Colorado leaders ask Arizonans to vote no on legalizing marijuana

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Opponents of Prop. 205 held a news conference on Tuesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Opponents of Prop. 205 held a news conference on Tuesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Opponents of legalizing marijuana believes the drug will lead to more issues and problems for Arizona. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Opponents of legalizing marijuana believes the drug will lead to more issues and problems for Arizona. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Do as we say, not as we do. 

That was the basic message from a pair of Colorado leaders on Tuesday, urging Arizonans to vote down the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

Both the mayor of Colorado Springs and a Colorado police sergeant asked Arizona voters to pump the brakes on Proposition 205, even though the people in their state seem to like their marijuana laws. 

A new poll by Public Polling (a Democratic-leaning firm) shows 51 percent of Colorado voters oppose the repeal of legalization while 36 percent support it. Also, nearly 60 percent said they believed ending the prohibition on pot has benefited their state. 

Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012 so much of the country is looking at the state as a test case. 

John Suthers, the mayor of Colorado Springs, says his state has failed that test. 

During a news conference outside the headquarters of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, he claimed passage of Prop. 205 would lead to a rise in teen use. 

"Colorado ranks number one in the country for underage use of marijuana," Suthers said.

However, a year-old study by the Colorado Department of Public health shows teen use has slightly dropped since legalization. 

Twenty-one percent of Colorado teens in 2015 said they used marijuana over the past 30 days. That's down from 25 percent in 2009, three years before legalization. 

Also, Jim Gerhardt, a Colorado law enforcement official, claimed legalization has spurred a rise in crime. 

"We have not seen in public safety and in law enforcement, we have not seen a decrease of issues and problems. We've seen an increase of issues and problems," he said. 

But a 2014 study by the Cato Institute shows marijuana has had a minimal impact on crime rates. 

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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