marijuana

Colorado marijuana initiative could hinge on young voter turnout

The voters in Colorado are currently leaning towards legalizing marijuana this year. Amendment 64, which would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and over in Colorado, is currently on the November ballot and has a ten point lead in the last polling.

A new poll for the University of Denver found that 50 percent of likely voters plan to cast their ballots for the initiative, while 40 percent plan to vote against it. The remaining 10 percent are currently undecided.

Interestingly, the poll also asked voters how in general they think marijuana should be treated under the law. It found 47 percent think marijuana should be legal and regulated like alcohol, another 28 percent believe it should only be legal for medicinal purpose and just 21 percent felt it should be completely illegal.

This is good and bad news for the campaign. As a political operation it has done a very good job of getting basically every voter who agrees the idea of legalization to also support the initiative. Often some voters will support a general concept but vote against an initiative dealing with it because they oppose some of the initiative’s specific provisions. Post-election analysis shows that issue may have hurt Proposition 19 in California.

The bad news is that there doesn’t appear to be much low hanging fruit left, such as supporters of legalization who have not heard about Amendment 64. It will probably be difficult for the campaign to significantly expand its level of support in the next few week and it is likely that undecideds will tend to break against it.