Quantcast

Professors endorse legal weed in Colorado as Obama woos students

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:23 EDT
google plus icon
A marijuana plant. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

More than 100 college professors across the nation signed an open letter on Tuesday endorsing a Colorado ballot measure that would legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol, in a move timed to coincide with President Barack Obama’s campaign stop at Colorado State University.

The letter was released by The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the principal group supporting Amendment 64, the marijuana legalization ballot initiative being put before voters this November. The law would permit adults over the age of 21 to possess one ounce of marijuana or six marijuana plants. It does not propose any any changes that would affect employee drug testing or laws prohibiting driving while intoxicated.

Most of the letter’s co-signers identified themselves as coming from “the fields of law, health, economics, and criminal justice.”

“For decades, our country has pursued a policy of marijuana prohibition that has been just as ineffective and wasteful as alcohol prohibition,” they wrote. “We have reviewed Amendment 64 and concluded that it presents an effective, responsible, and much-needed new approach for Colorado and the nation.”

President Obama, meanwhile, is due to make a stop at Colorado State University on Tuesday afternoon as part of a three-state campaign swing focusing on college campuses right at the start of a new school year. He’s expected to reiterate his support for freezing student loan interest rates and attack Mitt Romney for saying that hopeful students should just borrow money from their parents or join the military.

The president has consistently said he opposes to marijuana legalization, and his administration has been adamant about prosecuting hundreds of licensed marijuana vendors in states that have legalized the drug for medical use.

“The State of Colorado, as well as our nation, have successfully walked the path from prohibition to regulation in the past,” the professors concluded. “Eighty years ago, Colorado voters approved a ballot initiative to repeal alcohol prohibition at the state level, which was followed by repeal at the federal level. This year, we have the opportunity to do the same thing with marijuana and once again lead the nation toward more sensible, evidence-based laws and policies.”

An August survey by the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling group found that 47 percent of Colorado voters favor Amendment 64, while just 38 percent oppose it.

Read the full letter below.

######

To the Voters of Colorado:

As professors in the fields of law, health, economics, and criminal justice, among others, we write this open letter to encourage a sensible, evidence-based approach to marijuana policy, and to endorse Amendment 64, the initiative on this year’s ballot to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado.

For decades, our country has pursued a policy of marijuana prohibition that has been just as ineffective and wasteful as alcohol prohibition. We have reviewed Amendment 64 and concluded that it presents an effective, responsible, and much-needed new approach for Colorado and the nation.

Marijuana prohibition has proven to be the worst possible system when it comes to protecting teens, driving marijuana into the underground market where proof of age is not required and where other illegal products might be available. In a regulated system, marijuana sales will be taken off the streets and put behind a counter where age restrictions are strictly enforced. There is evidence that regulating marijuana works. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marijuana use among Colorado high school students declined from 2009 to 2011, the time during which the state began regulating medical marijuana sale. Meanwhile, it increased nationwide, where no such regulations were implemented.

Given our current economic climate, we must evaluate the efficacy of expensive government programs and make responsible decisions about the use of state resources. Enforcing marijuana prohibition is wasting our state’s limited criminal justice resources and eroding respect for the law. Our communities would be better served if the resources we currently spend to investigate, arrest, and prosecute people for marijuana offenses each year were redirected to focus on violent and otherwise harmful crimes. According to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, passage of Amendment 64 would immediately save local and state law enforcement officials more than $12 million per year, and it could save more than $36 million per year within the first five years. Paired with new state and local revenues, the initiative has the potential to generate more than $120 million per year for Colorado and its localities.

It is also important to note that Amendment 64 does not change existing laws regarding driving under the influence of marijuana, and it allows employers to maintain all of their current employment and drug-testing policies.

The State of Colorado, as well as our nation, have successfully walked the path from prohibition to regulation in the past. Eighty years ago, Colorado voters approved a ballot initiative to repeal alcohol prohibition at the state level, which was followed by repeal at the federal level. This year, we have the opportunity to do the same thing with marijuana and once again lead the nation toward more sensible, evidence-based laws and policies.

Please join us in supporting Amendment 64, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Sincerely,

Burton Abrams
Professor of Economics
University of Delaware

Daron Acemoglu
Professor of Economics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Patricia A. Adler
Professor of Sociology
University of Colorado Boulder

Peter Adler
Professor of Sociology and Criminology
University of Denver

Sunil Aggarwal
Researcher, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
New York University School of Medicine

Ty Alper
Clinical Professor of Law
U.C. Berkeley School of Law

Howard Baetjer, Jr.
Lecturer, Department of Economics
Towson University

Jennifer Ball
Associate Professor of Economics
Washburn University

W. David Ball
Assistant Professor
Santa Clara School of Law

Randy Barnett
Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory
Georgetown Law

Humberto Barreto
Elizabeth P. Allen Distinguished University Professor, Economics and Management
DePauw University

Art Benavie
Emeritus Professor of Economics
University of North Carolina

Douglas A. Berman
Professor of Law
Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University

Marc Bilodeau
Associate Professor of Economics
Indiana University

Cyrus Bina
Distinguished Research Professor of Economics
University of Minnesota

Miriam W. Boeri
Associate Professor of Sociology
Kennesaw State University

Bruce Caldwell
Professor of Economics
Duke University

David Campbell
Lecturer in Economics
Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business

Tapoja Chaudhuri
Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Haverford College

Lawrence R. Cima
Associate Professor of Economics
John Carroll University

Richard D. Coe
Professor of Economics and Chair of the Faculty
New College of Florida

Robert A. Collinge
Professor of Economics, Retired
University of Texas at San Antonio

Mike Cummings
Professor of Political Science and President’s Teaching Scholar
University of Colorado Denver

William L. Davis
Professor of Economics
University of Tennessee at Martin

Dale DeBoer
Professor of Economics
University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Ranjit S. Dighe
Chair and Professor, Department of Economics
SUNY College at Oswego

K.K. DuVivier
Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Mitch Earleywine
Professor of Psychology
University at Albany

Fred Foldvary
Lecturer in Economics, San Jose State University
Director, Civil Society Institute, Santa Clara University

Sean Fox
Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics
Kansas State University

Arthur Gilbert
Associate Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
University of Denver

Tom Ginsburg
Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar
University of Chicago Law School

Michael D. Goldberg
Roland H. O’Neal Professor and Professor of Economics
University of New Hampshire

Hava Rachel Gordon
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology
Director, Gender and Women’s Studies Program
University of Denver

Philip E. Graves
Professor of Economics
University of Colorado

Colleen E. Haight
Assistant Professor of Economics
San Jose State University

Robert M. Hardaway
Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Mark J. Heyrman
Clinical Professor of Law
University of Chicago Law School

Leslie Irvine
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Colorado Boulder

Habib Jam
Professor of Economics
Rowan University

Erika Joye
Instructor of Psychology
Metropolitan State College of Denver

Daniel Klein
Professor of Economics
George Mason University

Alex Kreit
Associate Professor of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

William D. Lastrapes
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

David Levine
John H. Biggs Distinguished Professor of Economics
Washington University

Terry Liska
Professor Emeritus of Economics
University of Wisconsin

Mark J. Loewenstein
Monfort Professor of Commercial Law
University of Colorado Law School

David M. Long
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
Brandman University

Leigh Maddox
Adjunct Professor of Law
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Ann Magennis
Professor of Anthropology
Colorado State University

Paul M. Mason
Professor of Economics
University of North Florida

Robert Melamede
Professor of Biology
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Mark Montgomery
Donald L. Wilson Professor of Enterprise and Leadership, Economics
Grinnell College

Suzanna K. Moran
Lawyering Process Professor
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Leon N. Moses
Emeritus Professor of Economics
Northwestern University

Peter Moskos
Professor, Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Tracy Mott
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Economics
University of Denver

Stephen Mumme
Professor of Political Science
Colorado State University

Richard F. Muth
Calloway Professor of Economics Emeritus
Emory University

Joanne Naughton
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Retired
Mercy College

Thomas Nail
Postdoctoral Lecturer in Philosophy
University of Denver

Inder P. Nijhawan
Professor Emeritus, School of Business and Economics
Fayetteville State University

Kevin O’Brien
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Business Ethics and Legal Studies
University of Denver

Patrick O’Brien
Professor of Sociology
University of Colorado Boulder

Brendan O’Flaherty
Professor of Economics
Columbia University

Randall O’Reilly
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of Colorado Boulder

Michelle Oberman
Professor of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law

Alexandre Padilla
Associate Professor of Economics
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Pete Padilla
Instructor of Sociology
University of Colorado Denver

Michael Perelman
Professor of Economics
California State University

Dina Perrone
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
California State University – Long Beach

Mark J. Perry
Professor of Economics
University of Michigan

Chiara Piovani
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Denver

Mark Pogrebin
Professor of Criminology
University of Colorado Denver

Raja Raghunath
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Valerie Ramey
Professor of Economics
University of California, San Diego

Amanda Reiman
Lecturer, Social Welfare
University of California Berkeley

Leonard Riley
Instructor of Political Science
University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Gregory Robbins
Professor of Religious Studies
University of Denver

Cesare Romano
Professor of Law
Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Paul Rubin
Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics
Emory University

John Ruggiero
Edmund B. O’Leary Professor of Economics
University of Dayton

David Sandoval
Professor of History (Ret.)
Colorado State University Pueblo

Raphael Sassower
Professor of Philosophy
University of of Colorado Colorado Springs

Scott Savage
Associate Professor of Economics
University of Colorado Boulder

Bill Schoen
Adjunct Instructor of Sociology
University of Colorado Denver

Andrew Abraham Schwartz
Associate Professor of Law
University of Colorado Law School

Hamid Shomali
Professor of Finance and Economics
Golden Gate University

Steven M. Shugan
McKethan-Matherly Eminent Scholar and Professor
University of Florida

Jonathan Simon
Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law
U.C. Berkeley School of Law

Randy Simmons
Professor of Economics
Director of the Institute of Political Economy
Utah State University

Kenneth Small
Professor Emeritus of Economics
University of California at Irvine

Ilya Somin
Professor of Law
George Mason University School of Law

Courtenay C. Stone
Professor of Economics
Ball State University

Robert N. Strassfeld
Professor of Law
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Nadine Strossen
Professor of Law
New York Law School

Scott Sumner
Professor of Economics
Bentley University

Shyam Gouri Suresh
Assistant Professor of Economics
Davidson College

Alex Tabarrok
Bartley J. Madden Professor of Economics
George Mason University

Betty Taylor
Professor of Criminal Justice and Humanities
University of Phoenix

Alex Thompson
Graduate Instructor of Sociology
University of Colorado Boulder

Richard H. Timberlake
Professor of Economics, Retired
University of Georgia

Alex Tokarev
Professor of Economics
Northwood University

John Tommasi
Senior Lecturer of Economics
Bentley University

Edward Tower
Professor of Economics
Duke University

Susan Tyburski
Lecturer on Law and Society
The Women’s College of the University of Denver

Mary Van Buren
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Colorado State University

Daniel A. Vigil
Assistant Dean and Adjunct Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Alexander “Sasha” Volokh
Associate Professor
Emory Law School

Mike Whitty
Adjunct Professor, School of Management
University of San Francisco

Madelyn V. Young
Associate Professor of Economics
Converse College

Edward H. Ziegler
Professor of Law and Robert B. Yegge Memorial Research Chair
University of Denver

Joseph Zoric
Associate Professor of Economics, MBA Director
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+