBRE85109120120602) on its head -- it suggested that  Obama's chances in Colorado depend upon a high turnout for Amendment 64.  Despite Obama's failure to confront Prohibition and the disenchantment of many activists with him, I consider the author's hypothesis likely to be correct -- Amendment 64's strongest support is among younger voters who are more likely to support the President over an avowed plutocrat, so, paradoxical as it might seem, a strong turnout for the Amendment could also win the State for the President..

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

If you plan on voting for one person or another based solely on their stance on legal pot then you are far too fu*king stupid to be allowed to vote.

Jose33
Jose33

It won't hurt Obama if Romney picks an extreme Prohibitionist like Pawlenty.

Anon
Anon

Voting YES on 64 will take the money out of the hands of the black market. It will greatly reduce the price. Taxes will support positive efforts across the state. Alcohol consumption will go down because many people prefer smoking to drinking (the two do not mix), therefor drunk driving will decrease.  Voting YES could actually save lives. 

 

It is a win-win for everyone, except the black market. Many of the people who are against it are most likely heavily invested in the black market. They will lie to you to protect their crooked interests. Their arguments about voting no because within the bill 18-20 year olds can not legally smoke is a desperate attempt to fracture the legalization movement. Don't believe the anti 64 crowd. Voting YES is the first step towards the end of prohibition, and the end to the very sketchy black market. 

 

Read the bill. It will give good and honest people more freedom than any other state.  A responsible possession limit of 28 grams and a responsible plant limit of 6 plants. If you smoke, and you are not a dealer, then voting yes is very good for you. It certainly is far better than the current system.  

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

As bad as Obama has been on MMJ, Romney would be much, MUCH worse.

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

As bad as Obama has been on MMJ, Romney would be much, MUCH worse.

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

Between now and Election day, Obama will have to address this issue.

WaywardBill
WaywardBill

What Mason Tvert isn't telling you or anyone is that when and if Amendment 64 passes he'll finally get a pay check worthy of his suit..

Kris Custer
Kris Custer

If so them I am definitely voting yes

Kris Custer
Kris Custer

If so them I am definitely voting yes

Monkey
Monkey

I wont be voting for a democrat or republican president, and certainly not A64. They are all pieces of shit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

A64 = a Continuation of Criminal Prohibition ... with Extra Taxes added for good measure.

 

Stay the Course!

 

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @waywardwon Thanks for the post, Bill. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

Vote_YES_on_64
Vote_YES_on_64

 @DonkeyHotay  I am convinced Donkey is a marijuana dealer for the black market, and I think Monkey is, as well. Donkey posts all day, everyday, so he is obviously not employed. They both have absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain from A64 passing... unless they are dealers. They are making 10 times the posts advocates are. After reading their ridiculous arguments arguing that kids should be able to possess MJ, then saying that the kids are at risk in the next post, then saying that the legalization in 64 is prohibition. The only conclusion I see is that they are in fact going to lose money when the price drops.

Be critical when you read negative posts from these people. Like I said, they have everything to gain from this bill, yet they hate it. Ask yourself why. 

A64 is good for Colorado. Please read the bill. Voting YES is the right thing to do.  Read the bill

WaywardBill
WaywardBill

Or they might take the apathetic route and only vote for Initiative 64 and ditch all other votes for other initiatives and pols running for office. Until the election anything anyone says, writes, or does is all conjecture. Even my statement!

Peace, Pot, Politics, 

Wayward Bill Chengelis

Chairman, US Marijuana Party

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase So you're finally saying what Kathleen, Laura and the other's have been saying all along -- A64 and its Pimps and Promoters like Mason Tvert are in fact ABJECT LIARS!!

 

Welcome to Reality, Robert Van Winkle.

.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @Jose33 I'm guessing most, if not all, of Romney's possible vice presidential running mates would fall into the prohibitionist camp. Thanks for the post, Jose.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Jose33 Mormons themselves are rather extreme in their Superstitious Nonsense ... prohibiting ALL Alcohol, ALL Tobacco, ALL Caffeine.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Anon = clueless stoner

 

Alaska decriminalized marijuana back in 1975 ...California did it in 1975 ... Berkeley did it in 1973 ... 

 

... Oregon was the FIRST state to decriminalize marijuana, way back in 1972. Some states even decriminalized SALES.

 

COLORADO decriminalized marijuana back in 1975 -- nineteen fucking seventy five! -- for ALL adults over 18 years old!

 

... and Colorado raised -- DOUBLED -- the decrim limits from 1 ounce to 2 ounces! back in 2010 ... again for ALL adults over 18.

 

And all of the above were for RECREATIONAL, non-medical use ... by ANYONE OVER 18 !!

 

Just how pig-ignorant and devoid of reality are you?

 

A64 = a PATHETIC retrograde dysfunctional step BACKWARDS!

 

Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do! -- Stay Stupid, Stoners!

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @Anon Thanks for advocating for your position, Anon.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Anon 

 

A64 = a Continuation of Criminal Prohibition

 

 

Monkey
Monkey

 @Anon Everyone wins while we stomp the black market, you're kidding right? A64 removes the need to see a doctor. Everything else you think it does is imaginary. That's ok, it's a deceptive campaign, many people have been fooled.

Monkey
Monkey

 @DonkeyHotay Don't forget growing in an enclosed, locked area. That's a new criminal offense on the books if A64 passes. After they illegally search your home, weigh your weed and count your plants, at least they can bust you for not locking the door if you are in compliance with all the other limitations. How about a law that says the smell or sight of cannabis is not probable cause to search and violate someones rights?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Vote_YES_on_64 

Logic = Fail

Coherence = Fail

Self-consistency = Fail

Reading Comprehension = Fail

 

You = Fail

 

Remember -- A64 *is* a Continuation of Criminal Prohibition!

 

Incontrovertibly so.

 

 

WaywardBill
WaywardBill

 @michael.roberts Well we know it's Paul Ryan now. A bold stupid move by Romney. Way to go Mitt The Shitt. Actually Kudos.

Now:

PICTURE THIS SCENARIO ...We bust butt and get Gary Johnson & Jim Gray on the Colorado Presidnetial Ballot then just maybe just maybe The Prez who holds Colorado like a prized oyster bearing a pearl now just maybe just maybe because the Johnson/Gray contingency holds 6% of the electorate here in Colorado but they are not on the ballot (YET) so just maybe just maybe The Prez out of fear of having his oyster snatched might get bold and get some CANNASENSE and just maybe just maybe KIDZ WE CAN BE THE GRAIN OF SAND IRRITATING THE OYSTER!

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay False!

 

There is a vast difference between a failure to accomplish the explicit repeal of prohibitionist statutes and a "continuation" of them.  You constantly attribute to Amendment 64 onus which lies squarely on our pre-existing prohibitionist laws.  No act of Colorado in and of itself can do much to overturn the Federal prohibition of cannabis, and the Amendment will not result in retail sales to adults or the cultivation of hemp in Colorado, e.g.  What the Amendment does do is challenge Prohibition, and it does something unprecented; it declares that (subject to admittedly arbitrary limits) the use and cultivation of cannabis shall no longer be unlawful for adults in Colorado, and this will have more than symbolic effect, because it will be much harder for the prohibitionist parasites to get at people who grow their own cannabis who take care to comply with the Law.  Society may shortly realize that most of the rest of the draconian laws by which the State wages war against those who use cannabis should be junked, or it may take longer, but we are unquestionably better off by declaring it not unlawful under Colorado law for adults to use and grow some cannabbis.

 

*******   Vote Yes on Amendment 64!   *******

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase It would be entertaining to watch the U$A completely Self-Destruct under another Repuglikan administration.

 

Stay the Course!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Monkey "That's a new criminal offense on the books if A64 passes" -- completely, blatantly false!  It is ALREADY illegal to grow cannabis!  Your ASSUMPTION that the General Assembly would pass new laws to make growing cannabis not in compliance with the Amendment illegal ignores the fact that Amendment repeals no prohibitionist statute directly -- people who grow cannabis outside its protections would be subjected to the same laws they are today.  As for "weigh your weed", as long as it was grown in accordance with the Amendment, it does not matter how much it weighs.  If you cannot understand that declaring the use and cultivation of some cannabis not unlawful is better than keeping all cultivation and use of cannabis by people who have not had a doctor recommend it to them unlawful, how can you help end Prohibition?

herbalmagick
herbalmagick

 @Monkey One step at a time…  There's plenty of time in the future to ease or eliminate the limitations imposed by A64.  There would be no chance of a wide-open legalization being passed at this time, so why insist that the legislation make weed as legal as tomatoes?

IcePick
IcePick

 @Monkey That's a small price to pay for legalization.

 

Yes on A64!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase 

 

From the Planet Chase dictionary of inverse nonsense:

 

"Vast Difference" = no difference at all

 

"Unprecedented" = already accomplished by many, often times before

 

"Huge Step forward" = step backwards

 

"Victory" = abject failure

 

"Strike a Blow" = circle jerk 

 

"Send a Message" = preemptive surrender

 

Monkey
Monkey

 @RobertChase I don't have to lock my door now, and I legally grow weed. If A64 passes, not locking my door is a violation that would not exist if A64 fails. Call it what you want, It's insignificant, but you keep saying it doesn't create new prohibited acts and I pointed out it does. It also is a violation of A64 to transfer marijuana without paying an excise tax, another new prohibited act under A64 that does not exist now on legal transfers. You assume most of the amendment is irrelevant, but a small part of it legalizes weed. I think the little bit of weed it legalizes is irrelevant because it's already as legal, with a doctors note, and the majority of A64 will be used by idiots that think weed stores are cool and bring further federal retaliation. I know you feel it is an improvement and you know I don't, either way, we will be affected very little. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @herbalmagick "There's plenty of time in the future to ease or eliminate the limitations imposed by A64"

 

Behold the depraved ignorance of a clueless stoner.

 

What are you going to use "to erase or eliminate" the massive flaws in A64 ? ... your Magic Constitutional Eraser?

 

LOL!

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Matt_in_Boulder = reading comprehension FAIL.

 

Unlike A20, A64 does NOT have the "or more as .. necessary" clause that nearly EVERY patient/grower exploits to make the dysfunctionally puny, unsustainable 3 (three) flowering plant limits work in the real world.

 

Stop the BULLSHIT Matt -- even YOU don't grow ONLY 3 (three) plants !!

 

 

Monkey
Monkey

 @Matt_in_Boulder The only thing it does is remove the need to see a doctor. 12 years and millions of dollars to remove the need to see a doctor is not progress to me, it's proof we never fix or expand on existing law. My doctor allows me less restrictive limitations than A64. A20, the terribly written amendment, has been and will continue to be better than A64. If A20 was not in place, I would agree, A64 is better than nothing, but A20 is in place, and with all it's flaws, it's better than A64. When we come up with something that resembles legalization or at least does more than remove the need to see a doctor, like the Oregon initiative, I'll vote for it, until then, I'll stick with our less restrictive laws we already have in place, using and growing all the weed I need, until something worth voting for comes along.

Matt_in_Boulder
Matt_in_Boulder

 @Monkey You must have selective memory loss.  A20 was a terribly written amendment that paved the way for unconstitutional HB 1284 (to paraphrase many commentators on these forums).  You are correct that it hasn't been "fixed", but you seem to forget that a great number of people in this state have benefited by A20.  We are now able to grow and possess cannabis (within defined limits) without fear of arrest and imprisonment.  The catch, of course is that we must get our doctor's permission to do so.

 

A64 is certainly not "perfect" either but it definitely allows more than A20 - most notably, that you don't need a doctor's note to grow and possess cannabis. 

Monkey
Monkey

 @herbalmagick You must be young. A20 has been around for 12 years and allows much more than A64. We have not eased or eliminated any limitations to MMJ. History would support you are incorrect assuming we fix laws after we pass them. 

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