Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, making Colorado one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in the United States. Washington also legalized in 2012. Colorado generally gets tagged with being first, likely because it’s in a different time zone. But whichever state you give the tie to, regardless, Colorado was at least one of the first two to legalize.
Almost every state since, and for that matter even some countries, has looked towards Colorado to see what to expect from legalization. Colorado in many ways is the ‘social experiment’ on display for all to see. So, almost four years later, how do Colorado voters feel about their decision to legalize recreational marijuana? According to a recent poll, the move is largely seen as being a smart one. Below is a press release about it, via the Marijuana Policy Project:
A new poll finds Colorado voters are still upbeat about their decision to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use, and few would support repealing Amendment 64, the legalization initiative approved in November 2012.
The results of the statewide survey, which was conducted earlier this month by Public Policy Polling, contradict claims that have been made by politicians and anti-marijuana groups that are fighting similar laws in other states, according to The Denver Post’s “The Cannabist,” which broke the news of the poll Monday afternoon.
Among the poll’s findings:
- Only about one-third of Colorado voters (36%) would support a measure to repeal Amendment 64 if it were on this year’s ballot.
- More than half of Colorado voters say the law has been good for the state (47%) or had no real impact (9%), and just 39% say it has been bad for the state.
- Three out of five Colorado voters (61%) say Amendment 64 has had a positive impact on the economy, and only 19% say it has had a negative impact.
- More than one out of four Colorado voters (28%) said they have a friend, family member, or acquaintance who has worked either directly for a marijuana business or for non-marijuana businesses that provides products or services to marijuana businesses.
- About one out of four Colorado voters (24%) said they know of a friend, family member, or colleague who is consuming less alcohol because they are now consuming marijuana instead.
“Coloradans can see that regulating marijuana works,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Voters approved Amendment 64 because they wanted marijuana to be controlled and taxed similarly to alcohol, and that is exactly what is taking place. It’s pretty clear that any proposal to repeal it and revert back to prohibition would go down in flames.
“The folks who are trying to keep marijuana illegal in this country tell a lot of scary stories and spread a lot of myths about Colorado,” Tvert said. “If you ask a typical Colorado voter, you’re likely to hear a more positive and realistic account of how things are going.”
Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 in November 2012, and it officially became legal for adults 21 and older in the state to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana approximately one month later. Regulated businesses began selling marijuana to adults on January 1, 2014. Voters in five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada — are considering similar ballot measures this November.
“Opponents of Amendment 64 told voters the state would fall apart if they approved Amendment 64, but they could not have been more wrong,” Tvert said. “They said it would hurt the economy, but the economy is booming. They said it would hurt tourism, but we have more visitors spending more money than ever. They said the rate of teen use would increase, but state officials confirm it has not. And they said it wouldn’t actually raise any tax revenue, but it has already exceeded expectations and generated tens of millions of dollars for schools and other important programs.”
A fact sheet regarding the impacts of regulating and taxing marijuana in Colorado is available at http://bit.ly/2cTUcGX.
The Public Policy Polling survey of 629 Colorado voters was commissioned by MPP and conducted from August 31-September 1. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9%. The full results are available at http://bit.ly/2cYMCfc.