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NEW POLL: High Support for Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, 61% Say Regulate Like Alcohol and Tobacco

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director June 11, 2012


    A just-released statewide poll by Rasmussen Reports provides strong evidence that Colorado may likely become the first state to re-legalize and regulate the personal use of marijuana this November.

    On June 6th, Rasmussen Polling conducted a survey of likely voters in Colorado and found majority support for marijuana legalization. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed supported legalizing marijuana if it were regulated like alcohol and cigarettes. Only 27 percent of respondents are opposed to legalization and 12 percent remain undecided.

    This is great news for Amendment 64, a 2012 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition and regulate marijuana like alcohol, which will appear on the Colorado ballot this November. Rasmussen’s recent survey shows support shifting upwards from previous polling. In December 2011, Public Policy Polling reported that 49 percent of Coloradan’s believed that marijuana use should be legal versus 40 percent who believed it should remain illegal.

    Lately, the mainstream media has caught on to the important role that Amendment 64 will play in this fall’s presidential election. This poll is just further proof of that claim’s validity. During the same time period, Rasmussen polled Colorado voters on their presidential preference and respondents were split, 45 percent for Obama and 45 percent support for Romney. Amendment 64 promises to turn out greater numbers of independent minded and youth voters in November, if either candidate embraced rational marijuana policy reforms, this important battleground state could be theirs to win. If neither does, it remains to be seen if they will lose these potential votes to the third party candidate, Libertarian Gary Johnson, who advocates for marijuana legalization as a part of his platform. The marijuana issue is one that the two major parties can continue to ignore, but they are now doing so at their own peril.

    You can learn more about Amendment 64 in Colorado here.

    You can view more data on the Rasmussen poll here.

    63 Responses to “NEW POLL: High Support for Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, 61% Say Regulate Like Alcohol and Tobacco”

    1. 420 Manila says:

      its about time… “think of baby steps”

    2. Paul W says:

      Could someone please explain to me how Amendment 64 is expected to affect the presidential election since both candidates (Obama and Romney) are totally wrong on this issue?

      Perhaps the fear of the 2 major parties are that a third party will get the votes. I’ve already decided to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson! I hope you all have the courage to do so too!

    3. Jake says:

      Hells yeah i live in Estes Park Colorado and its just like John Denver said Rocky mountain HIGH! just moved here from Ks a year ago.. eat it kansas!

    4. Bhonze says:

      I can’t wait to make travel arrangements; Mississippi to Colorado!!! Mile High Vacation!!!
      Git R done!

    5. Warren says:

      Mr Altieri points out that if a presidential candidate “embraced marijuana legalization this important battleground state could be theirs.” But he ignores the fact there already is just such candidate who does indeed argue for ending the war against marijuana. His name is Gary Johnson and his record in two terms as governor of New Mexico is a lot better than Romney’s. Check him out. It’s worth the effort.

    6. USMJP says:

      Pretty Little Press Release:
      SUPERPACS! GUESS WHO’S ON
      THE BALLOT?

      UNITED STATES MARIJUANA PARTY
      political candidate
      Cris Ericson is on the official
      election ballot in Vermont
      Nov. 6, 2012
      running against current
      U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

      United States Marijuana Party
      in Vermont http://usmjp.com

      Cris Ericson is hoping that
      people will start
      SuperPACs to promote her
      campaign.

      She is also seeking Pro Bono
      legal assistance to understand
      complex state and federal
      campaign finance laws.

      Cris Ericson
      879 Church Street
      Chester, Vermont 05143-9375
      (802)875-4038

      http://usmjp.com

      United States Marijuana Party
      political campaign
      to elect Cris Ericson
      in Vermont is an entirely
      separate legal entity
      from the U.S. Marijuana
      Party nationwide at
      http://usmjparty.com

    7. Very excellent point, I didn’t include Governor Johnson because he was not in the Rasmussen poll I mentioned (though “other” candidate brought in 6% support). The factor he will play in all of this will definitely be something to watch.

    8. Collin says:

      The momentum right now is incredible. I’m very glad to see the progress that is being made. It’s happening much faster than I had anticipated years ago. But the big question is even if Colorado passes full fledged legalization, can the “Feds” still come in and perform their infamous “Raids” on individuals and dispensaries? When the Federal Government finally raises the white flag ont his issue, it’ll be a day to celebrate.

    9. Chrono says:

      Its about time people started to come together on this. This truly excites me, I believe this will be a major stepping stone to full legalization. Still along way of but Colorado can become a beacon for hard research and statistics witch I think will show the rest of the states that pot is ok.

    10. Shawn Christopher says:

      lets hope this percentage holds, it always goes down as the vote approaches, California was also getting polls like this. fingers crossed

    11. Doug says:

      Like many people, I, too, am disappointed with Obama and his administration’s policies on drug law reform. I would vote for Gary Johnson in a moment were not for my concern that a Republican might win if the Democratic vote is too badly fractured. (ie. a vote for anybody but Obama is tantamount to a vote for Romney). The thought of how a Romney Administration might deal with the issue of drug reform is terrifying.

    12. Just a guy, guy says:

      @Paul W- Whether or not a candidate embraces a legalization policy it still highly affects whether or not a candidate can take the state. The amendment (as stated above) will likely cause a higher turn out of young voters. This means Colorado could be won or lost based on whether a candidate actively campaigns to the young voters in the state.

    13. Big rob says:

      Thus is realy good but the battle is not done yet. People of colorado I implore you, what must campain around the state. Stoners, lawyers, docters, and pepole afrade to show your true green colors must unite say, “I smoke weed and I am an american I will not hide any more” the battle has started let us not back down.

    14. Joel: the other Joel says:

      If marijuana was really hazardous, difficult to produce, and 61% approved for legalization, there would be no problem of getting it legal. The problem is that marijuana isn’t hazardous and not difficult to produce. The Feds will not have any power over marijuana or you.

    15. Ryan says:

      I honestly feel that the closer it gets to November, the more intensity this story will grow. Tommy Chong recently on tour with Cheech Marin and just announcing he has Prostate Cancer. He was due to talk to CNN about the recent news in New York laws (S&F), but instead announcing he has Prostate Cancer and will be treating it with Rick Simpsons Hemp Oil (Phoenix Tears). Now, we have to hope that he gets good BEFORES and AFTERS and can get the media on this story enough. This way when the miracle that plant is shows itself (CNN offered him back on when he was “cured”(Chong))

      If this can get BACK on air before the presidential elections… then who KNOWS which candidate will say what to get the vote. That is the problem we will still face regardless though. Will we end up with all talk and no follow-thru as we’ve seen with Obama already. Not sure I would trust him on round 2 of this debate.

      A third party candidate really needs to optimize the swing of the nation when it comes to Marijuana reform and find them their own little Super-PAC Billionaire Friends ::wink wink Sir Branson::

    16. Joel: the other Joel says:

      Continued from my last reply:

      Gardening supplies sales will be on the rise including greenhouses.

      Be a licensed seller on marijuana seeds and plant, and have the two certified on its authenticity.

      Make hemp legal with no restrictions.
      ————

      That is very close to a perfect world.

    17. Ryan says:

      There is the hope that once a state cracks the recreational boundaries, and the people of that state made it clear that state money(i.e. LEO’s of any kind) are allowed to be used for raids, etc. because it is a violation of state constitution !!!!! … then I think the feds may crack.

      The pressure coming in from Mexico to do something about our failed drug policies will only continue to climb as more and more people are slaughtered by the cartels. Regardless of who makes it into office… this topic is not going to fade away. The momentum now is growing by the minute and not backing down.

      I can’t wait for November!

    18. Bret K says:

      Isn’t it odd that Amsterdam after over 30 years of cannabis tolerance is now cracking down and trying to eliminate the coffeeshops and the cannabis culture there. Here in Colorado we are only months away from legalization that they never realized. It goes to show that it aint over until the fat lady sings. If it happened there it could happen here. Be wise Colorado.

    19. Dave Evans says:

      Doug, I understand where you are coming from. But we only get one vote, and it is a positive vote. By trying to vote against someone, instead of voting for the people with your values you end up working against your own good. The lesser of two evils is still garbage. Is garbage going to do right by your children?

      Don’t you feel it is time to reward success, not failure? Gary Johnson was a success as governor and that is what (his skills) we should focus on.

    20. aoneone says:

      Oh boy! If this becomes legal before California does, I’m moving!

    21. TheOracle says:

      New York state has to come on board.

      Let’s find out if as the city of New York wants to move forward on ending cannabis prohibition, with the state’s cooperation. It would pretty much end the stop n frisk practice when pot stops being the only think illegal cops are finding.

      There’s supposed to be a demonstration march against stop n frisk on Father’s Day or something.

      I’ve heard as New York goes so goes the country.

      As much as Tommy Chong would like only to see the penalties lifted from all things adult and medical about cannabis, the only reason government is looking at legalization is for the revenue. It’s certainly not out of the goodness of their hearts that they are charging such exorbitant amounts of money for licenses and permits and shit.

      If NYC says we want cannabis on the stock market and Wall Street gets DC to get out of the way to make it a traded commodity, I just can’t see the government doing without getting its share at all levels of government. Many a state needs a new and reliable revenue source to help fund its public education, public service institutions and pension/defined benefits programs. You know you can transition to defined payment 401 plans for new hires, which because of the lack of incoming funds and payouts only will make the defined benefit government pension funds dwindle until it’s out of money or the last pensioner dies. To make sure there is a pool of money still in there when the last pensioner dies you have to have a revenue stream into the pension funds to make absolutely sure that the pension fund outlives the pensioners. At some point no one will be paying into the pension because everyone still working will be on the 401 track. That steady replacement revenue stream will come from cannabis. When the last pensioner dies, government can take that pension fund and revenue stream and reallocate it.

      I would like to see windmills generating electricity along railroad tracks and not just wind parks. Amtrak and the trains are getting government money, but if the energy and utility companies had a synergistic relationship with the railroads they could become less dependent on government goodies, while we upgrade and green our power grid/production.

      See the jobs.

      See the big bad federal government get out of the way, led by government is bad republicans and hip politicians of all parties.

      See the creativity.

      Create jobs. Worldwide.

    22. Doug says:

      Dale, good point. In a perfect world, you would be right; unfortunately, in the two party system, voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ is exactly what people are very often forced to do. But you’re right, Gary Johnson deserves my vote far more than Obama and Romney – maybe I’ll vote with my heart this year instead of letting my inner cynic get the better of me :-D

    23. Greyhound says:

      I wonder if employers will still screen for cannabis in drug tests.

    24. nnydanger says:

      Only reason Amsterdam is cracking down on mary jane is because it is still not allowed to be produced there and they import the pot.

      All the locals are having what little pot they can get smoked by tourist and they want that to change. They are making it to where tourist can not buy pot, just locals to keep the supply from running out.

    25. Suede says:

      Gary Johnson is the only candidate that makes any sence to bad not old enough to vote but if I could it would be him.

    26. Sam says:

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. If you asked Mr. Emery, or Mr. Lee there is only one step left.

    27. Sam says:

      Lets not forget all those who sacrificed so much to get us here

    28. Paul Pot says:

      I have been waiting more than 30 years for this and I’m finding it a little hard to believe but it’s fantastic.

      My deepest thanks to everyone who ever worked in the marijuana movement and helped us to get this far, where we are actually looking at the beginning of the end of the drug war.

    29. Chris P. says:

      It never toped 60% in CA this is big CO may be the first state to acctually do it.

    30. Douglas says:

      Will there Gov sing it if it pass ?

    31. Gweedo says:

      Yesss you make a good point about Colorado being a battleground for the candidates. If we can finally convince one of them that it’s worth talking about ending prohibition, we may FINALLY get the attention of the rich white men in suits in washington.

    32. Paul W says:

      @Nancy Lee Garrett – The decision by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is deplorable! It shows extreme ignorance and lack of compassion on their part.

      It is interesting that they don’t want to comment on their decision. I think that, to some extent, shows that (deep down) they just might realize how wrong their decision is.

      Refusing to allow an organ transplant for a patient who has used cannabis is tantamount to a death sentence! It is pathetic in the extreme!

    33. Paul W says:

      @Doug – “a vote for anybody but Obama is tantamount to a vote for Romney”

      I believe that Romney is a terrible choice for our nation; and not just because of his idiotic reasoning regarding continuing to keep cannabis illegal.

      I really want to vote for Gary Johnson. It totally pains me that doing so just might help Romney!

      What’s a feller to do???

    34. This is way higher than any polling done going into Prop 19 in 2010. The highest we ever polled for Prop19 was 56% favor to 41% oppose early in the campaign. 61% to 27% is very significant, now to see if future polls replicate this support.

      History of Prop 19 polling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_19_(2010)#Polling_history

    35. SKYRIDER says:

      Don;t you think Obama would do it if he could? his boss wont let him.and he wont let Romney do it.so what do you do? find out who Obamas boss is. deal with him, he is the prob. SKYRIDER.

    36. [...] NEW POLL: High Support for Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, 61% Say Regulate Like Alcohol and Tob… A just-released statewide poll by Rasmussen Reports provides strong evidence that Colorado may likely become the first state to re-legalize and regulate the personal use of marijuana this November. On June 6th, Rasmussen Polling conducted a survey of likely voters in Colorado and found majority support for marijuana legalization. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed supported legalizing marijuana if it were regulated like alcohol and cigarettes. Only 27 percent of respondents are opposed to legalization and 12 percent remain undecided. This is great news for Amendment 64, a 2012 statewide ballot [...] [...]

    37. Anonymous says:

      DON’T FORGET the Tobacco !!!

      Regulate Like Alcohol AND TOBACCO !!!

      THERE IS NO PROHIBITION OF SMOKING TOBACCO BEFORE DRIVING OR WHILE DRIVING.

      Tobacco DOES NOT AFFECT DRIVING.

      NEITHER DOES POT.

    38. Anonymous says:

      RE; Only reason Amsterdam is cracking down on mary jane is because it is still not allowed to be produced there and they import the pot.

      All the locals are having what little pot they can get smoked by tourist and they want that to change. They are making it to where tourist can not buy pot, just locals to keep the supply from running out.

      sorry, no.
      there was never legal weed there.

      they just ‘agreed’ to ignore the law.

      then, an election put in prohibitionists, who decided to start cracking down.
      (not ignoring the law)

      the tourists first, then everyone.

      they have also reduced the number of ‘coffeeshops’.

      otherwise, they could just encourage more growers to grow more.

    39. Tlc says:

      Now is not the time to cheer and become complacent. There is a fairly large undecided group that could be persuaded by prohibitionist hype…which will be within a month or two of the elections. That’s when they will break out the stoned workers and drivers fear tactics.

      Those issues need to circulate now, along with the associated studies so that voters are aware and don’t have a knee-jerk reaction.

      And assume the support will drop and get out and vote cause there’s no celebration until we win.

    40. Dutch says:

      Pot does affect driving. These kinds of statements are not helpful.

    41. shawn says:

      @anon

      Let’s be reasonable here. Marijuana DOES affect driving, just not to the extent which alcohol does.

      Advocate RESPONSIBLE use and unbiased data, not DUI and incorrect propaganda.

      -NORML: I’m disapointed that you did not add an editor’s comment on this one :(

      [Paul Armentano responds: NORML's position regarding cannabis and its influence on psychomotor skills is a matter of public record. Our white paper on the issue is available on the website here:

      http://norml.org/library/item/cannabis-and-driving-a-scientific-and-rational-review

      In 1996, NORML's Board of Directors stated its opposition to the notion of operating of a motor vehicle while under the influence cannabis in its ‘Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use,' stating “Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer with motorists than alcohol and many prescription drugs, responsible cannabis consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition.” See:

      http://norml.org/about/intro/item/principles-of-responsible-cannabis-use-3. ]

    42. Paul W says:

      @Anonymous – I beg to differ with your statement that pot doesn’t affect driving. I promise you it does. That said however, it doesn’t necessarily affect it in a way that is all that bad! From my experience I have found that when driving under the influence (I’ve never had an accident) that I drive more cautiously and courteously. I am much less likely to drive in any kind of reckless manner. I do not think that my experience is at all unusual…

      Seriously, I believe that when I drive under the influence of cannabis that I am one of the safest drivers on the road. I only drive under the influence when I am quite certain that I am not a danger in any way. It is possible to consume enough that it would dangerously impair someone. I advocate legalization for responsible adults who listen to their bodies/brains and don’t endanger anyone with reckless behavior.

      I’m a 56 year old ex-marine who has consumed cannabis since the age of about 16 and have never had a problem with it – zero! Thank the Gods I’ve never been busted! That, my friends, would have been a problem…

    43. Luke says:

      It’s just gonna take one state – just one. Once people from around the country start cramming their $$ down our throats, it’ll be another state, then another. Once they see the true tax potential in cana business, our gov’t will make it a ligeit industry. Then once people from around the world start piling cash on top of us, it will take about a decade for this flower to be traded worldwide. As people on here keep saying – baby steps.

    44. Dutch says:

      @paulw, 
      I’ve been an everyday smoker for 40 years and I can assure you driving under the influence of canibis affects your decision making and reaction time in an emergency. You are also more prone to daydreaming and that can have devastating affects. I will admit that it’s better to smoke than to drink and drive, but to say you don’t endanger anyone is just not true.  If you Need to smoke and drive, be prepared for the consequences. 

    45. F.G. says:

      Denver — A Colorado committee formed to defeat a marijuana issue on the November ballot has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to weigh in with his opposition. Amendment 64 would allow adults statewide to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use.
      The measure is opposed by a citizens group called Smart Colorado, which is represented by the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart.

      In a letter to Holder, Smart Colorado attorney Jon Anderson noted that Colorado’s ballot measure “parallels” a California measure, Proposition 19, that voters there defeated in 2010.

      The Department of Justice “aggressively” opposed that measure, Anderson said, and Smart Colorado wants the department to do the same in Colorado.

      “As you know, Colorado has the most expansive medical marijuana industry in the country,” he wrote Holder. “To further expand their drug profits, this industry will invest enormous sums of money to erase all state restrictions on growing, transporting, and selling marijuana in Colorado. It is critical that Colorado voters understand the serious legal and policy implications of passing such a dangerous law.

      They use words such as ” smart ” or
      ” Dangerous ” to trick & deceive you from the truth . Smart is really tied to legalization & dangerous is tied to its illegality .5,000 dead in Mexico is pretty dangerous so it is the opposite of what they are trying to make you believe .

    46. gb says:

      One of the long standing arguments over legalization is that the tax revenue would probably be lower than estimated because people would tend to grow their own. If I wanted to, I could grow fruit and vegetables, but I don’t because when any perishable is mass produced, it becomes more convenient and cheaper to just buy it. In the case of marijuana, I’m sure they would come pre-rolled, perhaps even with a filter. How about with menthol or raspberry for that matter ? I know it will become completely legal at some point. I hope it happens before my time is up. I’m not getting any younger.

    47. Luke says:

      I can see it now. We’ll have packs of rolled joints and bags of raw. You’ll be able to but joint weed, bowl weed, and for the old school die-hards like me – whole bud.

    48. St. Nick says:

      We need to form a huge group of people who openly love pot. If we get a big enough amount of people we could have a “million man march” type thing and/or vote it in. We need to do what we can to get pot legal. Pray, run rallys, telephone stuff, whatever it takes. We already have music and movies doing their parts. We need some people in say states that have better laws to openly love pot and stuff like that. Pot is THE best drug excluding LSD mushrooms and peyote during a heaven-like trip.

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