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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


February 10, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Quinnipiac has released a new poll revealing that Colorado voters’ decision to legalize marijuana hurts the state’s image with a majority of American voters.

The poll finds that 51% of Americans say the legalization has hurt Colorado, compared to 38% who say it hasn’t.

There are wide differences among parties and among age groups, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Legalization is bad for the state’s image, Republicans say 73 – 18 percent and independent voters say 56 – 36 percent. It’s good for the state’s image, Democrats say 57 – 30 percent.

Voters 18 to 29 years old say 57 – 41 percent it’s good for the state’s image while voters over 65 years old say 67 – 21 percent it’s bad for the state’s image.

Only 10 percent of Colorado voters say they’ve tried marijuana since it became legal January 1, but 51 percent of voters say they’ve tried marijuana at some point. Among voters over 65 years old, 26 percent say they’ve tried marijuana at some point, rising to 57 to 59 percent among voters in younger age groups.

Voters oppose 81 – 14 percent changing the law to allow people to grow more than 12 marijuana plants in their home, but say 73 – 26 percent that it wouldn’t bother them if a neighbor grows marijuana at home. Even voters over 65 say 56 – 41 percent it wouldn’t bother them.

Statistics show that fatal marijuana-related car accidents have risen as more states have decriminalized it.

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health assessed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 1999 to 2010 and found that 24.8 percent of 23,591 drivers who were killed within one hour of a crash were on drugs. Of them, 39.7 percent had alcohol in their systems.

During this 10-year period, the number of non-alcohol drug-related accidents rose from 16.6 percent to 28.3 percent—for marijuana alone, it went up from 4.2 percent to 12.2 percent.

The alcohol-related crashes involved a higher percentage of men than women, but the rise in marijuana-related crashes was reported for both sexes and in all age groups.

The data only include fatal car crashes in six states: California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

Colorado schools also report seeing pot-related incidents on a sharp rise, according to the Denver Post.

There are no hard numbers yet because school disciplinary statistics do not isolate marijuana from general drug violations. But school resource officers, counselors, nurses, staff and officials with Colorado school safety and disciplinary programs are anecdotally reporting an increase in marijuana-related incidents in middle and high schools.

“We have seen a sharp rise in drug-related disciplinary actions which, anecdotally, from credible sources, is being attributed to the changing social norms surrounding marijuana,” said Janelle Krueger. Krueger is the program manager for Expelled and At-Risk Student Services for the Colorado Department of Education and also a longtime adviser to the Colorado Association of School Resource Officers.

Krueger said school officials believe the jump is linked to the message that legalization (even though it is still prohibited for anyone under 21) is sending to kids: that marijuana is a medicine and a safe and accepted recreational activity. It is also believed to be more available.


Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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Well, talk about your unintended consequences:

Nope. Legalizing pot isn't going to corrupt anybody.

Of course, she's a modern Girl Scout, so it's likely she's been pretty well corrupted already.

7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
it's not all bad: Hostess is reporting Twinkie sales are up 30%... :)
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I wouldn't value polls like this only one month into a new situation. It's not like there can be any considered opinion, just knee-jerk reaction - well, unless pot caused the Broncos to lose the Super Bowl. Yeah, that's it - Seattle has better weed.

Kind of a dumb, sensationalist question to ask at this time, don't you think?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's some great poll information. Let's see what it says a year or two from now when people see what a non-issue legalization really is as far as the negative perception.

As a Colorado resident, I have neither seen nor heard any negative impact on anything around here. No great influx of drug addicts seeking legal marijuana. They can get it whenever and wherever they want already. No increase at all in drug related crime. I can only laugh at the mind's eye perception of roving bands of youths out stealing tools from garages for marijuana money.

Stating that there is reporting of a sharp rise in school related incidents in one sentence and in the next calling it anecdotal evidence does not enhance one's credibility. Even so, my response is the same as when any student misbehaves and breaks school rules or the law, "what are the parents doing about their own kids' behaviors". It sounds like Bryan Preston says the law is for the good of our children and for the good of society, but when Melissa Harris Perry suggests that our kids belong to the community, we are offended. It's still horse hockey, whether the issue is drug and alcohol use or something else, the answer is the same,parenting, parenting and parenting. It will start there and it will end there, no matter what the issue is. I do not need the government to tell my kids not to use marijuana or drink alcohol, I can do that myself and I already have. Parent should supply their children with the tools they need to deal with any issue life throws at them. It's not the government's job, but you already know that because I'm sure you have made the same argument when schools and other government regulations overstep their bounds into the parent child relationship on other issues.

I also like the statistics on marijuana related car accidents, especially how the stats don't include Colorado, which now has tighten law related to marijuana use and driving, but then again maybe Bryan is arguing to ban alcohol again. I suppose these stats were offered to show how bad marijuana use is and how it should be criminalized and banned, but that sounds kind of crazy given this is a conservative blog where most bloggers espouse personal responsibility as opposed to nanny state regulation and government telling people what they can and can't do in their own homes.

I guess I will will never understand self proclaimed conservatives who despise big government and regulation over personal conduct, unless of course what they want banned seems like a great idea to them to make our live so much better, just as liberals have great ideas to make our lives better through more regulation.

"I want freedom, individual liberty and government out of my life, except when it comes to gay sex, marijuana, and online poker, because that stuff really is bad." says the typical small government conservative.

It's worse than left wing hypocrisy because you are supposed to be championing the very freedoms what you now want restricted.

With freedom and liberty comes risk and responsibility. Deal with it on an intellectually honest level for pete's sake.

Should kids use marijuana? I don't think so. Should adults abuse marijuana? I don't think so. Should you be allowed to use marijuana at work? Your employer can decide that I would think. Should you use marijuana and drive? Nope. Do we need the government to ban/criminalize marijuana to such an extent that simple possession and use makes one a criminal? That is just ridiculous thinking, especially for a conservative. In my opinion.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"As a Colorado resident, I have neither seen nor heard any negative impact on anything around here."

Well, I guess that's that. No negative effects to weed legalization!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
helps its purse
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not like Colorado had a great reputation to begin with. God bless their souls. Looking forward to seeing lots of low-speed police chases and hearing about late-night drive-through crimes on Jimmy Fallon's new show. Whoop-te-do Colorado, you guys are the next big thing in reality tv.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
IMO this is just another fad-of-the-day movement. Like gay marriage and a whole bunch of other stuff. On the other hand it gives LEO's another source of revenue from impaired drivers they can snag in their highly illegal search and seizure tactics - IE - roadblocks.

The only plus is giving the non-traffic LEO's something useful to spend their time on - like who the hell broke into your garage and stole $6000 worth the tools and other stuff. Not that they actually will - seems to get hunted down by the cops these days you'll need to rob a bank or liquor store.

9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another pivotal experiment.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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