Coloradans Now Oppose Marijuana Legalization

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Today there’s news out of Denver that is a negative for the marijuana industry.

SmithJohnson Research, a polling firm who has worked with Democrats and Republicans, today released a poll finding that a majority (51%) of likely Coloradan voters would oppose Amendment 64 today.  About quarter of voters thought the Amendment had done a good job at regulation, but most voters did not think so.   Supporters of Amendment 64 had promised that legalizing marijuana would keep it from children and teens and that hasn’t happened.

Forty-five percent said they would strongly oppose the measure. Only 36% said they would be strongly for the measure if it were on a ballot now. The telephone poll queried 600 likely voters, yielding a sampling error of +/- 4%. The top-cited concerns of voters were edible marijuana products and driving under the influence of marijuana.    (The measure passed in 2012 with 54% of the vote. Since that time and many disasters later, people have been able to see that marijuana legalization doesn’t work.)

“After two years of increased marijuana usei, a growing proliferation of marijuana candies aimed at children, more arrests in schools for potii, a jump in the number of people publicly using marijuanaiii, and an increase in marijuana-related driving citationsiv, we shouldn’t be surprised that Coloradans are coming around to opposing legalization,” said Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Florida and President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. ” The special interest marijuana industry has too firm a grip on regulations in Colorado, and voters don’t like what they’re getting.”

At the present time, an independent group of citizens in Colorado, Smart Colorado, is insisting on uniform labeling for marijuana edibles, one that would consist of a stop sign and something to denote the presence of THC.  The Health Department seems likely to adopt the new plan.StopSign
“It’s time for a renewed conversation about marijuana in Colorado,” said Ben Cort, Colorado SAM Member and an addiction treatment professional.

Bob Doyle, chair of Colorado SAM said, “We intend to kick-start those conversations so that Coloradans – rather than the marijuana industry – can determine the future of their own state.”
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About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) 

SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.

 

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iNational Survey on Drug Use and Health, Colorado State Estimates (2014).

iiDenver Police Department Versadex and OSI database (2014).

iiiDenver Police Department, 2014

ivDenver Police Department, Data from Aurora and Denver through Dec 1, 2014.

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8 thoughts on “Coloradans Now Oppose Marijuana Legalization”

  1. Here is a list of reasons given by these propagandists for keeping weed illegal. I’ve answered each and every one of their points with fact based logic. Let’s see how long my post lasts!
    TRUTH is the enemy of this website.

    Marijuana, called weed, is a weed. The idea that a weed can be regulated, is speculative. Can we tax and regulate dandelions?

    *ANSWER- Anything can be taxed and regulated. Colorado makes a million dollars a week in marijuana taxes. There’s nothing speculative about that.

    Poppot’s reasons to oppose marijuana legalization are:

    1) Legalization is promoted as a new and fast way to make money.

    1) *Answer- Legalization is something that over half the country wants. Users do not want to break the law simply by using cannabis.

    The National Cannabis Industry Association describes the marijuana business summit in Denver on June 24-25, 2014: “Where Commerce Meets Revolution.” The marijuana lobby has advanced its cause as a money-making activity during the Great Recession. As the mortgage industry sold itself with the goal of quick profits on the backs of others, the pot industry is pushing marijuana as the next great “get-rich” quick scheme for sales entrepreneurs.

    *Answer- The mortgage market has absolutely nothing to do with cannabis. A store selling chocolate would be a more accurate comparison.

    2) Like the tobacco industry, the marijuana industry knows that in order to keep a a steady stream of buyers, young and under-aged users need to get “hooked” on their product.

    2) Answer- *If you REALLY believe that to be true, (which it ISNT) then you should be doing ANYTHING in your power to put barriers between kids and weed, like cigs and alcohol.

    3) Every time pro-pot propagandists put out their message, they send a message to the children that pot is harmless. The issue of pot legalization is not about adult users and their freedom, but the deceptive messages aimed at the young. This message can only get stronger after marijuana advertising becomes legal.

    3) *Answer- Please show an example of ANY pro weed message to kids from ANYONE. Please show that you’re not just making that up. (Again, completely false information)

    4) The talk of legalizing marijuana raises the risk that someone who cares for your child — a babysitter, a bus driver, day care worker or teacher — may be under the influence and endangering the child. A recent 20/20 segment showed the problem of lifeguards on pot.

    4) *Answer- A complete non-issue. A no brainer: set up the same rules as drugs and alcohol. You can’t go to work drunk, hi, OR STONED.
    (That 20/20 piece had very little to do with weed).

    Last summer a crane operator in Philadelphia killed 6 and injured 13 while demolishing a building. He tested positive for recent usage of marijuana. The pot lobby’s suggestion that marijuana comes without harm raises the risk that our children will be harmed by someone using marijuana, or will harm themselves with it.

    *Answer- ANY drug, done in excess or at work, is going to lead to trouble. How many fatalities were caused by alcohol that day? 100x more? 1,000x more?

    Please show an example of the “pot lobby suggesting that MJ comes with no harm”.

    5) Claims that legalizing marijuana would put criminals and cartels out of business are not based on fact. The Washington Post reported that Mexican cartels have switched to selling heroin in response to pot’s legalization in Colorado. We have heroin epidemics in many parts of the country. Most of the young people who have died from heroin began their drug use with marijuana. Isn’t legalization just making the downfall from drugs faster?

    5) *Answer- Please tell me that you’re not suggesting that Mexican cartels should continue to control the weed industry, for fear that if they don’t they will find another vice to participate in!
    From a business standpoint, since you mentioned it, who do YOU think should get the BILLIONS spent annually on weed? Mexican cartels? Drug dealers? Or the US economy?

    Tax and Regulate Won’t Work

    6) Claims that legalization will bring in tax money don’t account for the cost of drug abuse, drug education and health care. Since mental health treatment is now mandated and the US has universal health care, the true cost of legalization could be 10 times greater than the tax income, which will require a bureaucracy to regulate and collect.

    6) *Answer- You are not taking into consideration the fact that right now this is already happening.
    You are not even considering the possibility that teen use will decline?
    In other places where weed is legal teen use has gone DOWN. Search it yourself if you don’t believe me. Consumption and legalization have absolutely NOTHING to do with one another.

    7) Claims that the justice system is unfair and that the War on Drugs hasn’t worked appeal to the strong anti-government, anti-regulatory sentiment. There are easier ways to keep unjust punishments from happening, like changing the sentencing guidelines. Smart Approaches to Marijuana proposes a different, health-based approach to justice. The percentage of people who go to jail for marijuana alone is less than 1 % of those in state prisons. Most places do not incarcerate for marijuana possession unless other crimes are committed. The record has been intentionally exaggerated to sway public opinion.

    7) *Answer- FACT: Weed is illegal. Most Americans do not want to do illegal things, regardless of whether or not they go to state prison!

    8) Marijuana legalization has no precedent in the modern world. In the Netherlands, where marijuana has been tolerated in coffeehouse since the 1970s, recent restrictions were put in place. Uruguay, which has 3-1/2 million people, is the only country that has legalized marijuana, and only within the past year. The jury is still out on it. To compare to US to smaller, less powerful countries without diverse populations is faulty logic.

    8) *Answer- You obviously have never been to Amsterdam.
    Even if you were right, the fact remains that our laws against weed are stopping no one from smoking it. As such, the faulty logic is in keeping it illegal.

    In Great Britain, more comparable the US, cannabis was transferred from a class B drug to class C in 2004, removing the threat of arrest for possession. In response to the problems seen and after noting a marked increase in mental health problems, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, it was reclassified back to Class B in 2009. Sweden and Denmark, for example, tightened their laws on marijuana and saw all forms of drug abuse go down.

    *Answer- For every study you produce showing negative effects of legal weed, I’ll show you two that show the opposite to be true”.

    9) Those who compare marijuana prohibition to alcohol prohibition don’t mention that AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) was founded in 1935, the year after the 13-year prohibition ended.

    9) *Answer- So legalization allowed a group to emerge to help alcoholics.
    What’s wrong with that?

    Marijuana lobbyists state that the 1937 Act which put nationwide marijuana prohibition in place, was a conspiracy. They don’t mention that California banned it in 1913, New York in 1914 and at least 30 states by 1930. Why ignore past experience?

    * Answer- No one cares. Marijuana is illegal for political, not health reasons. Even politicians admit that.

    10) Marijuana is not safer than alcohol. There are 450,000 hospital emergency room visits for marijuana in the US each year, higher than for alcohol, and this alone is a huge public health cost. While driving stoned is slightly less risky than driving drunk, stoned driving is not safe at all, and has been the cause of many deaths in Colorado since 2009, when medical marijuana became an industry.

    10) *Answer- Two points you made.
    A) 450,000 a year? More than alcohol? I would like to see where you got that statistic. Please provide a reference so it doesn’t look like you just made that up.
    B) You admit that drinking and driving IS more dangerous than weed and driving. Neither alcohol nor weed should not be used while driving.

    11) Regulation is not working in Colorado and Washington and medical marijuana provides a cover for pot abuse in California and other states. Despite the popularity and high cost of marijuana in Colorado, the taxes have fallen short of expectation and don’t include the other societal costs, including children killed in fires and toddlers taken to hospital emergency room after ingesting marijuana edibles.

    11) *Answer- Colorado made approx one million dollars a week on cannabis tax in 2014, money which is being used to rejuvenate towns and do other public works.

    12) Comparisons to individuals who used marijuana with no apparent harm to their mental capacity are deceptive. Steve Jobs may have used pot, but few people begin with an IQ comparable to his. Astronomer Carl Sagan sung the praises of marijuana, but never used it before age 27, after his brain stopped developing. Winston Churchill was a brilliant statesman and an alcoholic, but his example can’t prove that alcohol abuse comes without harm.

    12) *Answer- Steve Jobs and Carl Sagan are very good company to be in!

    13) We don’t know which young people will use marijuana and be negatively affected, or go to increasingly dangerous drugs. There is not a typical profile for youth who are susceptible to drug abuse. However, the downward spiral of starting with marijuana, then advancing to opiate pain killers, and then onto to heroin (sometimes with cocaine and ecstasy in the mix) is typical.

    13) *Answer- More typical, still, is cigarette smoking then drugs, or alcohol use then drugs.

    Drug Prevention
    In short, we aim at prevention through education.

    *Answer- If you advocate education, but lack even the most elementary understanding of this situation then you are part of the PROBLEM, not part of the solution. You can not make up your own self serving statistics then prey on parents who have had problems for donations.
    Who is REALLY all about making money here?

    1. Andrew Freedman, head of the Colorado program, the idea of legalizing marijuana to raise tax money is not the way it works.

  2. Rick, your comment was probably deleted because we hear such an AVALANCHE of support for marijuana, since the marijuana industry is deluged with billions upon billions of dollars – sort of like Big Tobacco, only worse. Also, marijuana advocates are generally potheads and those of us discussing the very real problems of addiction want to discuss this with other ADULTS, not with citizens who have made a decision to live their lives like they are teenagers sitting behind the bleachers at the high school smoking a doob.

    Here is a link to the actual study:

    http://www.smithjohnsonresearch.com/CO%20CANNABIS%20RESEARCH%20QUESTIONS-SJ%20FINAL.pdf

    1. You will notice they deleted the rather innocuous post that you responded to. I hope you see this one before it gets deleted. They banned me from the facebook page. I consider the woman attorney that has founded this organization to be a coward and unworthy of being called an attorney. I say this as a fellow attorney, not a pothead. I would not be surprised if she is not employed by big pharma and I find her suppression of dissent unworthy of a fellow member of the bar.

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