According to a poll by SmithJohnson Research, 51 percent of 600 likely voters in Colorado said they would vote against marijuana legalization if it came up today.
The survey results show a change in mood in less than three years. Amendment 64 was on the ballot in 2012 and almost 55 percent of Colorado voters supported legalizing recreational marijuana. However, based on current observations, 45 percent said they would strongly oppose the measure. Only 36% said they would be strongly for the measure if it were on a ballot now.
“Voters seem to be having some buyer’s remorse,” said Val Smith, polling and research director from Sacramento-based SmithJohnson Research. “They don’t like the impact Amendment 64 has had on their state across some very important dimensions, like edibles, teen drug use and impaired driving.” This news follows recent trends around the country which show that marijuana is losing in the states and in the courts.
The top-cited concerns of voters were edible marijuana products and driving under the influence of marijuana.
Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Florida and President of SAM, said: “After two years of increased marijuana usei, a growing proliferation of marijuana candies aimed at children, more arrests in schools for potii, a jump in the number of people publicly using marijuanaiii, and an increase in marijuana-related driving citationsiv, we shouldn’t be surprised that Coloradans are coming around to opposing legalization.”
“It’s time for a renewed conversation about marijuana in Colorado,” said Ben Cort, Colorado SAM Member and an addiction treatment professional. Bob Doyle, chair of Colorado SAM said, “We intend to kick-start those conversations so that Coloradans – rather than the marijuana industry – can determine the future of their own state.” SAM stands for Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a nationwide effort to cut down on marijuana usage.
Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth sponsored the poll. The nonprofit organization based in San Diego promotes state, federal and international drug policies that keep drugs out of the hands of youth. The poll, which was conducted over the phone with 600 self-identified 2012 voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.
iNational Survey on Drug Use and Health, Colorado State Estimates (2014).
iiDenver Police Department Versadex and OSI database (2014).
iiiDenver Police Department, 2014
ivDenver Police Department, Data from Aurora and Denver through Dec 1, 2014.