Local law enforcement agents weigh in on Amendment 64

By: Christy Dimond Email
By: Christy Dimond Email

Local law enforcement officials are speaking out about Amendment 64, which would legalize the personal use and regulation of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey and Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein announced their opposition to the amendment at the Mesa County Republicans' monthly luncheon.

"Why widen the net for all those things that public safety resources and healthcare resources and community resources have to try to mitigate?" Sheriff Hilkey said.

Proponents of the ballot item say legalization of marijuana would make it easier to keep marijuana out of the hands of kids.

"Marijuana is going to be out there and going to be available but the question is, 'do we want to leave it in an underground market where it is entirely uncontrolled, or do we want to put it behind a counter where it's harder for young people to get?'" said Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Opponents believe legalization would draw visitors to the state for the wrong reasons.

"There's no residency requirement for this law," Sheriff Hilkey said. "In other words, anybody can come from any part of the world to Colorado to get their marijuana and have it legally. The implication is that Colorado becomes a destination site for marijuana."

Though proponents say this would boost Colorado's economy, Sheriff Hilkey said the boost would not cover the costs associated with healthcare, insurance rates and criminal justice fees.

Amendment 64 will be voted on in as part of the November ballot.

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