Opposition to Colorado's Amendment 64, an initiative on the November ballot that seeks to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol, has begun. And at the helm of the anti-Amendment 64 boat is former U.S. Senate candidate -- and current Weld County District Attorney -- Ken Buck.
According to a Denver Post story published Monday, Ken Buck is organizing the "leadership group" for Smart Colorado, a vaguely-named committee opposed to the regulation measure.
A website dedicated to opposing Amendment 64, VoteNoOn64.com, set up by Smart Colorado, features bullet points central to the group's main message and arguments for voting against the measure.
In addition to Ken Buck, the Colorado Secretary of State reports Smart Colorado was registered by Jon Anderson, an attorney with Holland & Hart, and a domain name search for VoteNoOn64.com states the website was registered by Roger Sherman, the COO at CRL Associates, a Denver-based lobbying and public policy group.
“The people that we’re talking to don’t want to see [marijuana regulated like alcohol] in Colorado,” said Sherman to the Colorado Statesman in an early-June interview. “There’s great legal issues around this -- it’s bad for business as far as employers are concerned and it impacts how employers deal with their employees. We’re talking about huge ramifications on our children, on our state, and just the whole impacts on health and education.”
"We welcome the news that Ken Buck has been selected to be one of the public faces of their campaign," the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol (CRMA) responded in a press release. The release continues:
From the day we turned in our signatures, we have been talking about the importance of reaching out to female voters ... [The women of this state] will consider the facts and make thoughtful decisions on their own. We are comforted by the fact that if as many women support Amendment 64 as opposed Ken Buck in 2010, we will cruise to victory in November.
The CRMA release alludes to Buck's 2010 U.S. Senate campaign loss to Michael Bennet, which has been partially attributed to a failure to connect with women.
News of Buck's involvement with the campaign arrived the same day a Rasmussen survey found 61 percent of Colorado voters support regulating marijuana similar to alcohol and cigarettes.
That is the highest percentage of Colorado voter support that any marijuana legalization poll has shown to date. In December of 2011, a similar survey conducted by Public Policy Polling showed only 49 percent in favor of general legalization of marijuana.
56 percent of delegates to the Denver County Republican Assembly voted to support Amendment 64 in March of this year, and in April, the Colorado Democratic Party officially endorsed Amendment 64, adding a marijuana legalization plank to the current party platform in the process.
November's vote on Amendment 64 will be the second time Coloradans have voted on recreational pot legislation -- state voters considered and rejected a similar legalization initiative in 2006.
Below, where you can find legalized medical marijuana in the United States: