Marijuana Legalization Effort Draws Support from Conservatives

July 27, 2012
By

GREEN LIGHT: Support for ending Marijuana prohibition is finding support among mainstream conservatives

DENVER—It’s not just long-haired hippies and Bob Marley fans who want marijuana regulation in Colorado—it’s also some red-blooded conservatives in suits and ties.

That was the scene Thursday in Denver when a group of conservatives, headed by Joe Megyesy, former communications director for GOP Congressman Mike Coffman, met with representatives from The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol to discuss the issue of marijuana regulation and Amendment 64.

“I just think marijuana prohibition is another failed policy of big government,” Megyesy said. “There’s a better way to deal with it: treating it, taxing it and regulating it like alcohol is a better way to handle it where we currently are.”

Also in attendance at the information session was Amendment 64 campaign guru Mason Tvert, who said there’s no reason marijuana regulation can’t have bipartisan backing.

“Ultimately, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political spectrum,” Tvert said. “We have, for example, people like Pat Robertson, an evangelical, conservative leader, who has voiced support for ending marijuana prohibition and treating it like alcohol; then we also have people like [liberal congressman] Barney Frank, who also say we should end marijuana prohibition and treat it like alcohol.”

Robertson, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, was featured in a billboard put up last week in Grand Junction by Tvert’s group. The sign advocates for marijuana regulation, saying “Pat Robertson would vote YES on 64. Will you?”

“These are people who otherwise would be considered on the opposite side of the spectrum,” Tvert said. “But this is an issue that affects so many different areas of our lives, that people on both sides can find common ground.”

Amendment 64 would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over in Colorado and regulate it similarly to alcohol. If passed, Colorado would become the first state to legalize the drug for non-medicinal, recreational purposes.

Conservatives are split on the proposed amendment. Opponents, led by Republican Attorney General John Suthers and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, argue that legalizing marijuana would promote increased drug use and impaired driving, while setting up Colorado for a legal skirmish with federal authorities.

Other conservatives, like former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, have argued that regulating marijuana would be a better use of government resources, and that adults should have the personal freedom to make their own decisions about marijuana as they do with alcohol.

“Whether it’s a matter of it being a waste of resources on an ineffective policy, or it being a policy promoting an underground market, it’s also a personal liberty issue for many people who feel alcohol prohibition did not work and marijuana prohibition is not working,” Tvert said.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

19 Responses to Marijuana Legalization Effort Draws Support from Conservatives

  1. Paul R
    July 27, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I am a 4 tour Iraq War combat Veteran and I support the legalization effort.

    • Ben
      July 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      Thank you for those 4 tours! I appreciate you keeping my family and I safe!

    • James M
      July 30, 2012 at 6:22 am

      Thanks for your service brother. Thank you so much

  2. Mark Godfrey
    July 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

    So conservatives don’t like giant, expensive government programs that let armed gangs crash through your front window, kill your pets, and put guns to your children’s heads over a tiny, personal, harmless houseplant?

    Why, that would mean they are REAL conservatives.

  3. David J. McDonough
    July 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, argues that legalizing marijuana would promote increased drug use and impaired driving, while setting up Colorado for a legal skirmish with federal authorities.

    The first part: Would it now?! What are you a psychic? The truth as seen by me is that there was much less before this war on drug people and the prohibition is a direct cause of increased consumption of illegals. And, that their prohibition of pot (Cannabis), that showed me that they were lying!
    The second part; Go, that is what we want.

  4. Tom
    July 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I am a decorated ex para that supports legalization. I am also a father of four young boys, I believe I would rather the drug market was properly controlled, rather than the free for all we have now.

  5. Jackson
    July 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I support the legalization effort. Its all backwards, alcohol can impair a person much more than marijuana. Since 2008 there have been 6000+ alcohol related deaths. There still hasnt been even 1 to this day that had to do with the use of marijuana.

    • Germany
      July 28, 2012 at 9:40 am

      6000+ alcohol related death? In Germany we have about 40000 death – every year! I think it must be much more in the States, too!

  6. Christopher Jackson-Lacy
    July 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    There has never been an marijuana overdose…yet alcohol and tobacco related deaths are in the millions…There are obviously more pros than cons with cannabis. The pharmaceutical companies would go out of business since herbal medicine would go on the rise; think about it, who gives the most money to campaigns?…I think its more about the money as to why the government won’t legalize…

  7. Clyde Ory Jr.
    July 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    The legalization or Marijuana will create more economic growth in the United States Of America With out selling a drop.. (1.Less man power needed on the fight against drugs.. (2. Less money needed for the staffing of jails/prisons and not to mention the MILLIONS being brought in on the taxation of Marijuana… It takes a blind man not to see that this would get us out of what we are spiraling into economically… That is ALL!!!

  8. kyle c
    July 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I am an Iraq war veteran that suffers from chronic PTSD and I support the legalization effort on amendment 64.

  9. mark
    July 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    i love hearing people in favor of legalization. let’s get this done and move forward. this is silly.

  10. Clinton T.
    July 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I hope the legislation passes and Colorado ignites the firestorm that has been brewing for decades. It is long since time to effect change and assert our right to choose what we do and what we want to put into our bodies. There are no good arguments to keep marijuana illegal as every argument has been debunked or cannot be proven as it relies on fallacies. First Colorado and then the other 49 states.

  11. Steve
    July 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I am a disabled veteran who uses cannabis instead of opioid pain medicines. Since making the switch, both my liver and kidney function has returned to normal. I’m much healthier with cannabis. Legalization only makes sense when you look at the proven facts about this plant.

  12. M.J.
    July 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    We can’t afford to pay for good schools and universities, but we can sure afford to pay for cops and prisons to lock up users of the most harmless “drug” on the planet? What kind of priorities does this country have? Add to that the impact legalization would have on the violence in Mexico in the long term. After all, if anyone could buy it at their local store or grow it in their backyard greenhouse, why the hell would we need any crap weed from Mexican cartels anyway? Whether or not you believe that hard drugs should be legal, there is no rational reason to not want safe, legal access to marijuana. And the taxes and employment that would come along with it would hardly be harmful in this economy!

  13. Matt
    July 29, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Thanks for making pot illegal, now our children are subject to K2/spice and bath salts. Chalk the synthetic drug market up as another byproduct of a failed/rediculous policy on a plant. These drugs are really dangerous, they really kill people, and we have zero control over them. You may lose your life using them but at least you wont lose your job!

    So much focus is on marijuana in this amendment that another real economy booster gets over looked. Let Colorado farmers cultivate industrialized hemp and watch a surge in new businesses, jobs and products prosper. Why the hell is hemp still illegal? Can we get mythbusters on it or something?

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