Most Colorado residents think legal marijuana has made a positive impact on the state’s economy, according to a new poll.
A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project finds a strong 61 percent of the state’s voters are pleased with their decision to support Amendment 64. The majority opinion is that the legal cannabis trade has served as a boost to the economy – not a scourge against society like the anti-pot groups would like people to believe.
“The folks who are trying to keep marijuana illegal in this country tell a lot of scary stories and spread a lot of myths about Colorado,” Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “If you ask a typical Colorado voter, you’re likely to hear a more positive and realistic account of how things are going.”
Still, not everyone is thrilled about Colorado’s cannabis trade. Thirty-six percent said they would support an initiative to repeal the state’s marijuana law if one appeared on the ballot. But in spite of a few unhappy campers, the survey shows that the passing of Amendment 64 has helped strengthen the Colorado economy, some of which has been done through the creation of new jobs.
The survey finds that one out of every four Colorado residents has a friend or family member who works in the cannabis industry.
“Coloradans can see that regulating marijuana works,” Tvert said. “Voters approved Amendment 64 because they wanted marijuana to be controlled and taxed similarly to alcohol, and that is exactly what is taking place. It’s pretty clear that any proposal to repeal it and revert back to prohibition would go down in flames.”
As it stands, five states -- Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada – are preparing to put similar ballot measures in front of voters later this fall. In those states, opposing forces have launched multi-million dollar campaigns aimed at keeping legalizing from becoming a reality. The same scenario happened in Colorado back in 2012, but as Tvert points out, the naysayers were wrong.
“Opponents of Amendment 64 told voters the state would fall apart if they approved Amendment 64, but they could not have been more wrong,” he said. “They said it would hurt the economy, but the economy is booming.
“They said it would hurt tourism, but we have more visitors spending more money than ever. They said the rate of teen use would increase, but state officials confirm it has not. And they said it wouldn’t actually raise any tax revenue, but it has already exceeded expectations and generated tens of millions of dollars for schools and other important programs.”
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, said earlier this year that the state has not experienced any of the problems that were predicted to emerge from legal cannabis.