Real Colorado Republicans Will Support Legalizing Marijuana
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Real Colorado Republicans Will Support Legalizing Marijuana

On Jan. 4, 160,000 signatures were submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State that will allow Coloradans to vote on whether we want to regulate marijuana in essentially the same way that we regulate alcohol. Coloradans will have an opportunity to show America how to introduce sanity into our drug policies. Conventional wisdom has it that conservatives will oppose legalization, but I think that’s dead wrong. Real Republicans will, without a doubt, support legalization.

Republicans have already shown Coloradans what they think. First, at the 2010 Boulder County Republican Caucuses, a resolution entitled “Legalization of Marijuana” was voted on by 73 precincts, of which 56 voted for legalization and 17 against — over 76 percent in favor of legalization. Second, the guy who received the most Republican votes for Colorado Governor in 2010, Tom Tancredo, clearly stated his support for legalizing marijuana. Third, the Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul is a vocal advocate for legalization. While some may find this inconsistent with the party’s image, if you consider legalization in the context of core Republican values, it makes complete sense. Here’s why. First, Colorado Republicans cherish the right of individuals to make their own decisions with a minimum of government intervention. The past few decades of research on the health effects of marijuana demonstrate overwhelmingly that marijuana is as safe or safer than alcohol and tobacco. So, laws that allow alcohol and tobacco use but prohibit marijuana use have no real basis in protecting public health or safety. Limiting government intrusion into our personal lives and overturning laws where the government makes choices for us is a Republican priority across the board. Legalizing marijuana is exactly that.  

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