Polls, funds are high
Two big developments from the fight to change the way marijuana's governed:
First, a June 6 survey of 500 likely Colorado voters from Rasmussen Reports shows that 61 percent of those polled "favor legalizing marijuana if it is regulated the way alcohol and cigarettes are," reads the summary. "A ... telephone survey in the Centennial State shows that 27% of voters oppose legalization even with government regulation, while 12% are undecided."
Though California's 2010 like-minded initiative, Proposition 19, was also polling very well prior to its eventual defeat, supporters of Amendment 64 were jubilant.
"The vast majority of Coloradans appear to be ready to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a more responsible system in which it is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol," reads a statement from Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. "Our current system of prohibition is the worst possible system when it comes to keeping marijuana away from teens. It is driving marijuana into the underground market where proof of age is not required and where other illegal products might be available."
Second is the news that the amendment's opposition group, Smart Colorado, will be headed by none other than former 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Ken "I do not wear high heels" Buck.
Here's Aldworth again, talking to Westword on Monday: "Ken Buck has demonstrated over and over again that he's disconnected from the concerns of women in this state. And what we've been talking about from the beginning of this campaign — ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition — is going to rest on the shoulders of women in Colorado. And women are concerned about this issue."
The Denver Post reported Monday that supporters of Amendment 64 had raised almost $2 million to date, while the opposition has brought in some $15,000.
Faith was rewarded Monday as a jury declared Elisa Kappelmann not guilty on all counts of marijuana possession and distribution. The former co-owner of Southern Colorado Medical Marijuana was the only one in a group charged during 2010's so-called Beacon Street raids to take the case to trial. That a case was ever brought against the former Hewlett-Packard employee is something the jury never understood, says her attorney Rob Corry.
"We did have the chance to talk to them after the verdict came down, and I couldn't answer the question," he says. "Because I never understood why this case was brought by the prosecutor, other than maybe to prove a political point; which I think has proven the opposite point he probably wanted to prove."
District Attorney Dan May's office did not return a request for comment.