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Governor Signs Marijuana Bills into Law

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed the six bills regulating recreational marijuana passed by the legislature. They go into effect July 1.

The bills are House bills 1042, 1238, 1 317, 1318 and 1325, and Senate Bill 283. A short synopsis is here.

When asked about when a response on the new laws would come from the Feds, Hickenlooper says he thought it would be soon, but he really didn't know. Then he quipped, "They've been kind of busy." [More...]

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Maryland Bans the Death Penalty, Colorado Could be Next

Maryland has become the 18th state to ban the death penalty since 1976.

What happens to the five inmates on Maryland's death row?? The Guardian explains it's an unknown as yet.

Other states repealing the death penalty in the recent years: Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York.

Colorado legislators will be debating a bill to repeal the death penalty very soon. [More...]

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History Made in Colorado: Marijuana Reform Passes

Congratulations, Colorado! Amendment 64 has passed, 53% to 47%. The law becomes effective on the date of the official declaration of the vote by the Governor or December 6, whichever is earlier. The victory party is at Casselman's in Denver, and is open to the public.

Colorado is the first state to repeal state marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system of regulation and taxation. What becomes legal (from text of Amendment 64): [More...]

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A Myriad of Reasons to Vote for Amendment 64 (Marijuana)

Colorado's Amendment 64, the ballot initiative that will decriminalize personal adult use of marijuana and regulate marijuana sales in Colorado, will benefit the entire state, not just marijuana users.

The Colorado Center on Law and Policy report on Amendment 64, concludes that Amendment 64 is likely to produce $60 million in new revenue and savings to Colorado. In addition to creating new jobs, particularly in construction, it will generate $24 million a year in state revenue for schools, specifically the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) capital construction program.

As opponents of the measure launch their final ad blitz this week, take a look at who supports Amendment 64.

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New Colorado Rules for Medical Marijuana Centers

The Colorado Department of Revenue has issued new rules relating to Medical Marijuana Centers (MMCs) in Colorado. They go into effect July 1, 2011. You can read the 77 pages of rules here.

Via e-mail received from Cannabis Therapy Center, which is still studying the rules, the Department of Revenue made some effort to comply with patient privacy and confidentiality but they fall short in some areas, for example: [More...]

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Heads-Up: Medical Marijuana Issues on Local Colorado Ballots

Thanks to Marijuana Policy Project for publishing this list of marijuana initiatives on local Colorado ballots this year.

The following jurisdictions will ask their citizens if medical marijuana dispensaries should be ALLOWED Vote“Yes” on dispensary measures in the following jurisdictions.

  • Antonito
  • DeBeque
  • Dinosaur
  • Hot Sulphur Springs
  • Lake City
  • Loveland
  • Ouray
  • Paonia (two questions)
  • Ramah
  • Conejos County
  • Eagle County

The following jurisdictions (some municipal, some county)will ask their citizens if medical marijuana dispensaries should be PROHIBITED Vote “No” on dispensary measures in the following jurisdictions. [More...]

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Obama, Udall Win Colorado

Update: Goodbye Marilyn Musgrave. Colorado went blue big time and Musgrave, one of the most conservative members of Congress got replaced by Democrat Betsy Markey. Five of our seven representatives in Congress and both our Senators are now Democrats. McCain/Palin didn't even win big Republican counties like Jefferson, Arapahoe and Larimer. That's really something.

Bump and Update 10:45 pm ET: The Denver Post also calls Colorado for Obama and Udall. Add 9 to Obama's CNN total, all he needs now is California. The "personhood" amendment is dead.

9:42 pm ET: The Rocky Mountain News reports Barack Obama has won Colorado. Rep. Mark Udall will be our next Senator. Hooray!

Obama won conservative Jefferson and Arapahoe counties by 10 points. He beat McCain in Denver by 4 to 1. [More...]

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McCain Denies He's Giving Up on Colorado

CNN's John King reported earlier the McCain campaign had decided to give up on Colorado to focus on Pennsylvania and other big states.

Watching my 10pm local news, McCain is denying it. The regional spokesman for the campaign says McCain will continue to fight for our 9 electoral vote. The station has confirmed that McCain intends to be here Friday.

Checking McCain's campaign schedule at his website tonight, there are no events listed after Wednesday, when he'll be in Ohio with Sarah Palin. Palin will stay in Ohio on Thursday, but no details are given for McCain. [More...]

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PPP Colorado Poll Results: Obama 51, McCain 44

The Public Policy Project poll of Colorado voters I wrote about last night is out. Obama leads McCain, 51% to 44%. Gov. Sarah Palin is tanking his ticket.

Sarah Palin's popularity with Colorado voters over the last couple weeks has plummeted, and as it has Barack Obama has opened up his biggest lead yet in a PPP survey of the state.

Immediately after the Republican convention 41% of Coloradoans said John McCain's choice of Palin to join him on the ticket made them more likely to vote for him while 38% said it made them less likely to do so. Now the number of people saying Palin's selection makes them less likely to vote for McCain has climbed to 47% with the number of people viewing it favorably dropping to 38%.

Full poll results here (pdf). And good news for Rep. Mark Udall in the Senate race: He's leading Bob Shaffer 48 to 40. [More...]

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Colorado's Personhood Amendment

Colorado has 18 initiatives on the ballot this year, one of which is the dreaded Amendment 48, the Personhood Amendment. The Amendment reads:

"As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term 'person' or 'persons' shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization,"

In other words, a fertilized egg would be deemed a person. The Denver Post, in an editorial today, urges voters to reject it.

The three sections mentioned are part of the state's Bill of Rights that protect our rights to life, liberty and property. Simply put, Amendment 48 asks that society grant a free-floating fertilized egg the same protections we enjoy as living Americans.

More...

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Another Look at Colorado Voter Stats

Two weeks ago I did a preliminary assessment of Colorado voters, trying to assess the impact of the state's evangelical voters. I began with the 2004 presidential results. There were 2.1 million voters and Bush won by 100,000 votes. We have 9 electoral votes.

The Colorado Secretary of State has these voter registration numbers (pdf) by county, current as of September 2. There are 3 million registered voters in the state.

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Can Evangelical Voters Win Colorado for McCain?

In an earlier post I wrote about Saturday's McCain-Palin rally in Colorado Springs, and how the candidates and speakers, while stressing the importance of Colorado and El Paso County in particular this November, failed to give even a passing nod to the evangelical social agenda. That brings to mind a larger question.

Is El Paso County, with its high concentration of evangelical and military-oriented voters, enough to push McCain to victory in Colorado in November? Taking a look at various numbers, I would say it's a close question, but unlikely. [More...]

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Introducing the SquareState Small Donor Committee

Act Blue has gotten into state races in the last year, but they hadn't come to Colorado yet for one simple reason.  Legally, Act Blue can't operate on a state level in Colorado as current law prohibits an intermediary transfer of funds.  So, I created what's known in Colorado as a Small Donor Committee.  In the works for almost a year, finally the i's are all dotted; the t's are all crossed.  The SquareState Small Donor Committee is here.

We've done pontificating, pointed out the failed policies of the extreme right wing, mobilized voters, coordinated grassroots action, and even fundraised for federal races.  It's time to help those local candidates we want to see in office in our somewhat square state.  Let's show (current CO-GOP chair)Dick Wadhams that this isn't the same state the last time he was here.  All the progress made in the last few years, we're just getting started.

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Drilling Has Colo. Republicans Losing Faith

The Washington Post reports that many Colorado Republicans on the Western Slope are losing faith in their party. Chief among their complaints is the Bush Administration's support of intense oil and gas drilling activity.

Long the most reliably conservative expanse of a state that has gone red in six of the past seven presidential contests, Colorado's western third shows evidence of the "purpling" that has made Colorado look increasingly like a swing state.

Colorado now has 32,000 active oil and gas wells. Another 40,000 are planned.

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