Pot more popular than the president

by Jeremy Madden, Aspen Daily News Columnist
After an impressive victory over Mitt Romney, President Obama is probably feeling pretty good. Not only did he win the popular vote, but he also dominated the count from the Electoral College. His victory over Mitt Romney was absolute and uncontested. Romney could only counter by quickly conceding.

However, even though he may have beaten Mitt Romney, President Obama did suffer a significant setback on Tuesday when voters in Colorado confirmed that pot is more popular than he is.

As someone who likes numbers I can’t help but like elections. As I looked over the results of the election, I couldn’t help but keep an eye on what was happening with Amendment 64 and the presidential race. The more I watched the more I saw a trend emerging and I came to an unbelievable conclusion: Pot is more popular than President Obama in the eyes of the people of Colorado.

According to the website for Colorado’s Secretary of State, at the time of this writing, President Obama received 1,225,447 votes in Colorado in his victory over Mitt Romney. And Amendment 64, Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana for adults, received 1,278,790 in its win for weed. No matter how much smoke gets in your eyes, it’s a clear victory. The numbers don’t lie. There are 53,000-odd more votes for marijuana in Colorado than for Mr. Obama.

The percentages of votes received also reflect the preferences of the people. Amendment 64 claimed 54.84 percent of the popular vote, and President Obama took only 51.17 percent — 100 percent of everyone knows this means pot is more popular than the president.

It’s not just in Colorado where the president’s popularity is being contested by cannabis. Just like in the Centennial State, voters in Washington state also approved the recreational use of marijuana and voted in support of the president. But in Washington the competition was tighter than bark. Weed was winning with just under 56 percent of the vote and Barack has just over 55 percent of the vote. At this point it’s almost too close to call. No wonder they call it the Evergreen State.

Massachusetts is another state that went for marijuana as well as Obama. In the Bay State pot is holding a slight lead in popularity over the president. Massachusetts’ amendment to make medical marijuana legal at the state level has garnished around 63 percent of the votes and Barack has about 61 percent. That’s a wicked lead for weed.

Even in Arkansas where Mr. Obama and marijuana both lost, marijuana was much closer to victory than the president. He got only 36 percent of the vote in his bid, but a measure for medical marijuana got 48 percent of the vote. It was razorback close.

Despite the disappointing results and closely contested races in Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts and Arkansas, Obama did have a significant victory over marijuana in one state. As of press time folks in the Beaver State were bucking the trend by voting for Obama while passing on a measure to approve recreational use of marijuana. In what some are saying is a surprise and shock, it appears pot is not as popular as the president is in all parts of the Pacific Northwest. Voters in Oregon came to Obama’s aid in his time of need against weed by giving him victory with 53 percent of the vote, and in rejecting recreational marijuana, voters gave the pro pot proposal a paltry 45.5 percent of the vote.

It will be interesting to see how the president’s competition with pot proceeds in the future. With any and every kind of cannabis consumption being illegal in the eyes of our federal government, he and the justice department will have to make a decision on how they want to address the way they deal with pot and it’s progression to legality.

The president has a couple of options when dealing with the issue. On one hand he could choose to respect the wishes of the voters and concede to the commercialization of cannabis in Colorado by being hands off, much like he has been with regards to Colorado’s medical marijuana industry. Or he could see the competition from cannabis as a direct threat to his power that overreaches states’ rights and nip it in the bud.

Regardless of what happens there is one thing that is clear. The people of Colorado have spoken and pot is more popular than the president.

Contact Jeremy at madden@maddenamerica.com.