(Disclosure: I am a proponent of Amendment 64)
The Denver newspaper reported this morning that former senate candidate Ken Buck has been tapped to head up the opposition to Amendment 64, the initiative on the November ballot to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, responded to the news with the following statement:
We welcome the news that Ken Buck has been selected to be one of the public faces of their campaign. From the day we turned in our signatures, we have been talking about the importance of reaching out to female voters. We know the decision about whether to continue the policy of marijuana prohibition is a very personal one for many women. As Mr. Buck’s poor performance among women voters in his recent senate bid demonstrated, he is challenged in terms of connecting with women and respecting their concerns. I don’t believe the women of this state will be swayed by Ken Buck telling them how they should vote on this issue. They will consider the facts and make thoughtful decisions on their own. We are comforted by the fact that if as many women support Amendment 64 as opposed Ken Buck in 2010, we will cruise to victory in November.
Mr. Buck joins ‘volunteer’ professional spokespeople and staff who have been trying to make their campaign about youth. We are happy to have that discussion. The simple truth is that marijuana prohibition is the worst possible system in terms of protecting the health and safety of teens. It is easier for teens to find and purchase marijuana on the streets than it is for them to purchase alcohol, and the marijuana being purchased is unregulated, not tested, and not labeled. To make matters worse, those teens who are inevitably going to use marijuana must seek it out in an underground market where they might be exposed to more dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin. We want to take marijuana out of that market, and establish a controlled system where sales are strictly limited to those 21 and older and vendors demand proof of age. Our opponents want to keep the current, failed system.