The marijuana legalization movement forged decisively ahead this election, though under a new shadow of doubt cast by Donald Trump’s victory.
See next week’s CannaBiz for more on what changes at the federal level could mean for the legal cannabis industry. (Spoiler: we really don’t know yet.) Today, however, find solace in the news that our neighbors to the south rejected efforts to roll back retail marijuana sales in both the city and county of Pueblo.
Election Day dragged into the next day, thanks to an overloaded server that caused long lines at polling places and long delays in reporting the results. While the results aren't final, over 70,000 people appear to have cast their votes on Proposition 200 — the Pueblo County measure that would’ve shut down over 160 retail marijuana businesses — according to unofficial results posted on the county clerk’s website. Of those, 57 percent voted "no" — a larger margin than initially passed retail marijuana it four years ago.
Voters also rejected Proposition 300, the city’s equivalent of Prop 200.
The results further validate arguments made by opponents of the measure during campaign season that Pueblo voters have already demonstrated they’re cool with recreational marijuana, despite insistence on the other side that they’re having second thoughts. Spokesman for the pro-pot campaign, Growing Pueblo’s Future, and owner of Mesa Organics, Jim Parco called the vote a clear message.
“[Citizens] have seen the positive impacts that the regulated, retail marijuana industry has had in Pueblo County,” he said of the results. “We were the first [state] to legalize, regulate and tax adult-use retail marijuana, and now, the first [county] to decisively defeat prohibitionists in a do-over vote.”
In celebrating the victory, Parco also announced plans to create the first ever National Marijuana Museum in Pueblo. Owner of Legacy Homes in Pueblo Branson Haney will chair the community-based steering committee.
“With now more than 30 states having legalized marijuana, we have entered a new era where society is finally acknowledging that the benefits of legalized cannabis far outweigh the costs,” he said on election night. “With Pueblo County as the leader in the national legalization effort, it is now time to lead the effort on improving education and knowledge of marijuana’s rich history — scientifically, socially and culturally. And we’re going to do it right here in Pueblo, Colorado.”
To stay up-to-the-minute with the museum’s progress, follow their Facebook page for updates.
Bernie Sanders to Campaign for Hillary Clinton in ColoradoAnd here's the Bill Clinton information:
On Saturday November 5, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will campaign in Colorado for Hillary Clinton. At an afternoon Get Out the Vote rally in Colorado Springs, he will contrast Clinton's plan to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, with Donald Trump's plans, which would benefit himself and millionaires and billionaires like him.
At the rally, Sanders will also talk about Clinton's plans to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, combat climate change and move to sustainable energy, make public colleges and universities tuition free, and end a broken criminal justice system. Most importantly, he will emphasize the need to defeat Trump and make Clinton our next president.
More voters have voted in Colorado than at this point in 2012, and Senator Sanders will urge Coloradans to continue that trend and return their ballots early. So far in the state, more Democrats have returned their ballots early than Republicans, in contrast to the 2012 election.
More details about this trip will be released soon. Members of the public interested in attending this event can RSVP here.
Days Before Election Day, President Bill Clinton to Campaign for Hillary Clinton in Colorado
On Friday, November 4, just days before Election Day, President Bill Clinton will campaign for Hillary Clinton with a morning event in Pueblo and afternoon events in Denver and Fort Collins. While in Colorado, President Clinton will lay out the stakes of November's election and discuss his wife’s vision of an America that is stronger together, with an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.
More voters have voted in Colorado than at this point in 2012, and President Clinton will urge Coloradans to continue that trend and return their ballots early. So far in the state, more Democrats have returned their ballots early than Republicans, in contrast to the 2012 election.
Get Out The Vote With President Clinton in Pueblo
WHEN: Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10:00AM MDT, Doors Open at 8:30AM MDT
WHERE: Pueblo Union Depot, 132 W B St, Pueblo, CO 81003
Get Out The Vote With President Clinton in Denver
WHEN: Friday, November 4, 2016 at 1:15PM MDT, Doors Open at 11:30AM MDT
WHERE: Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th St, Denver, CO 80205
Get Out The Vote With President Clinton in Fort Collins
WHEN: Friday, November 4, 2016 at 3:45PM MDT, Doors Open at 2:30PM
WHERE: New Belgium Brewery, 500 Linden St, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Clerk Urges Voters Not to Return Ballots by Mail
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 2, 2016] With no guarantee a mailed ballot will be received by the deadline for voting, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office urges voters to use ballot drop-off boxes to return their ballot
Voters are reminded that ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 8. Ballots that are postmarked but not received by 7:00 p.m. will not be counted. Mailing a ballot after November 2 may not be adequate time to meet the election deadline.
“Filling out their ballot is just the first step; voters have to be sure their vote counts by getting their ballot back to our office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “We are committed to ensuring citizens have every opportunity to vote and we have 15 secure, 24/7 ballot drop-off boxes throughout the county. That includes six drive-up boxes for even greater convenience.”
An interactive map with the locations of 24/7 ballot drop-off boxes and the Voter Service and Polling Centers is available at www.EPCVotes.com under the tab Return My Ballot.
Voters also are encouraged not to wait until Election Day to return their ballot. This is a highly anticipated Presidential Election with voter turnout expected to be substantially more than in other elections (upward of 80% compared to an average of 70%). The sooner voters return their ballots, the sooner the Clerk’s Office will be able to release results on Election Night.
For more information or to have questions answered, voters may contact the Elections Department at 575-VOTE (8683) or email@example.com.
Usually we’re the tellers of stories, not the subjects of them. But the notebook-toters and camera-slingers in the press pen weathered some uncomfortable attention as Donald Trump directed his followers to howl at “the dishonest media” at his Tuesday rally in Colorado Springs at the Norris Penrose Event Center.
“They’re liars,” the Republican nominee declared as the riled up crowd turned around to boo and jeer at the fenced off section of journalists, local and traveling. The media — which, for the record, is not a singular, unified entity — is “rigging the election,” Trump told his supporters, by “telling totally false stories.” In particular, he bemoaned coverage of the recently surfaced hot-mic tape that unwittingly captured the then-59-year-old reality TV star bragging about “grabbing women by the pussy.” Multiple women have since come forward with allegations of sexual assault which Trump has threatened to sue the New York Times for publishing.
“I have been under constant attack” a blustering Trump exclaimed, adding that “they even want to try to rig the election at the polling booth where so many cities are corrupt. So corrupt.”
Worth noting is that general elections, like this one, are administered on the state, not municipal, level. Also worth noting is that the two elected officials who oversee the election here — El Paso County’s Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman, whose office gathers votes, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams, whose office processes them — have both adamantly rejected the notion that funny business of any consequence is remotely possible. They’re both Republicans.
Trump encouraged his followers to trust neither members of their own party who say “everything is just peachy-dory” nor independent polls that show him down by double digit percentage points in some cases. “I hear we’re doing great in Colorado,” Trump noted with smug defiance. “So it doesn’t matter what they’re saying. My people say we’re going to win Colorado.”
Many attendees shared these seemingly contradictory sentiments — that the election is “rigged” against their candidate, but that he’s surely headed toward victory.
Christine Chapman, who travelled from Rocky Ford and wore head-to-toe American flag garb, told the Indy she’s concerned about voter fraud, like dead people on the rolls and “illegals” who don’t have to show ID. Nonetheless, she believes Trump will come out on top. “I can’t understand why he wouldn’t ... I mean, look at the reception he gets,” Chapman said gesturing behind her to all the other fans waiting to get in the door on the windy fall afternoon.
An employee of Trump’s casino in Cripple Creek, James Sober, who donned a t-shirt that read “Hillary for Prison” from the conspiracy theorist website, infowars.com, showed an even more cynical attitude. “Oh, I know my vote won’t count,” he said, “I’m just here to show my support.” And when, as he anticipates, Clinton takes office and “goes after our guns,” Sober added, “things will get ugly.”
Trump’s professed skepticism of the democratic process stole headlines after he wouldn’t commit to accepting the result of the election on the debate stage Wednesday night. “I will keep you in suspense,” he declared ominously — a statement that elicited horror from all those who believe in the peaceful transfer of power according to voters’ will as a constitutionally enshrined pillar of the American system of government.
But at the rally Tuesday, attendees readily admitted this is an election like no other.
“I work for a company that’s closing, moving all our jobs offshore. And if we get Hillary, that’s going to keep happening,” said Joe Hutchcraft, an independent who registered as Republican this year to support Trump’s candidacy. “If I live in a country where they try to take all our jobs, our rights, our guns, own my house, my car and give me rations for what I can eat, then yeah, I believe there would be a revolution.”
(For the record, seizing private property is not one of Clinton’s stated policy proposals. Similar fears about the Obama administration have not come to pass either.)
And whether “revolution” means an armed insurrection Hutchcraft did not specify, but the idea that this election is a kind of last stand against globalist neoliberalism seemed well accepted at the rally.
“If we lose, it’s over,” predicted Jonathan Reed, a Trump campaign volunteer. “The country will slide into socialism forever because of immigration.” Repeating the incorrect assertion that Clinton wants to “blow open the border completely,” he commented that “all you need is 10 million more third worlders — and I know that’s a pejorative — but all you need it 10-15 million more people with no stake in the game other than they want a check from the government to swing the elections forever in this country.”
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families know how important elections are — and we've seen firsthand the difference a pro-equality majority can make in the Colorado legislature. For the past two years, we've watched every bill that would improve the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans get voted down in our state legislature. We are happy to endorse a bipartisan group of pro-equality candidates and look forward to working with them on their campaigns.Here are the endorsements:
Every candidate we have endorsed will be a champion for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families in the legislature. It is important we keep working to move our state forward — by removing everyday barriers transgender Coloradans face, banning the harmful practice of conversion therapy, and making sure religious exemption bills don't become law — so that no part of our community is left behind.
I would like to thank the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s office for their time and effort in validating the primary election results. They hold themselves to the highest standards and perform with efficiency and professionalism.
I would like to formally congratulate Mr. Gonzalez on his primary victory and wish him good fortune in the general election. I’m sure he will serve the people of our district well.
Clerk to Conduct Candidate Requested Recount for County Commissioner District 4
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – July 19, 2016] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has received a formal request from candidate Scott Turner to recount the ballots for the County Commissioner District 4 race in the Republican Party Primary Election. The final results for this race did not meet the threshold set in Colorado law to trigger an automatic recount. The cost to conduct the recount will not be at taxpayers’ expense, therefore, but will be paid by the candidate who requested the recount.
The final official election results as certified by the bipartisan Canvass Board show 34 votes separating the two candidates for the Commissioner District 4 race. That vote margin is nearly twice the amount required by statute (C.R.S. 1-10.5-106) for an automatic recount in that race, which would have been 18 votes.
“This request for a paid recount by a candidate is the first in our recent institutional memory,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “Our Elections staff will conduct the recount for the candidate, with their skilled expertise and resolve.”
The machines used for the election processing will be tested again prior to conducting the recount. The election equipment undergoes extensive testing before and after every election and passes with 100% accuracy.
After the equipment testing is complete, the ballot recount will begin on Friday, July 22, and should be concluded within a few days. It is not anticipated that the recount will change the results.
World Renowned Noam Chomsky Gives Enthusiastic Endorsement of ColoradoCare
Influential Author, Speaker, Political and Social Activist Joins Supporters of Amendment 69
DENVER — Noam Chomsky, widely considered one of the great minds of our time and a man the New York Times called "the most important intellectual alive today," came out as a strong supporter of ColoradoCare Monday, calling Colorado's "Medicare-for-All" type health care plan "a great idea, which should be extended to the whole country."
Chomsky is one of the most influential figures of the past half century, inspiring generations of people around the world to emulate his political and social activism. He has a long record of standing up for universal health care, and the need for a solution to America's health care crisis is familiar territory for Chomsky.
"The US health care system has about twice the per capita spending of other developed societies and relatively poor outcomes," Chomsky said in endorsing Amendment 69 Monday. "There is ample evidence that this unfortunate state of affairs is related to the fact that the US is alone among these societies in lacking some form of universal health care."
Citing years of national polling that have shown Americans "favor a universal health care system of the kind found elsewhere," Chomsky gave a hearty endorsement of Colorado's trailblazing efforts to establish universal health care.
"Quite often, significant progress has been initiated at the state level, then extending beyond," Chomsky noted. "For such reasons the ColoradoCare initiative is very much to be welcomed. It will not only be of great benefit to the people of Colorado, but may also be an opening wedge to substantial progress for the country as a whole."
Chomsky joins an impressive roster of thousands of endorsers of ColoradoCare, including small business owners, the self-employed, physicians, nurses, and organizations ranging from The League of Women Voters of Colorado to Together Colorado, from the Public Health Nurse Association of Colorado to being supported by name in the party platform of the Colorado Democratic Party.
"We couldn't be prouder to have Noam Chomsky's ringing endorsement of ColoradoCare," said Owen Perkins, Director of Communications for the ColoradoCareYES campaign. "If anyone can recognize a good idea, it is Professor Chomsky, and we couldn't ask for a more meaningful stamp of approval than his."
Chomsky has been on the faculty at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, and is now Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT. He distinguished himself as a game-changer in the field of linguistics and cognitive science early in his career, and he rose to widespread prominence through his opposition to the Vietnam War. He is the author of over 100 books, reflecting his groundbreaking work in linguistics, politics, media, analytic philosophy, and cognitive science. His most recent work includes the 2016 book Who Rules the World? and the 2015 documentary Requiem for the American Dream. He continues to actively publish articles on politics, the 2016 presidential campaigns, nuclear weapons, climate change, class warfare, the refugee crisis, and much more.
ColoradoCare, Amendment 69 on the November ballot, covers every Colorado resident — picking up hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who are not covered under the current corporate insurance system — with enhanced benefits and reduced costs, saving Colorado families and firms over $4.5 billion a year. There are no insurance premiums, no deductibles, and no co-pays on primary and preventive care. The system is primarily paid for through a 3.33% payroll deduction for employees and 6.67% of payroll for employers, representing savings of thousands of dollars annually for over 80% of Colorado residents.
For more information on Amendment 69, please visit www.ColoradoCare.org.
Yes this is difficult but it is also part of our process and as such must be respected. All votes matter, as you never know what the results will be until they are counted. I’m more disappointed that only 6866 people out of a registered voting population of 22,573 took the time to vote for the one office that directly affects each and every one of them. What that really means is that 15.3% of the registered republican voters actually voted for the winner, and only 50 people out of 22,573, (.0022%) actually made the decision for the rest of the population. Every vote counts in every race, our country was founded on principals of representative government, to let the people have a say in our republic and our communities. It is unfortunate that we have reached such a high level of apathy.You can read more about the two candidates here.
I would like to congratulate my opponent and do wish him well. He has a big job ahead of him and the people are looking to him to do the right thing for them and their community. He needs to remember that the people of District 4 did the voting, and it is those people he has a responsibility to serve.
Colorado Springs Forward announces
El Paso County Commissioner District 3 endorsement
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 24, 2016 – With three veteran county commissioners retiring from the board due to term limits, the November elections will be crucial for the future of El Paso County. Colorado Springs Forward (CSF) is grateful for the long record of community service by Commissioners Sallie Clark, Dennis Hisey and Amy Lathen.
After extensive discussions with Stan VanderWerf and Karen Cullen – both candidates for El Paso County Commissioner in District 3 – Colorado Springs Forward is satisfied that both of these individuals have shown a deep understanding of business development throughout the region and the impacts of sound, local public policy.
The CSF board of directors believes that both of these candidates are strong choices for the citizens of District 3 and represent the pillars embraced by Colorado Springs Forward.
However, CSF’s board is most pleased with the significant and diverse experience as well as the depth of knowledge shown by VanderWerf. His history of leadership and ability to articulate sound principles, which support economic development, have led CSF to endorse his candidacy for County Commissioner District 3.
“We appreciate Stan VanderWerf’s thorough research into local issues which are impacting the community right now and will continue to impact it long into the future,” said Lynette Crow-Iverson, chairwoman of the CSF board of directors. “We feel he is the best choice to influence local policy and business development.”
In February, Colorado Springs Forward endorsed Mark Waller for El Paso County Commissioner District 2, and Scott Turner for El Paso County Commissioner District 4.
ABOUT COLORADO SPRINGS FORWARD
Colorado Springs Forward is a non-profit, broad-based alliance of people and organizations that care deeply about and are committed to the success of the Pikes Peak region. Colorado Springs Forward was formed by a group of community leaders in April 2014, to re-establish Colorado Springs as the most inviting and respected city in which to live, work and play. Board members include: Lynette Crow-Iverson (Chair), Phil Lane, Kathy Loo, Douglas Stimple, Jariah Walker, and Tom Neppl.
Colorado Springs Forward’s mission is to unite the citizens, communities and organizations of the Pikes Peak region to educate, collaborate and coordinate so that, together, they can effectively address the challenges and opportunities faced by our region. They will lead with words and actions, with a sense of urgency, so that together we can reach our full potential and an excellent quality of life. For more information, visit ColoradoSpringsForward.org.
Late this afternoon we were notified by the Secretary of State that our petition was insufficient, and we are currently evaluating the Secretary of State's report. After we have concluded a thorough evaluation, we will have further comment regarding our next steps in seeking the Republican nomination for U.S Senate. We believe that after our review, the final analysis will validate that we are in substantial compliance.
After being handpicked by the national Republican Party and blowing off grassroots Republicans, Jon Keyser had to sue his way onto the Republican primary ballot. Now he's back to limping through the primary with no momentum and practically no money, while Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier prepare their own lawsuits to get back on the ballot.
Keyser was anointed by the same national Republicans who have spent years creating gridlock in Washington, and like a typical politician Keyser has refused to take positions on issues that matter to Colorado while blowing off the grassroots to jaunt off to locales like Las Vegas in an attempt to raise money from billionaire establishment megadonors. Keyser has pledged to support Donald Trump if he’s the nominee and it’s clear that if elected to the Senate, Jon Keyser would only add to the dysfunction in Washington.