Facing a threat from the U.S. Justice Department, Colorado politicians have united to defend the marijuana industry.
Although they have various reservations concerning recreational marijuana, Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, Governor Hickenlooper and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman all have opposed federal interferences in what is now a legal activity protected by the Colorado constitution.
In an article in the Colorado Statesman by Brian Heuberger, Floyd Ciruli analyzed the conflict between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Colorado’s senior political officeholders.
“‘Politicians look at the polling, and public support points toward legalized marijuana,’ said longtime pollster Floyd Ciruli, found of Denver-based Ciruli Associates, a public policy, polling and consulting firm.
‘The Colorado delegation and local politicians are united by not wanting Washington to preempt recreational marijuana and either recriminalize it or begin some new level of enforcement,’ said Ciruli. ‘They want Washington to stay with the pattern that existed, which was that Washington would allow a state – as long as they regulate it well – to follow their own voters, and as our governor points out, it’s in the constitution. Most people are not in favor of changing that. They think they ought to let the states evolve on their own and so the Colorado delegation has united in a state’s rights position.’
Indeed, polls have demonstrated that Colorado officials are in agreement with the American public. For instance, a Quinnipiac poll indicated that voters support legalizing marijuana in the U.S. by a 59-36 percent margin and oppose federal crackdowns on marijuana states by a 71-23 percent margin.
With all this support for legalized marijuana just in Colorado, would Sessions receive enough public support for a national crackdown on legalization? Ciruli has his doubts.
An October 2016 Gallup Poll demonstrated that national support for legalized marijuana has reached an all-time high of 60 percent. As a result, we are already seeing now many national leaders would most likely oppose the position of the White House and the possibility of a crackdown.”