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Poll: Most Coloradans Think Pot Law Hurts Image

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DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Colorado voters still support the state law that legalized recreational marijuana, but most believe it is hurting the image of the state, according to a new poll released Monday.

“You can probably smell it every single day walking here on the 16th Street Mall. I think it sends the complete wrong message,” said Denver resident David Booth.

The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 51 percent of voters overall believe the measure is bad for the state’s reputation, while 38 percent see it as a net positive. Among voters 18 to 29, 57 percent say legal marijuana is good for the state’s image. Among voters older than 65, 67 percent say it’s bad.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Overall 58 percent of people surveyed still support the law passed in 2012, the poll found.

On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow legal retail sales of recreational marijuana. Washington state, where voters also legalized the drug in 2012, is expected to launch its marketplace in the coming months.

“Taxes can go to a lot. It can go to highways, it can go to schools. It can go to people who don’t have insurance. And just the plant itself, I mean, it’s a healer, it takes a lot of stress away. It can make a romantic night a big romantic night,” a woman on the 16th Street Mall told CBS4.

“I think it’s been great for tourism. Certainly my and family and friends have been interested in coming to Colorado as a result of the law passing, and just curious. I think it’s given a lot of attention to Colorado and it certainly will be good for the state financially as soon as tax revenues start coming in. I would think that certainly will help,” another woman said.

The poll also found that 10 percent of Colorado have used marijuana since Jan. 1, and 51 percent have sampled the drug previously.

Voters support how Gov. John Hickenlooper – a Democrat who opposed legalization – has implemented the measure.

Seventy-three percent of voters said they have no problem with a neighbor growing a few marijuana plants, but 81 percent oppose changing the law to allow people to grow more than 12 plants. And more than four-fifths say they would not be comfortable riding in a car with someone who just consumed a moderate amount of marijuana.

The poll also found that younger voters, 18 to 29 years old, felt pot was a good image but older voters, over 65 years old, say it’s not.

“We should be known for our state’s beauty and healthiness but pot is not bringing that image anymore,” said Denver resident Melody Bates.

The poll of 1,139 registered voters was taken from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2. It has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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