Young Voters Left Holding Baggie on Pot

Young Voters Left Holding Baggie on Pot
Posted by CN Staff on October 24, 2006 at 06:30:02 PT
By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
Source: Rocky Mountain News
Fort Collins, CO -- The ballot was a long, strange trip for Lauren Vogel, a 19-year-old Colorado State University student taking part in the first day of early voting on the campus. But when it came to Amendment 44, she didn't hesitate. "I voted no," she said simply.
No matter, according to Mason Tvert, the campaign director for the ballot measure seeking to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over. Monday was the day he got a chance to reap the rewards of working the campus hard to register young people to vote in an effort to spur the initiative to victory. "It was really exciting to see the people who never voted before get out on something they cared about," Tvert said. "A lot said they registered for just this and they would only vote on it. I'm not saying that's a good thing. But they got out there, and they're participating." Tvert, with the help of the campus Libertarian Party, began registering students months ago at a small table outside the student center. Because election rules prohibited him from being within 100 feet of the voting center, he staged a rally in the open space outside and had all the volunteers dressed in green with the SAFER logo on it. SAFER is the nonprofit voter-education group spearheading the campaign. SAFER stands for the Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation. Vogel, who said she felt pot was readily available already and didn't feel the need to legitimize it further, saw the pro-44 forces outside the center but already had made her decision. Not so for Scott Metz, a 25-year-old construction-management major who happily said he voted for the ballot measure. Metz said he began his college career as a law enforcement major but became disillusioned with the war on drugs. He said the war was a lost cause and that resources were wasted on busting those who smoke marijuana. "Overall, it's just stupid - the gateway drug thing and the amount of money spent chasing after people who want to smoke marijuana," he said. "We could spend that money better on other things." Kristen Singer also voted for the measure, saying Tvert was smart to try to target younger voters, who she said are "more likely to listen to all the arguments" about marijuana use. "We're not from the Reefer Madness generation, so we're more likely to give it a fair look," she said. "But then again, I think my mom and dad are going to vote for it, too." The early voting area on campus consisted of 32 voting machines and opened at 8 a.m. Nancy Lubinski, the school's early voting supervisor, said traffic at the polling place was "pretty slow," with students "trickling in throughout the day." By late afternoon, most of the booths were open, with just a couple of students hunched over the long ballot. Lubin-ski said early voting would continue on campus for two weeks and would be open each day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Complete Article: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)Author:  David Montero, Rocky Mountain NewsPublished: October 24, 2006Copyright: 2006 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice at Heart of Pot Debate Logical Reason To Punish Adults for Marijuana Should Be Allowed To Choose 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on October 25, 2006 at 18:32:44 PT
That would be scary. I have noticed that the north west is getting more conservative or at least it seems that way to me. We have more signs for Democrats then Republicans around here but people are angry about the corruption in the Republicans in our state. We should win as long as the election is fair this time but I just can't believe it will be fair. I just don't trust them. 
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Comment #16 posted by museman on October 25, 2006 at 18:04:24 PT
Today I had to go to the city. Everywhere I looked are political signs. Miles and miles of 'em. The scary part is, I haven't seen a single one for a Democrat yet. Not one.Around here there's a lot of 'good 'ol boy' mentality. I am surprised however, that with the new influx of population here due to the brief housing boom, that the politics have not gotten a bit more metropolitan. Now I begin to wonder if there is not some kind of Republican conspiracy to displace the poorer democrats, represented around here by the 'working middle class' with the 'higher' class retirees. There are more than a few hundred new homes that have gone up in the rural community I live in. I estimate the population to have risen at least above 20 to 25% in one year. That estimate may be very low.Where the pickup truck, and the concern of 'function' over aesthetics reflected in the local choice of vehicles used to reign, is now bumper to bumper brand new SUVs, Cadillacs...I even see quite a few stretch limos on other days besides prom nites. But what I don't see are any political signs for Democrats anywhere around.Scary.
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Comment #15 posted by ekim on October 25, 2006 at 13:54:52 PT
SSDP Conference Speakers Announced
SSDP is excited to announce that speakers for this year's SSDP conference include Clarence Page (Chicago Tribune), Terry Michael (former DNC Press Secretary), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (invited), Radley Balko (Reason Magazine), Pete Guither (Drug War Rant), Ethan Nadelmann, (Drug Policy Alliance), Rob Kampia (Marijuana Policy Project), Steph Sherer (Americans for Safe Access), and more! Register now at Oct 26 06 KBPI 106.7 FM's The Uncle Nasty Show 03:00 PM Norm Stamper Denver Colorado USA 
 The Nasty Show. LISTEN LIVE! Oct 26 06 SAFER Press Conference 11:30 AM Norm Stamper Denver Colorado USA 
 Retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper to speak at the SAFER press conference at the County Court House at 1437 Banick St in DenverOct 26 06 "Marijuana the Unnecessary War" 07:00 PM Norm Stamper Denver Colorado USA 
 Sponsored by Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). Location: Boettcher Hall, University of Denver. Oct 27 06 Fundraiser for SAFER 07:00 PM Norm Stamper Denver Colorado USA 
 Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). Fundrasier at the Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver. Information at
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on October 25, 2006 at 13:06:00 PT
Your comment brought tears to my eyes. I'm afraid that if we don't get Democrats in power it's all over for all of us. We will live in that police state that has been creeping in under this administration. We are watching Roger Waters - The Wall - Live in Berlin. When the Wall comes down in the end I feel so liberated but now we are building a Wall and it really is breaking my heart. I wish I didn't care like I do. It wouldn't cause me so much distress.
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Comment #13 posted by museman on October 25, 2006 at 12:34:55 PT
I am worried too. If the republicans retain their stranglehold, I'm afraid that hope for a decent future will be an unrealistic emotion.Years ago I had a recurring dream. I was escaping from a school that had been converted into a minimum security holding facility. Most of the country was under martial law, and citizens had to show up and be counted twice daily at a 'block' party which was held at a church that had been taken over by the government for just such a purpose.In the dream I escaped, and symbolicly significant was that there was a garbage bag full of herb sitting there near the door, which I took up in my escape.For many dreams it was the same, I escaped, and ran into the woods with the bag of herb. Then I had the 'continuance.'I came out of the woods into a suburban neighborhood (carrying the bag), and went to a certain house and knocked on the door. This neighborhood was typicly middle class - nice houses, but very silent. No children. No people walking down the street, no barking dogs, no evidence of normal habitation at all eerily silent.I was admitted to the house after revealing the code word that I had. In the dream there were certain implied understandings; I was on a mission to extract some people and get them out of the police-state-zone, to a place where many of us had already fled (I wish I knew where, I'd go there now). I was a conductor on the new underground railway.We had to make an appearance at the local church for the evening 'block party.The atmosphere of that 'party' reminded me of what I'd thought communist Russia must have been like during it's early days, fear and apprehension so thick you could taste it.The party was nearly over, but the cops began selecting persons, and lining them up to be taken God knew where-but most people figured it was to detention, torture, and eventually they would just disappear.I recognized one of the people that had been selected. he was an old friend of mine from my rainbow days, and he called me by my old rainbow name (which at the time of the dream I still went by, but in the dream, I hadn't gone by that name in years. He was (is right now) a 'pot lawyer' in Ca. They hauled them away, and my dream ended.For a few years after that I worried that the police state I dreamed so vividly of would surely come to pass, but Clinton came to power, and I thought maybe we had managed to avoid that future.Now I am afraid that most of that police state has already been legislated into being. If the people don't get off their TV couch this election, we may not have another chance. I'll be looking for that safe haven, I know it's somewhere- and it's not in any city, I guarantee that.I still hope for the best. I'll know by the end of the first week of November.
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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on October 25, 2006 at 12:30:19 PT
 Journal Advocate, The (Sterling, CO)
US CO: PUB LTE: Ballot analysis contains fabrication Pubdate: 23 Oct 2006Source: Journal Advocate, The (Sterling, CO)Viewed at: 
Ballot analysis contains fabrication EDITOR:The Analysis of the 2006 Ballot Proposals, printed, published and distributed by the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly, contains a very blatant fabrication, which is obviously intended to mislead the Colorado voting public.On page 27 of the “analysis” it reads, “It would also include transferring up to 1 ounce of marijuana to another individual 15 years or older as long as there is no compensation.”This is absolutely untrue. Amendment 44 would not enable anyone under the age of 21 to have anything to do with marijuana. This misinformation is intended to sway voters who would approve legal possession for over-21-year-olds, but would not approve of younger persons having anything to do with it. There is s a lawsuit in process because of this lie. But, in spite of the lawsuit, the Legislative Council of the General Assembly has continued to print and distribute their “analysis.”This dirty trick is the product of people who obviously don't believe in democracy. They want things their way, no matter what the majority wants. Printing, publishing and distributing an outright lie intended to mislead voters is illegal, and I hope the guilty parties are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.Whether or not this amendment passes, or should or should not pass, we as a society should not tolerate criminal behavior that is intended to “pull the wool over our eyes.” Amendment 44 would only enable adults over the age of 21 to possess marijuana. I encourage all Colorado voters to disregard the Legislative Council's “analysis.” Just read the amendment's text on page 66. Shame on the Legislative Council for engaging in such an undemocratic act.FROM:Charles Marcinkiewicz, Golden
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on October 25, 2006 at 11:20:40 PT
I am very worried about this election. I wish I wasn't but at least in my state there is a good chance of getting a Democrat as Governor. Our poor state can't take another Republican. They let all the jobs go away. I think sometimes the only way to make a powerful military is to not have good jobs for young men and they will join the Army like in other poor countries. I hope I'm wrong.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 25, 2006 at 11:16:34 PT
What about Poems, Prayers and Promises? That's what made me think he was pro-pot. 
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Comment #9 posted by museman on October 25, 2006 at 11:12:59 PT
Not to disparage the talent of John Denver, but if you research your history you will find that he was strongly anti-pot. He had at least one of his former band members arrested for posession, and did numerous TV shows supporting the governments reefer-madness stand on it. His song "Rocky Mountain High" he said himself had nothing to do with pot, and was about the 'natural high' of being in the mountains (which without the anti-pot attitude is fine.)
I used to play a lot of his tunes until I found this out.Colorado is very conservative politically, and there has been a struggle between the 'imported liberals' that moved there in the '80's and '90's, and the traditional military-oriented government. My last marijuana arrest was in Colorado, and I can tell you from experience that the state and local law enforcement agencies are just as fascist as anywhwere else.The current movement is part of a national trend, and has nothing to do with John Denver - not at all.I do hope for the best, however. We got our ballots yesterday, and rest assured no Republicans are going to slip past my pencil.
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Comment #8 posted by Wayne on October 25, 2006 at 05:01:43 PT
clue for Mason
"'I am not spending a dime of taxpayer money right now,' an angry Suthers retorted.Heather Janik, spokeswoman who accompanied Burns from Washington, D.C., later said expenses were paid by the Office of National Drug Control Policy."Umm, and where does the ONDCP get their money? How is that not spending taxpayer money, someone tell me please?? I would expect nothing less than for Mason to grab onto this and milk it for all it's worth.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on October 24, 2006 at 21:40:18 PT
Grand Junction Free Press (CO) 
US CO: High time for pot law, supporters say Pubdate: 13 Oct 2006Source: Grand Junction Free Press (CO) Author: Paul Shockley Fiewed at: 
High time for pot law, supporters sayWhite House official, state’s attorney general, clash with pro-pot forcesWill Colorado become the “pot capital of America”?  Is marijuana the safer alternative to alcohol?  And who paid for a press gathering Thursday in a conference room at the Doubletree Hotel, where federal, state and local officials urged voters to reject a pro-pot initiative on Colorado’s November ballot?  The last question became the topic of a heated exchange between Amendment 44 campaign director Mason Tvert, Scott Burns, deputy director for state and local affairs for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, as well as Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.  Tvert accused Suthers of violating Colorado campaign finance law, parts of which limit government employees’ expenditures while advocating for or against a ballot initiative.  “Who paid for this press conference?” Tvert asked from the back of the room.  “I am not spending a dime of taxpayer money right now,” an angry Suthers retorted.  Heather Janik, spokeswoman who accompanied Burns from Washington, D.C., later said expenses were paid by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.Cont.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on October 24, 2006 at 21:08:57 PT
Delta County Independent (CO)
""“I’d be inclined to vote no on Amendment 44,” Teck said, as he moved through the proposed amendments. Amendment 44 would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older. Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee noted that even if marijuana possession were legal, there are no provisions for the legal purchase or growth of marijuana. “We’re spending billions of dollars to tell our kids that tobacco kills, and now we want to legalize marijuana?” McKee said. Amendment 44 should be voted down, he said emphatically.""Delta County Independent (CO) the relevant issue is included...)
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on October 24, 2006 at 20:45:08 PT
Douglas County News Press
"An initiative such as Amendment 44, which would legalize the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years and older, could inspire younger voters.
When faced with similar measures in the past, Douglas County's elections office has witnessed a lot of tattoos and piercings, mostly sported by young people trying to register in time to vote, Murray said. Strategically, sometimes proponents of issues put questions on the ballot to attract certain voters."Douglas County News Press 21
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 24, 2006 at 20:18:29 PT
I want all the marijuana issues to pass this year but I really want Colorado to win. I've always believed that Colorado was a Cannabis friendly state ever since John Denver made it popular in music. Good Luck to you and your state.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on October 24, 2006 at 19:57:13 PT
Summit Daily News endorses 44
US CO: EDITORIAL: Making sense of state referenda and amendments on the ballotSource: Summit Daily News (Breckenridge town & Ski Area, Frisco, Dillon, Keystone Ski Area, Copper Mountain Ski Area, Silverthorne, Kremmling, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO)Pubdate: 23 Oct 2006Note: Only the relevant issue is included Viewed at: 
Making sense of state referenda and amendments on the ballot(Summit Daily News endorses Amendment 44)Before stepping into the voters' booth, it's important to understand the number of referenda and amendments on this year's ballot, which range from defining marriage to term limits for judges. We are disheartened that our legislators have again sought to make changes to the state constitution rather than to deal with issues through statutory change. We believe the Constitution is not the place for legislating change. You will see that belief influences several of our positions.The Summit Daily News endorses: 
Amendment 44: This legalizes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years and older. Marijuana is proven to be less dangerous than alcohol, which is already tolerated, and we believe our police have more important jobs to do than jailing folks for a small-time recreational habit. That said, it's still up to parents to teach responsibility, and driving under the influence should never be tolerated.44444444444444444444Early voting started.Anyone that knows anyone in Colorado, please contact them and request they not put this issue off!Encourage people to vote early.
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on October 24, 2006 at 17:29:18 PT
Critical Mass
"We're not from the Reefer Madness generation, so we're more likely to give it a fair look," she said. "But then again, I think my mom and dad are going to vote for it, too."Support for legal cannabis almost crosses the entire generational spectrum. Ther prohibitionists are very,very afraid.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 24, 2006 at 08:02:07 PT
Santa Cruz: How Far is Too Far?
By Ken McLaughlin, Mercury NewsOctober 24, 2006Separated from the Bay Area by mountains and encircled by ocean and greenery, the city of 56,000 is known for its edgy politics, feisty independence and uncommon sense of place. But this fall residents are engaged in a fierce debate over two voter initiatives on the ballot -- one to all but legalize pot smoking, the other to create a local minimum-wage law. And both have some Santa Cruz progressives wondering if the city is carrying this ``island thing'' too far.Even the avowed socialist on the city council worries about the city pretending that California's drug laws and the laws of economics don't apply to Santa Cruz.Complete Article:
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