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Hancock To Make Big Pitch Against Marijuana Ballot Initiative

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Michael Hancock during his budget announcement (credit: CBS)

Michael Hancock during his budget announcement (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday plans to outline his reasons why he thinks Colorado voters should vote down Amendment 64, which would legalize possession of marijuana for adults in the state.

Colorado is one of three states considering ballot measures this fall to legalize pot in defiance of federal drug law. Oregon and Washington are also considering similar measures. Colorado is already one of 17 states that allow marijuana use by people with certain medical conditions.

Colorado voters rejected recreational pot in 2006, but it appears to be more of a possibility this time around. A recent Denver Post poll found 51 percent of Coloradans support the amendment and 40 percent oppose it.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has already come out against the initiative, saying it would send the wrong message about drug use. On Monday business and tourism leaders are expected to join Hancock to discuss negative financial impacts.

Kelly Brough, CEO and President of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, told CBS4 passage of the amendment would be a blow to Colorado’s job creating efforts.

“This is critically important. When we’re convincing companies to come here, we’re selling them on our workforce — a very well educated hardworking productive workforce. This doesn’t re-inforce that brand,” Brough said.

Amendment 64 supporters have a different view than some in the business community, believing legalization will generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue for Colorado.

“That sounds like good business to me, the economic growth that we anticipate coming from Amendment 64 is significant and it will help build Colorado’s economy,” said amendment supporter Betty Aldworth.

Amendment 64 supporters have the backing of the NAACP, the ACLU and the state public defender’s office.

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