Guv: Pot measure wrong for Colorado

A measure to legalize marijuana in the state is wrong for Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday.

The Democratic governor said legalizing marijuana would send the wrong message to the state’s youth.

“Colorado is known for many great things, marijuana should not be one of them,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Amendment 64 has the potential to increase the number of children using drugs and would detract from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are OK.”

The measure, known as Amendment 64, would allow marijuana to be regulated like alcohol.

Under it, liquor store-like retail outlets could be opened to sell the weed but under strict state and local regulations.

Hickenlooper said that unlike medical marijuana centers, which the federal government has allowed, this is much different.

“Federal laws would remain unchanged in classifying marijuana as a Schedule I substance, and federal authorities have been clear they will not turn a blind eye toward states attempting to trump those laws,” he said.

Meanwhile, backers of the measure were in state district court Wednesday to challenge proposed wording in the state’s Blue Book, the voter information guide produced by the Colorado Legislature outlining the pros and cons of all ballot measures.

The court dismissed their challenge.

Mason Tvert, head of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said the Blue Book unfairly omits wording that says marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.

“This is just the latest example of government officials skewing information about marijuana and deceiving the public in order to maintain the wasteful policy of marijuana prohibition,” Tvert said. “We are comforted by the fact that such egregious deception of the public will provide further momentum for our campaign. The public doesn’t like being deceived, and many voters may end up voting for Amendment 64 as a protest vote against dishonest government.”

In addition to being less harmful, the deleted arguments were to say that marijuana offenses are too severe, and law enforcement resources would be better spent on more serious crimes.

But Hickenlooper said that can be dealt with without legalizing the drug.

“While we are sympathetic to the unfairness of burdening young people with felony records for often minor marijuana transgressions, we trust that state lawmakers and district attorneys will work to mitigate such inequities,” he said.


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