- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hey man, like it’s a bummer: There’s unintended collateral damage when marijuana is legalized for recreational use.

Legalization is “bad for the state’s wholesome image” according to a majority of registered Colorado voters. So says a new Quinnipiac University poll, which finds that 51 percent of the respondents agreed with the idea. Oh, but here’s a partisan divide. Almost three-fourths of the Republicans — 73 percent — felt the image had been sullied.

But 57 percent of Democrats say legalization is actually good for the state’s image.

It’s the same story in the under-30 crowd versus geezers: 57 percent of voters under 30 say it’s good, compared to 67 percent of those over 65 who say it’s bad. Consider that some of those may actually be aged hippies. But no matter.

“Slightly more than half of Coloradans say they’ve smoked marijuana at some time in their life, but only 10 percent admit to taking a legal toke since Jan. 1,” says Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.

He adds that only 17 percent of Colorado voters say they would try marijuana brownies if someone brought them to a get-together, while 64 percent of voters say they would be “very uncomfortable” riding in a car with a driver who has smoked or consumed moderate amounts of marijuana.

The survey of 1,139 registered Colorado voters was conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 2. Incidentally, the poll found that overall, 58 percent of the voters actually approved of legalization. It’s the particulars that make them a little nervous.

THE MEDIA’S HILLARY OBSESSION

The news coverage of one Hillary Rodham Clinton inspires endless, prodigious prose from journalists; consider that she generated 124,000 press mentions or stories in the last 48 hours, according to a Google News count. Maybe it’s because there’s just so much material. Maybe it’s just tradition. But it is phenomenon.

A study released Tuesday by Mediaite.com gauging Hillary-centric coverage on Fox News, CNN and NBC from Feb. 3-9 found that the three networks devoted 80 segments to Mrs. Clinton last week, for a total of 173 minutes.

“All during a week in which Clinton, who does not currently hold office and has not announced her candidacy for an election almost three years away, said and did almost nothing,” says Evan McMurry, a columnist for the website.

CNN, which focused on Mrs. Clinton’s relationship with Vice President Joe Biden, was the most acutely interested, with 72 minutes. MSNBC, which dwelled upon “war on women” issues, logged 57 minutes; Fox, with coverage centered on Benghazi, accrued 44 minutes.

“If anything, this week, which saw the release of HRC by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen, could be worse,” Mr. McMurry adds. “Eternal reminder: There are 1,001 days until the 2016 election.”

AND THOSE HILLARY HEADLINES

Yes, the White House derby is far, far away. But that notion doesn’t appear to dampen speculative press enthusiasm across the board. A few select Hillary headlines among the hundreds, then. This particular batch is all in the form of questions.:

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