Cox refuses to tell marijuana stance
David Cox freely admitted he likes to drink, but he won’t say if he still supports decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana as he has in the past.
In 2006, Cox was active in getting Amendment 44 on the state ballot, even being paid to circulate petitions, according to campaign finance records and his own interviews with The Daily Sentinel at the time.
But when questioned about it last week, the Republican candidate for House District 54 repeatedly refused to say where he stood on the subject.
“I do not want to be mischaracterized,” Cox said. “If I cannot provide a detailed explanation of my opinions and why I believe the things I believe, then it does me no good to just have a blurb of maybe a single sentence that allows everyone to rely on their own past beliefs in terms of legalizing or not legalizing, and it gives me absolutely no time or explanation of why I think the things I do.”
Instead, Cox referred readers to his website, http://www.davidcoxcoloradorep54.com, which includes detailed descriptions of his opinions on a variety of subjects. Nowhere, though, does he address marijuana, much less legalizing or decriminalizing it.
Cox was quoted in numerous press accounts of the 2006 failed effort to decriminalize possession of one ounce of marijuana, including posing for a Daily Sentinel photo with Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER Colorado, a Denver-based group that got Amendment 44 onto the ballot and had a similar measure passed by Denver voters in 2005.
In one Sentinel story the day after the amendment failed, Cox said he would continue to break the law and smoke the illicit weed wherever he liked.
On Thursday, Tvert said he remembers Cox as a major proponent of the amendment, and that he even stayed at Cox’s Orchard Mesa home during campaigning.
“He was almost like a coordinator out there (in Mesa County), doing a lot of work for us,” Tvert said. “He certainly did a lot of grass-roots, activism work, collecting signatures, distributing literature and yard signs, stuff like that. He donated money to us to put up the billboard that we put up in Grand Junction.”
“He’s definitely committed to the cause, or at least he was,” Tvert added. “He was definitely a gung-ho supporter in this. I hope he still is.”
Cox said he wouldn’t discuss his opinions about marijuana with the public until he gets on the primary ballot, saying the only voters he needs to concern himself with now are delegates for the House District 54 assembly.
He said he already discussed it with Republican Party members who will be choosing candidates in the May 8 assembly, and they were fine with his stance on the subject.
But his two GOP challengers for the seat, Ray Scott and Robert Hislop, said they doubted that. Both said legalizing or decriminalizing the herbal weed would be a bad idea, and that they were pleased Colorado voters rejected it by a 60-40 percent margin.
“Being a lawman ... what I would do is have stricter restrictions,” said Hislop, a former U.S. Secret Service agent.
“I absolutely believe we should not legalize marijuana,” Scott added. “They’re calling it medical marijuana now, and I think that’s kind of a disguise. What’s our next step? Medical crack?”