Colorado educators oppose marijuana legalization

5:21 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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Amendment 64 would, if passed, ask the state legislature to help direct proceeds from an excise tax on marijuana sales and direct them toward public school construction projects. It's thought it could raise tens of millions of dollars a year.

"[Amendment 64] is a diversion from the conversation we should be having about public education in Colorado," CEA President Kerrie Dallman said. "Funding it through the sale of marijuana is not the way that we support and sustain a great education."

"We won't fund schools on something that will hurt our students. We need to fund schools the right way and the adequate way. This is not the way to do that," CEA Vice President Amie Baca-Oehlert said.

On Wednesday, the people behind the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol shot back.

"When we consulted with CEA during the drafting of the initiative, they indicated they would be remaining neutral on the issue, but that's politics for you," a statement from the campaign said.

"We know that many Coloradans are ready to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition," campaign spokesperson Betty Aldworth said. "We can create a system where marijuana is controlled. We will have an easier time keeping it out of the hands of children."

She cited a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control which suggests marijuana use among high school students in Colorado dropped between 2009 and 2011 as evidence that medical marijuana regulation is having an impact.

"In an unregulated, underground market there are no controls," Aldworth added.

Voters rejected Amendment 44 in 2006. That amendment would have legalized the possession of a small amount of marijuana, but did not include the regulatory framework that 64 now has.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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