The proponents of Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, have turned plenty of heads via billboards near Mile High Stadium, with the first featuring a soccer-mom-type woman revealing her preference for cannabis and the second spotlighting a father saying, "Please card my son" -- the implication being that regulation will do a better job of keeping kids away from pot than will prohibition. But the latest billboard, this one in reliably Republican Grand Junction, is arguably the grabbiest yet. It features televangelist Pat Robertson and the slogan "Pat Robertson would vote YES on 64. Will you?"
As we first reported in March, Robertson more or less endorsed Amendment 64 in an interview with the New York Times. "I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol," he said, adding, "If people can go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol and drink it at home legally, then why do we say that the use of this other substance is somehow criminal?"
Moreover, Robertson told the Times he "absolutely" supports the Colorado ballot measure, as well as a similar one in Washington state.
When asked if the decision to put Robertson on a billboard in Grand Junction had anything to do with the demographics of the area, campaign spokesman Betty Aldworth offers de facto confirmation.
"We know the Western Slope is more conservative," she says, "and certainly Grand Junction is more conservative than the Denver-Boulder metro area."
However, she goes on, "even for people who don't agree with Pat Robertson on some things, it's surprising to note that Pat Robertson supports Amendment 64. You wouldn't expect that at first blush. But when you look into why he supports Amendment 64 -- educate yourself on the issues he's talking about, including the failure of making marijuana a criminal-justice issue -- it helps voters understand that people across the political and ideological spectrum can see that marijuana prohibition has failed, and that we can responsibly and reasonably regulate marijuana like alcohol."
Likewise, the Robertson billboard reinforces a campaign theme -- that ending marijuana prohibition isn't a partisan matter.
"Whether you approach this issue from the standpoint of social justice or streamlining government, or from the standpoint of community safety or the safety of our youth, it's easy to see that prohibition has failed us. And that's also clear when you start to learn the facts about how we treat marijuana within the criminal justice system.
"We waste an enormous amount of tax resources on implementing laws that don't make us any safer. We destroy families and communities by keeping marijuana in an unregulated underground market that makes it more accessible to our youth."
The Grand Junction billboard is on the well-traveled Interstate 70 Business Loop just west of Main Street, facing east.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Pat Robertson 'endorses' Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, Amendment 64."
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