Results of a new poll indicate that Colorado voters are overall happy with recreational marijuana legalization and believe it’s been a boost to the state’s economy.
Sixty-one percent of Colorado voters believe that legalizing recreational marijuana has been good for the state’s economy, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling.
Voter-supported Amendment 64 legalized the sale, cultivation and possession of adult use marijuana in Colorado in 2012. Since then, the state regularly breaks its own monthly marijuana sales records, with tax revenue being used for school construction, health care, health education, substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, and law enforcement. One city is using a portion of its excess tax revenue to house and feed the homeless.
“Opponents of Amendment 64 told voters the state would fall apart if they approved Amendment 64, but they could not have been more wrong,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “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.”
The statewide survey of 629 voters, initially reported by The Cannabist, found that only about one-third of Colorado voters (36 percent) would support a measure to repeal Amendment 64. Fifty-one percent of voters responded that they would oppose a measure meant to repeal marijuana legalization, and 13 percent said they were unsure.
When asked whether the passing of Amendment 64 has been positive overall for Colorado, 47 percent responded that the measure was good, compared to 9 percent that said the measure has had no impact and 39 percent that responded that the passing of the measure has been bad for the state.
“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.”
Democrats and independent voters were found to be more upbeat about Amendment 64, compared to Republicans. Of Democrats, 70 percent responded that legalization has had a positive impact on the economy, and 58 percent said they believed the measure has been good for Colorado. Of independents, 65 percent believed Amendment 64 to have had a positive impact on the economy, and 52 percent responded that the measure has been good for the state. Thirty-two percent of Republicans felt the measure has been good for Colorado, while 47 percent said it’s made a positive impact on the economy.
The Public Policy Polling poll was conducted over the phone between August 31 and September 1, 2016.
Colorado is one of four states that have legalized recreational marijuana so far; however, voters in five states will have the opportunity to decide on adult use marijuana initiatives this November.