Area physicians among 300 behind Amendment 64, legalized marijuana

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Supporting measure

Here’s a list of some Western Slope physicians who have endorsed Amendment 64, according to the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:

■ Grand Junction: Drs. Juan Barbero, Mitchell Burnbaum, William Merkel, Stephen Meyer, Angela Pennell, Kathryn Pierce, Francis Raley, Charles Roy and Lori Wittman.

■ Hotchkiss: Drs. Philip Ceriani, Laurence Greenburg and Michelle Hundley.

■ Glenwood Springs: Drs. Ronald Mason, Elizabeth Spidell and Steven Obrien.

■ Telluride: Drs. Sharon Grundy and Allen Solomon.

■ Montrose: Dr. Christopher Huot.

■ Rifle: Dr. Jose Rodriguez.



More than 300 doctors statewide, including more than two dozen on the Western Slope, have endorsed the ballot question to legalize marijuana, the campaign favoring Amendment 64 announced Tuesday.

Some of the practicing physicians said while they’ve seen numerous injuries and accidents because of abuse of alcohol, they rarely see such things with marijuana.

Dr. Bruce Madison, former associate medical director at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said it makes sense for that reason and others to approve the ballot question, which calls for regulating marijuana similar to how alcohol is controlled.

“As physicians we have a professional obligation to do no harm,” Madison said. “But the truth is that the Colorado marijuana laws do just that by wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed war on marijuana by ruining thousands of lives by unnecessary arrest and incarceration, and by causing the deaths of hundreds of people killed in black-market criminal activities.”

Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said the doctors have joined a growing list of professionals from all walks of life in support of the idea.

Last week, a group of Republicans came out in support of the measure, including former congressman Tom Tancredo.

Tancredo said it is possible to disagree with using marijuana but still agree that it shouldn’t be illegal. He questioned why all Republicans who believe in limited government and personal responsibility aren’t also endorsing the measure.

Still, several Republicans and Democrats have come out against the amendment, including House Speaker Frank McNulty and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to recent polls, including one conducted by the University of Denver last week, the measure has a chance of passing.

According to the university’s telephone poll of 604 likely voters, 50 percent said they support the amendment compared to 40 percent who oppose it.

Twenty-one percent said it should never be legal, while 47 percent said it should be regulated like alcohol. Meanwhile, 28 percent said it should be legal for medicinal uses only.

“We are pleased to see yet another poll showing a majority of Colorado voters are ready to end prohibition and adopt a more sensible approach to marijuana,” said Mason Tvert, head of the campaign to legalize it. “Keeping marijuana illegal is creating more problems than it has solved, and it’s costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year.”

More than 300 doctors statewide, including more than two dozen on the Western Slope, have endorsed the ballot question to legalize marijuana, the campaign favoring Amendment 64 announced Tuesday.

Some of the practicing physicians said while they’ve seen numerous injuries and accidents because of abuse of alcohol, they rarely see such things with marijuana.

Dr. Bruce Madison, former associate medical director at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said it makes sense for that reason and others to approve the ballot question, which calls for regulating marijuana similar to how alcohol is controlled.

“As physicians we have a professional obligation to do no harm,” Madison said. “But the truth is that the Colorado marijuana laws do just that by wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed war on marijuana by ruining thousands of lives by unnecessary arrest and incarceration, and by causing the deaths of hundreds of people killed in black-market criminal activities.”

Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said the doctors have joined a growing list of professionals from all walks of life in support of the idea.

Last week, a group of Republicans came out in support of the measure, including former congressman Tom Tancredo.

Tancredo said it is possible to disagree with using marijuana but still agree that it shouldn’t be illegal. He questioned why all Republicans who believe in limited government and personal responsibility aren’t also endorsing the measure.

Still, several Republicans and Democrats have come out against the amendment, including House Speaker Frank McNulty and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to recent polls, including one conducted by the University of Denver last week, the measure has a chance of passing.

According to the university’s telephone poll of 604 likely voters, 50 percent said they support the amendment compared with 40 percent who oppose it.

Twenty-one percent said it should never be legal, while 47 percent said it should be regulated like alcohol. Meanwhile, 28 percent said it should be legal for medicinal uses only.

“We are pleased to see yet another poll showing a majority of Colorado voters are ready to end prohibition and adopt a more sensible approach to marijuana,” said Mason Tvert, head of the campaign to legalize it. “Keeping marijuana illegal is creating more problems than it has solved, and it’s costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year.”


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