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Marijuana: Amendment 64's lead in poll won't lead to complacency, campaign says

Thumbnail image for cannabis outdoors photo.jpg
A new poll shows Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, with majority support among likely voters -- the first time that's happened in the campaign. Opponents of the measure are responding by blasting the initiative from every angle, while a proponent stresses that no vote will be taken for granted.

The poll, conducted by the Denver Post, found that 51 percent of likely voters surveyed support Amendment 64, while 40 percent oppose it. Here's a graphic displaying the breakdown:

amendment 64 denver post poll graphic.jpg
Shortly after the results were made public, Roger Sherman, director for Smart Colorado, the No on 64 campaign, issued a statement that criticized the use of the word "decriminalize" in the graphic, among many other things. He writes in part:

Amendment 64 does not simply "decriminalize" marijuana. It would amend the Colorado Constitution to make Colorado one of the first states to fully legalize marijuana use for recreational purposes.
roger sherman.jpg
Roger Sherman.
Amendment 64 would make it legal to grow, transport and sell marijuana for recreational use; make it legal for anyone twenty-one years or older to possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana (about 60 joints); has no residency requirements, allowing out-of-state uses to travel to Colorado to purchase marijuana; and permit opening marijuana retail stores, growing facilities, manufacturing facilities and testing facilities in communities across the state.
The entire statement is on view below. In the meantime, Mason Tvert, one of Amendment 64's primary backers, expresses no surprise over the poll's results.

"I think there's more momentum building behind ending marijuana prohibition in Colorado than we've ever seen before -- and it's growing every day," he says. "We're getting more volunteers, more businesses, more supporters each week, and we don't see it letting up prior to the election."

This last statement is key. As the Post points out, Proposition 19, a California legalization issue on that state's 2010 ballot, polled at 52 percent support three months prior to election day only to lose by eight points, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Smart Colorado believes something similar will happen to Amendment 64. An August release about an earlier poll -- one showing the measure with 47 percent support -- maintained that "ballot measures usually require a much higher level of support at this point in an election cycle because the default position for most voters is no, especially when it comes to amending the Colorado Constitution."

Tvert's response? He notes that recent surveys have shown support for Amendment 64 on a "general trend upward." Moreover, he thinks comparisons to Proposition 19 are dubious.

"People are focused on Colorado," he stresses. "They're not thinking about what happened in another state two years ago. Honestly, it's irrelevant what happened there," particularly given that the 2010 vote took place during a non-presidential year. "The fact that this is a presidential election that will see a much higher turnout bodes well," he feels.

Not that he expects the run-up to November 6 to be smooth sailing. Far from it: He expects opponents to double-down on negativity and attacks.

Continue reading for more from Amendment 64's Mason Tvert, as well as the complete Smart Colorado statement.



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24 comments
Malisha
Malisha

I'm afraid the majority of comments on this site reveal that most supporters of this measure don't give a hoot about the so-called rational arguments for it--that it would decrease the disproportionate arrests in communities of color; that it would regulate usage among underage users; that it will eliminate drug gangs, etc. There are so many flaws to the arguments posted here that they are all hard to address. But I will try to address some, such as: 1. Stoned drivers are better than drivers under the influence of alcohol. Both substances decrease judgment and response time. Obviously there will be laws to govern driving while under the influence of marijuana as well as alcohol. But this all challenges the basic premise of the argument that regulation of either substance will make us all safer, since alcohol has been regulated for decades and drunk driving is still a major problem. Stoned driving is, and will remain, a problem too. 2. Drug dealers will no longer do business around schools. As if kids under 21 will not be finding ways to get the stuff, and as if the drug dealers will now think those kids are off limits. Of course, there is still the same remedy that kids wanting to drink resort to now--get your parents and older friends to buy it for you. So much for regulation. 3. Passage of prop 64 means "true freedom" to do with our bodies as we like. If that is the meaning of "freedom," then let's legalize and regulate every drug, from heroin to oxycodone to cocaine. Favoring just the "herb" only highlights what is really true. That we are not free to put whatever our heart desires into our bodies, if that substance is not marijuana or alcohol. So much for freedom. Another post on this site refers to the "mexican drug gangs." I will bet the poster has had no qualms getting his or her marijuana off the streets now, fully aware that his or her supply comes from Mexico. But this comment panders to the racist, xenophobic side of the argument (ooooh; all those scary "illegals" threatening the safety of affluent white kids) That being said, I'm all for prop 64, but only if it is opened up to include all drugs. That would indeed be freedom. As it is now, though, the supporters of the measure are showing their true colors. And what that boils down to is this: I--me, me, me--just wanna get high!

duanecooper
duanecooper

November 6 is just around the corner and Colorado is in play. I know that a lot of pro 64 people are considering third party presidential candidates who are marijuana friendly. But, as we all know, none of these candidates truly have a chance to be elected. Colorado citizens must decide whether Romney or Obama will be more likely to favor a change to federal law which would eliminate current conflicts. I know that there has been a great deal of grumbling regarding the Obama administration closing dispensaries. However, if you will look at those closures you will find that in each case the dispensary was operating outside of existing state law. No dispensary following state regulations has been touched. There is every reason to believe that sales made pursuant to a successful prop 64 would go unhindered. Governor Romney, however, represents a party that is opposed to individual liberties that don't line up with certain puritanical beliefs. He also represents corporate interests of the sort that made marijuana illegal in the first place. There is every reason to suspect that he would have his justice department prosecute every dispensary worker, owner, andcustomer he could lay his hands on. It is clear that we will be better off with Obama serving a second term. To that end I would urge you to give the president your vote. With the margins in Colorado a vote on "principle" for a third party candidate is actually the same as a vote for Romney. Go vote. Get your friends to vote. Make those votes count toward ending prohibition by voting Obama Biden.

mudveined
mudveined

if i got 60 joints out of an ounce i wouldnt need a job anymore.. try more like 20 joints... and no person with a brain would smoke 60 joints anywayyy!!

xxx999
xxx999

With all the challenges in the world, does anyone really think more stoned people is the way to go? Looking at the poll, people ages 35-49 *clearly* do not support the measure. Why? They have children. If Colorado would be the first state to legalize it, then how does anyone have any idea what the effect would be on teen use? Has anyone visualized this? Pot shops near schools, people getting stoned all over the place, countless opportunities for my daughter to ask me what people are doing, why they are acting so strange... My friends and I smoked a ton in high school and college and the effect was definitely negative in both the short and long term. Also, the opposition may be equal in percentage to those who support it, but not in intensity. Those who are opposed are *extremely* opposed and will consider leaving the state. I certainly will if this passes and Colorado becomes the first state dumb enough to do this.

gary.halpin
gary.halpin

Roger Sherman, aka, 'ignorant ass.'  I guarantee this guy says he believe in freedom, of course, it has to be his kind of freedom.

ThinksForSelf
ThinksForSelf

Currently anyone who wants to smoke Marijuana likely already are, the war on drugs in this respect has been a complete failure. Amendment 64 will not likely increase the number of Colorado residents smoking marijuana than already currently do by very much. Even if it does marijuana is the safest of all the recreational substances man uses including alcohol.

 

Legalization will change where the money flows. Instead of under the table and out of the state via cartels, it will go to legal businesses that pay taxes and to workers who also pay taxes. In short the money will stay in Colorado and grow our economy. But the biggest boon to Colorado will not be from smoked marijuana but from legalized industrial hemp production. Industrial hemp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp) has more uses and more potential money making opportunities than all of the illegal substances used in Colorado combined.

 

Rudolf Diesel (the inventor of the diesel engine) and Henry Ford both dreamed of a future where automobiles would be fueled by seed oils such as hemp seed oil. Ford initially built body panels and other parts of his cars from plastics made from hemp seed oil. His plan was to fuel them with hemp seed oil grown all around the country.

 

As a crop hemp is very easy to grow and is very drought tolerant. If it was legal to grow today those farmers that are currently in trouble from this summers drought would likely still have their hemp crop to fall back on. Hemp is the ideal crop to rotate into fields that need to be rested after production of corn and other demanding crops. It builds the soil, prevents runaway weed growth without herbicides while providing a salable crop. 

 

promindingyourownbiz
promindingyourownbiz

Sherman also claims it can take years to impose an excise tax. Pueblo managed to vote and approve a 4% tax increase on medical marijuana sales within a few months after center regulations were passed. I would also like the data that proves it "clearly would expand to kids." This is the same old argument... "what about the children!!!!" Yet there is never any data to support it. In fact a recent study suggested that teenage pot use was down in Colorado, even though the nations average is up. Why? Because regulation works. Prohibition does not. I know when I was in high school marijuana was much easier to get compared to alcohol. 

I too believe the Colorado voters are to smart to be deceived... by folks like Sherman that is. 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/07/marijuana-usage-down-in-t_n_1865095.html 

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

Everything that Roger Sherman says seems to be a big positive for A64. Increased tourism, weed factories creating much-needed jobs, etc..

 

If that is the best that the "opposition" can do, they might be working for the A64 campaign.  They also have Ken Buck working for them.  Ken Buck has said in the past that MMJ is a states' rights issue.

 

Who is voting against this? Donkey Hotay?

commonsense
commonsense

60 joints? nice way to exaggerate the harm that an ounce will cause. with most shops using .7g for each joint the number is really around 40... or like 2 packs of cigarettes. These Opponets are really laying on the reefer madness.

valstar
valstar

A poll based on 615 people ...really? I have never recieved a call or asked about a poll in my life. Who do they ask? Where do they get this info from. I dont think polling 615 people speaks for the 2 million registered voters or how ever many we have.  Maby poll 10000 and you will just start to see a trend.

 

I wish I could read this and say yeah thats right but you will never know to after the votes are counted.

CountersCount
CountersCount

I'm sorry, I was busy adjusting the ballot machines to register "Yes on 64" votes as "No on 64" votes. What did you say?

5280Reno
5280Reno

@DenverWestword Gov. John Hickenlooper Opposes Legal Weed: 'Colorado Is Known For Many Great Things, Marijuana ... http://t.co/0KMHCwQL

wraithai
wraithai

 @Malisha 1. Stoned drivers are already doing it, just like drunk drivers. There will always be a certain segment of the population that believes the laws don't apply to them

2. When I was in high school, booze was nearly impossible to get ahold of, however marijuana was readily available. That's because most adults don't want to risk their freedom for a teenager. Again see point 1.

3. I agree with you there. I can honestly say that if heroin or meth was legal tomorrow, I still wouldn't touch it, would you? Again, see point 1.

4. I-25 is one of the major North/South corridors used by Mexican cartels to distribute narcotics, many that ends up sold and consumed in Colorado. Instead of the money from Mexican pot will be going to local economies and to improve Colorado schools, rather than having the money go south of the border to buy more guns and hire more assassins for the Cartels.

5. You honestly think that more than 50% of Colorado voters are pot smokers? Are you high???

Qwertyler
Qwertyler

 @xxx999   it's silly that you want to prevent the regulation of marijuana on account of a fear that smoking in high school will rise...yet, you explained that you were able to "smoke a ton" in high school while it was illegal.  Even if you regret smoking it in the past, wouldn't you agree that if it were taxed (and millions of dollars were funneled into schools instead of mexican drug gangs) it would have been a better scenario?  Also, getting pot in high school is reportedly easier to get because it is unregulated.  The black market doesn't discriminate against age, where this amendment would make it illegal to purchase pot under 21.  I know that the law doesn't stop kids from drinking (a poisonous substance that is responsible for 4% of deaths around the world according to the huffingtonpost)  but it does discourage it by moving the sale into a legitimate (taxed) business.  

theflyingfatass
theflyingfatass

 @xxx999 If anything it would help keep marijuana out of the hand's of children because there would be less street dealers and more legitimate buisnesses who would not do any deals with minors. To be completely honest, when I was a teenager, it was much easier for me to get ahold of pot rather than beer because I could just walk up to any street dealer at my school who can get it from people who don't care at all about breaking the law rather than a person who abides by them and would not sell them alcohol. If pot was legalized then you would be seeing alot more of that kind of thing going on, it would get rid of alot of the illegal dealers out there and would make it more difficult for anyone underage to get ahold of it.

mudveined
mudveined

 @xxx999 if weed was so awful for your life you shouldnt have had children. if you cant talk to your kids about drugs so that they are prepared to deal with it IRL you shouldnt have had children. get out of colorado, more room for me and my pothead friends.

jaksonjoshua
jaksonjoshua

 @xxx999 it would defiantly be better than a bunch of drunks driving around killing innocent people and going home to beat there wifes!

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @commonsense I'm always happy when someone else does the math. Thanks for the post, Commonsense.

Jake
Jake

 @valstar

 The data's laid out if you go to the Denver Post you can see their methodology.  615 is a normal sample size for this type of research and ANY poll you see will be similar.  It's statistics you could poll 10,000 just to appease you, but the math won't change.

jose257
jose257 topcommenter

 @CountersCount As parts of the National Defense Authorization Act are secret, there is probably a part in it that allows the government to alter the voting machines under the guise of national security.

 

gary.halpin
gary.halpin

 @michael.roberts  @gary.halpin What gets lost in this debate (like most of political ones) is true freedom.  Hardly anybody realizes that the most important ingredient to freedom -- so important that freedom is logically impossible without it -- is property rights.  And property rights include your person, your body.  If you aren't allowed to put something into your own body (and deal with the consequences), then you aren't free. 

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