The Collegian Editorial Board endorses Amendment 64

Colorado and two other states are poised to make history this election with a chance to legalize marijuana and regulate the substance like alcohol. With a yes vote on Amendment 64, which appears on our state’s ballot in two weeks, we can make a bold move and stop unnecessary imprisonment, make pot harder for children to obtain and raise valuable tax revenue.

As with alcohol, this country has conclusively proven that prohibition does more harm than good and because studies have shown marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, the Collegian urges a yes vote on Amendment 64.

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For decades, marijuana has been needlessly stigmatized as an addictive, unhealthy drug that promotes a number of other bad behaviors. Countless studies have proved these unfounded claims wrong, but our country is too steeped in its opinion on marijuana to pursue change. Marijuana does not cause overdoses and does not cause violent crime like alcohol.

While the detrimental effects of marijuana use are negligible, its legalization and regulation would be overwhelmingly positive for our state.

Regulation would simultaneously take money out of the hands of criminals and make marijuana more difficult for children to obtain. With pot sold over the counter, it would make the black market all but disappear. Why would drug dealers continue to sell marijuana if it can be purchased cheaper and legally from a store? Also, criminals don’t card. Children would not be able to purchase marijuana without showing an ID that proves they are at least 21 years old.

Then there are the obvious economic benefits of legalizing marijuana. The first $40 million in revenue raised from taxes are “credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund,” the amendment reads. The tax revenue will be enormous for Colorado, and if legalized it will stop the pointless incrimination of millions because of current marijuana laws and save the state the money it wastes in this judicial process.

It’s time for Colorado to lead the nation, legalize marijuana and end what is an utterly pointless prohibition.