Education group opposes pot measure

One week after Gov. John Hickenlooper came out against a ballot measure to legalize marijuana, the Colorado Education Association has followed suit.

The teachers’ group did that by way of endorsing the opposition to Amendment 64, which calls for regulating marijuana like alcohol.

The group cited one of the same reasons Hickenlooper pointed to last week.

“We remain incredibly concerned about the impact of having additional access to marijuana ... on our students and our schools,” CEA president Kerrie Dallman said Wednesday, adding that she’s seen the effect marijuana has on students. “I could see over the course of a semester or a year (students’) motivation decrease dramatically, and I could begin to see the real effects of depression begin to set in, and that had real and lasting impacts on their success in school.”

Supporters of the measure says the CEA’s opposition makes little sense because the ballot issue calls for dedicating tax revenues from the sale of marijuana to funding public school buildings.

Betty Aldworth, campaign advocacy director for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said proponents were further confused by the CEA’s position because it had a hand in drafting the ballot issue, and vowed to remain neutral during the campaign.

“It’s odd that our opponents are criticizing the idea of Amendment 64 directing new revenue toward public school construction, as it was embraced by the CEA when it contributed that very idea during the drafting process ... but that’s politics for you,” Aldworth said.

“It’s understandable that an organization like CEA would want to toe the line of the powers that be, but it’s unfortunate that they are playing politics when the future of Colorado schools, and the health and safety of our children, are at stake.”

Later today, proponents of the measure plan to hold a news conference in Denver announcing a number of former law enforcement officials and prosecutors who are in favor of the amendment, including such groups as Blacks in Law Enforcement of America and the National Latino Officers Association.


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