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Pot and the GOP: Is the Party of ‘Just Say No’ Morphing Into the Party of ‘Just Say Grow’?

The Republican Party is a long way from becoming the Pot Party. Nonetheless, conservative attitudes are changing at the grassroots level. The percentage of Republicans in favor of legalizing marijuana has risen quickly since 2005, jumping 7 points. And as their constituents have moved on the issue, more Republican candidates and lawmakers are refusing to toe the party line.
Publication/Source: 
Newsweek (NY)
URL: 
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/25/the-conservative-case-for-legalizing-pot.html

Sensible Voter Guide: Marijuana on the Ballot in Colorado

  

 

 

 

 

 

 "Sensible" Voter Guide 

Which cities are voting to ban dispensaries? 

Which candidates support marijuana reform? 

Find out below!

 

Candidates Stance on Marijuana

See SAFER's candidate survey HERE.

Municipalities Voting on Marijuana Issues

Counties: Alamosa, Broomfield, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Douglas, El Paso (Contact: 719 213 3993 or HERE), Eagle (Contact: EMBA, 970-569-3701), Las Animas, Mesa (Contact: 970 270 8394, catcoughran@gmail.com), Moffat, Montrose, Otero, Park, and Washington.

Cities:   Aurora, Federal Heights, Jamestown, Broomfield,  Antonito, Sugar City, Paonia, Lone Tree, Castle Pines, Minturn, Elizabeth,  Ramah, Fountain, Granby, Fraser, Hot Sulphur Springs, Town of Lake City, Loveland, Windsor (Contact: 970-222-5555, inharmonywellness@gmail.com ), De Beque, Dinosaur, Olathe, Hill Rose, La Junta, City of Ouray, Pueblo, Akron, and Otis. 

Other Issues

California is currently voting to regulate marijuana for adults over 21 statewide.  Learn about the campaign HERE.

In Colorado, Prop. 102 seeks to fill the jails with mid-level drug offenders, by denying them reasonable bond.  Learn more HERE.

Sensible Colorado | PO Box 18768 | Denver CO 80218

 
Location: 
CO
United States

Campaign Ad Attacks Rand Paul as Soft on Drugs

Kentucky Democratic US Senate hopeful Jack Conway and his allies continue to attack Republican hopeful Rand Paul for his dissent from drug war orthodoxy. The latest salvo came in an attack ad by Common Sense Ten, an independent "super-PAC" that supports Democratic candidates by attacking Republican ones.

While Common Sense Ten is not directly tied to the Conway campaign, its attack on Paul for his perceived "softness" on drugs echoes themes used by Conway and his campaign. (See our recent feature article on drug policy in the Kentucky Senate campaign here.)

"Here's Rand Paul," the narrator of the Common Sense Ten ad intones, then goes to a voiceover of Paul saying, "Things that are nonviolent shouldn't be against the law," while the words "Libertarian Philosophy" appear on the screen.

"Like other libertarians, he says drug laws are too harsh, and Rand Paul says drugs are not a quote pressing issue here in Kentucky," the narrator continues. "Not pressing? Drugs, especially meth are an epidemic in Kentucky. Lives, families, and whole communities are destroyed every day."

The ad then repeats the Paul quote on nonviolent offenses while the words "Ron Paul -- Wrong for Kentucky" appear on the screen.

While the ad waxes hyperbolic ("whole communities are destroyed every day") and metaphoric (meth is "an epidemic in Kentucky"), the numbers don't back up those claims. According to a recent report from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, drug use levels in Kentucky are in line with those in the rest of the country. The "epidemic," in other words, is a politically convenient figment of the collective imagination.

Democrat Jack Conway did not pay for the ad and his name does not appear on it. But it appears Conway and Common Sense Ten are all too happy to engage in regressive drug war politics if it will help them win the election. So far, though, it's not working: According to poll aggregator Real Clear Politics, Paul is leading Conway by an average of 46.0% to 41.7%.
 



(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
KY
United States

Opposing Marijuana Legalization Could Cost Jerry Brown the Governor's Race

Prop 19 gives California voters a choice between legalization and prohibition. The gubernatorial race, on the other hand, gives voters a choice between two cowards who pledge to continue waging war on their own constituents. Just watch Republican candidate Meg Whitman boasting about her drug war credentials:

What amazes me about this isn't that Meg Whitman is as much of a drug war idiot as she is. There's nothing surprising about that, but it's just tragic that her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown has chosen to join her in opposing Prop 19. By taking a stand against marijuana reform, Brown has offended an enormous cross-section of young liberal voters whose support he desperately needs in this close race.

If Brown genuinely has a problem with legalizing marijuana, that's one thing, but if he thinks he's scoring any political points with this position, he's out of his mind. As the above video shows, Whitman is accusing him of being "soft on crime" regardless of his anti-legalization stance. What more could she even say? Getting attacked by Whitman for supporting Prop 19 would actually help him. After all, marijuana legalization is doing better in the polls than either of these fools.

Update: On a related note, what's up with Meg Whitman claiming that "every single law enforcement official in this entire state is against Proposition 19"? If she's followed the debate at all, she should know that Prop 19 has received a mountain of endorsements from law enforcement. This has been widely reported in the press, so she's either lying or just not paying attention.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

California Democrats Bet on Bong War

Location: 
CA
United States
Seizing on new independent polling data, proponents of Proposition 19 — the Golden State ballot measure that would make possessing and growing marijuana legal — argue the measure is going to drive younger-voter turnout in such a way that it will benefit the Democrats statewide, from gubernatorial retread Jerry Brown to Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Publication/Source: 
Politico (VA)
URL: 
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43353.html

Democrats Look to Cultivate Marijuana Vote in 2012

Democratic strategists are studying California's marijuana legalization initiative to see if similar ballot measures could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election. Some pollsters and party officials say Democratic candidates in California are benefiting from a surge in enthusiasm among young voters eager to back Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in certain quantities and permit local governments to regulate and tax it. Party strategists and marijuana legalization advocates are discussing whether to push for similar ballot questions in 2012 in Colorado and Nevada — both expected to be crucial to President Barack Obama's re-election — and Washington state, which will have races for governor and seats in both houses of Congress.
Publication/Source: 
The Wall Street Journal (NY)
URL: 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703298504575534321493828944.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLETopStories

Two Democratic Governor Candidates Say Decriminalize Marijuana

Two Democratic Party gubernatorial candidates in the Northeast are calling for marijuana decriminalization.  They are Vermont candidate Peter Shumlin and Connecticut candidate Dan Malloy.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/peter_shumlin.jpg
Peter Shumlin
While neither candidate is playing up the issue -- decriminalization doesn't appear on either candidates' issues page -- both have staked out clear positions in favor of decriminalization, and Shumlin has talked repeatedly about it during the campaign.

"We simply are penny wise and pound foolish to be using law enforcement dollars to be locking up criminals when they're dealing with small amounts of marijuana," Shumlin said during a televised candidates' forum before the primary election.

He kept on message this month, telling the Barre-Montepelier Times Argus: "I believe we should join California and Massachusetts in decriminalizing small amounts. It is important we have law enforcement focus on meth dealers, cocaine dealers, heroin and the really tough drug challenges we face as a state."

Shumlin, the current president pro tem of the Vermont House, has garnered support from the Marijuana Policy Project, which has so far contributed $14,000 to his campaign. MPP believes that with Shumlin as governor, a decriminalization bill can pass in Vermont next year.

In Connecticut, Democratic nominee Dan Malloy hasn't been as outspoken as Shumlin, but he has come out in favor of decriminalization. In response to a question at a September 6 meeting at the University of Connecticut, Malloy said he "absolutely supports" decriminalization.

According to the running average of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, Malloy is leading Republican candidate Tom Foley by 6.5 percentage points. The Vermont race is much tighter, with Real Clear Politics calling it a "toss up," and Shumlin leading Republican candidate Brian Dubie by three points in the latest poll.

Times are indeed changing when gubernatorial candidates representing a mainstream political party are calling for decriminalization. Will it help them win in November? Could it hurt? Stay tuned.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

California Marijuana Initiative Could Help Propel Barbara Boxer to Re-election

Location: 
CA
United States
A ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in California could help propel endangered incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to re-election in November, according to a respected polling expert.
Publication/Source: 
The Raw Story (DC)
URL: 
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/california-pot-initiative-propel-barbara-boxer-reelection/

Drug Policy Emerges as Issue: Challenger, Incumbent Differ on Legalization

Nicholas W. Payne, the Green Party candidate vying to unseat five-term incumbent Rep. Clark J. Chapin, R-New Milford, believes the state would save both dollars and lives by legalizing drugs. "This election's all about money, jobs and taxes," Payne said. "In New Milford you don't see violence on the streets ... It's the expense of (fighting illegal drugs) I'm going after."
Publication/Source: 
American-Republican (CT)
URL: 
http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2010/09/20/news/elections/508464.txt

Rockefeller Repeal Leader Wins NY Democratic AG Nomination

New York state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, author of last year's Rockefeller drug law reform legislation, won the Democratic Party nomination for state attorney general in last week's primary election. Scheiderman won 34% of the vote in a five-person race, besting Nassau County prosecutor Kathleen Rice, who came in second with 32%.

Eric Schneiderman
He will face Republican nominee Staten Island prosecutor Dan Donovan in the November 2 general election. In his victory speech, Scheiderman vowed to follow "the same aggressive, progressive approach" as current Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is favored to win the governor's race.

While all five Democratic attorney general candidates vowed to take a hard line on public corruption, help prevent another Wall Street crisis, and protect New Yorkers from terrorism, Schneiderman also played up his drug reform credentials.

On his issues page, Schneiderman touts his authorship of Rockefeller reform legislation, adding that the laws "were not only unfair and unsustainable, but an economic and moral threat to every New Yorker," and advertisements running during the campaign cited it as well. The New York Times also cited Schneiderman's championing of Rockefeller reform among its key reasons for endorsing him in the primary.

Scheiderman goes into greater detail in his Agenda for the Office of New York Attorney General. In addition to touting his role in Rockefeller law reform and in cosponsoring the law that forbids law enforcement agencies from keeping files on innocent people who have been stopped and frisked, Schneiderman vows to monitor and report on stop and frisk searches and to examine the criminal justice system for system-wide biases. He also promises to ease rehabilitation and reentry for ex-convicts and to promote a color-blind criminal justice system.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

NY
United States

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