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Tomorrow morning, Jan. 1, 2014, retail marijuana shops will open here in Colorado.
 Voters approved the legalization of possession and sale of marijuana in November 2012 by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
In a separate ballot measure in November 2013, voters approved a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana.
There is little doubt that the 2012 ballot measure helped President Obama win Colorado, though he may very well have done so without it.
Marijuana legalization efforts, in my view, represent a great opportunity for progressive candidates in coming years.

The maps tell the story below the fold.

The counties that went for Obama (in blue) nearly mirror the counties that went for marijuana legalization (in green).
This is not surprising.

But the issue of marijuana legalization also gave Republicans a severe wedgie in places like conservative Weld County.
And it likely boosted turnout among liberal leaning younger voters.

I would assert that that getting ballot measures for legalization of marijuana in select states in 2014 and 2016 would be a big help to Democratic Party candidates.
It should be a high priority.
The issue will deeply split the Republican Party.
Aside from Rand Paul it is hard to envision any other presidential contender being ready to accept legalization in 2016, for instance.

Heck, if it could get on the ballot in Texas it would shake things up dramatically.
And how about this scenario for 2016:
A Democratic presidential nominee for legalization.
And a Republican nominee for continued prohibition.

Let’s bring this debate on!

As for Colorado, it's going to be something of a yawner.
Marijuana is already widely available of course and already legal to possess and grow.
The opening of the retail shops certainly is a milestone.

Communities across the state still have the option to ban sales, though they cannot ban possession by adults over 21 and the right to grow up to six plants.

Marijuana legalization is already no big deal up here in Colorado.

But it drives the Republican church ladies crazy!
Bring it on!

Originally posted to EZ writer on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity and DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There is an initiative (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kharma, AoT, beav, linkage, The Technomancer

    circulating right now in California so if they get the signatures it will be on the ballot here this year.

    •  That'll be a tough nut to crack. (3+ / 0-)

      Namely, the current setup of a medical industry coupled with  de facto decriminalization ($100 fine that most police don't even bother with) is doing just fine, and few of the current growers, pot doctors, and dispensaries support full legalization since it opens them up to a lot of competition.

      When I renewed my card, I was even told by the pot doc I went to to "stay on the medical side of this debate".

      It'll eventually happen...the current situation of "legal if you pay a $45 fee to a doctor that does nothing but write recs for pot" is absurd.  It's just a matter of overcoming both inertia in the political realm and active opposition both from social conservatives and the current medical setup.

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Clarke's Third Law

      by The Technomancer on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:30:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with the diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, lostboyjim, nirbama

    But this:

    A Democratic presidential nominee for legalization.  And a Republican nominee for continued prohibition.
    Might take much longer.  Even our AG was at the Supreme Court arguing against medical marijuana.  Marijauna is not supported by the corporations that run our government.  It's too easy to produce on your own and is likely to cut into  big pharma's profits.

    If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

    by kharma on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:13:22 AM PST

    •  You're not wrong, but... (6+ / 0-)

      big pharma is only one campaign revenue stream. Chemical manufacturers such as DuPont are in a better position to incorporate hemp seed oil over petroleum bases than they were when they first agitated for prohibition. The logging industry, now that they've decimated all the old growth forests, should welcome the chance at a prolific source of plant fiber.

      In other words, the public support for wacky tobbacky can be shored up on the corporate side by the huge industrial potential of hemp. If, you know, certain people could see their way to pulling their heads out of their asses.

      One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

      by Darwinian Detritus on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:50:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hoping that Oregon (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nirbama, AoT, Odysseus, spacecadet1

    hops on board next time around.  We were relatively close last time, but my understanding was that the initiative was not put together as well as WA and CO....

  •  I've been saying this for a while (4+ / 0-)

    and it's nice to have some evidence to back my claims up finally. We should get legal weed on the ballot in every state for 2010. The dems will win the vote of a generation if they legalize it.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:55:49 AM PST

  •  Wyoming: The Canary In The Coal Mine? (5+ / 0-)

    One state to watch might be Wyoming which at present is totally controlled by the conservative/Republican/Tea Party. A GOP State Senator has admitted to supplying marijuana to a cancer stricken relative decades ago and has indicated he will try to introduce legislation to legalize medical marijuana in the state. There are also efforts underway to have legalization of marijuana placed on the 2016 ballot as a constitutional amendment.

    Now don't get me wrong I expect to see a ferocious push back against even the suggestion of medical marijuana but its worth watching because if it can happen in Wyoming it can happen anywhere.  

    Collect Different Days

    by Homers24 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:30:37 AM PST

  •  DC may be making some headway here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Calamity Jean

    I prefer full legalization, but decriminalization is certainly a step forward.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:54:32 AM PST

    •  I've found this issue... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darwinian Detrius, AoT, Apost8 be one where there's a large block of the conservative base that can be mobilized in favor of it when presented with the correct argument.  Social conservatives aren't a fertile field to try to grow votes from, but I believe that business conservatives who want a shot at a mostly virgin market (and are willing to pay taxes for a shot at that opportunity) and right-libertarians who don't see a place for government regulating people's "sin" habits can be approached as fellow travelers on this issue.

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Clarke's Third Law

      by The Technomancer on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:33:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

      Decrim can be poisonous to legalization. I saw that in action in California in the '70s. After the California Marijuana Initiative very narrowly failed the legislature passed the first "decrim" law lowering the penalty to a $100 fine. After that you couldn't get anyone to get off his ass to write his name on a petition for CMI 2. People said "it's already legal so why should I bother?" when that wasn't true at all. That set us back for a generation.

      “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

      by spacecadet1 on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:31:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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