By Doug Newman
The Denver Post
When you step on the rights of others, don’t complain when other people try to step on your rights. I say this about one measure that is on the Colorado ballot this fall and another which may be on the ballot.
Coloradoans should vote YES on Amendment 64, which would legalize marijuana use for people over the age of 21 and tax it in a manner similar to alcohol. Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and its health benefits are extensively documented. While the psychoactive effects of marijuana last a few hours, the punishments for use or possession of marijuana can last a lifetime.
Ironically, some of the greatest opposition to Amendment 64 comes from “conservatives” who insist they believe individual liberty. If you would forbid others from consuming marijuana – either medically or recreationally – don’t complain when other people want to restrict your medical and other freedoms.
The second measure is the proposed Colorado Corporate Contributions Amendment. This amendment would instruct our congressional delegation to propose, and our state legislature to ratify, a constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending. Coloradoans should vote NO here.
Some corporations and wealthy people do wonderful things while others do rotten things. Many do some of both. When you limit their financial contributions you limit their ability to contribute to campaigns and causes you support. And when you restrict the political rights of others, don’t complain when other people want to restrict your political rights.
Rights either apply to everybody or they don’t apply to anybody. And when you curtail the rights of other people, just know that there are people who won’t hesitate for a minute to curtail your rights. What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow.