In a supposed accident, three of the biggest arguments for Amendment 64 have been deleted from the CO blue book that is supposed to objectively inform voters of both sides of the arguments about measures on the ballot.
The arguments that were removed were:
- Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol.
- The consequences of a marijuana offense are too severe.
- Law enforcement resources would be better spent on more serious crimes.
Even though the removal of the text was recognized as a mistake, the motion to reinsert the deleted text did not receive enough votes, and the text remains ‘accidentally’ deleted from the voter blue book. Proponents of Amendment 64 filed a lawsuit to reinsert the text before the books were printed, which was dismissed due to jurisdictional issues.
The end result of this deletion is that the arguments against Amendment 64 will have about 75% more content than the arguments for the measure. As Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said in a statement, “No objective person would look at a 366- to 208 word-count disparity and consider it to be ‘fair and impartial.’”
This is a huge blow to Amendment 64, but one that was not as surprising as it should be.
Most of the cannabis community has come to expect the misinformation and dirty tricks used by those that enjoy the pointless drug war. Personally, I hope something like this happens again in the future, so we can see how easily the issue could have been resolved if it hadn’t been marijuana that was in question. If a measure championed by big oil were to suffer an ‘accident’ like this, I doubt the public would ever even hear about it. It would be fixed immediately.
Unfortunately, some of our legislators seized an opportunity to harm the marijuana legalization movement, and held very strictly to the rules of changing the text once it was a matter of replacing the pro-weed text. Something tells me they were not concerned at all that an injustice had just taken place.
The silver lining on this dark-ass cloud is that we marijuana legalization activists are coming together to air this injustice in public, to inform the people of the information that the government wrongfully removed and refused to replace, and to gain even more support from weed-friendly and weed-neutral voters. Weed-hating voters are now even more likely to vote against Amendment 64, but honestly, I doubt they would have bothered to read the arguments anyway.
For weedists who say “Who cares those arguments are obvious,” consider this. The elderly tend to rock the vote on election day more than any other demographic. The elderly are likely filled with the most reefer madness misinformation and only 31% of those age 65+ nationally support legalization. Most are not immersed in cannabis culture daily like us and these three arguments could very well have an impact on how this critical demographic votes.
A MESSAGE TO ALL LEGISLATORS:
You are public servants. It is your job to implement what the public wants, not to decide what the public wants. If the public wants to vote on the marijuana issue, or any other issue, it is your job to represent and inform the entire public objectively. It is not your job to pass personal judgments on any measure, and obstructing the fair implementation of facts is actually the exact opposite of your job. The public doesn’t need the 5 O’clock news anymore to keep them informed. Do your jobs instead of trying to take control of people’s lives.