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Coming Down to the Wire in Nevada and Colorado

We're getting down to the final days of this election season, and we're waiting with bated breath for that first marijuana legalization victory in Colorado and/or Nevada. I'll be doing a feature story on these two races on Friday for the Chronicle. I have calls in to both campaigns, but for some reason, these folks appear to be pretty busy right now. Although I was hoping to have something to report today direct from SAFER Colorado and/or theCommittee to Regulate and Control Marijuana in Nevada, neither has gotten back to me yet. Both campaigns have been very active, but the folks in Colorado have really been extraordinary. They have organized event after event, often in a highly imaginative manner, they have hammered away at the alcohol vs. marijuana comparison, they have ambushed their opposition—especially at a news conference last Friday where the drug warriors were met by an unexpected 100 or so protestors. The Nevada campaign, meanwhile, continues to hammer away with media buys and an innovative "new media" strategy that is getting its message out over the Internet. Still, it appears both campaigns are facing an uphill battle. In Colorado, a Denver Post poll a few days ago had the initiative losing by a margin of 57% to 34%. SAFER Colorado protests that the poll is biased an inaccurate, but that is a rather large gap. A Denver Post poll last month was much closer, with 29% in favor, 36% against, and a whopping 35% undecided. Has the opposition really gained 20+ points in a month? I guess we'll find out on Tuesday. It looks a little tighter in Nevada, where a Reno Gazette-Journal poll last week showed the measure losing by a margin of 41% to 52%. Those numbers are up from an earlier Gazette-Journal poll that showed only 37% supported regulating marijuana. The most recent Gazette-Journal poll tracks closely with a Las Vegas Review-Journal poll reporting 42% in favor, 51% opposed. But an poll conducted in late September by independent pollsters for the initiative organizers showed it leading by a margin of 49% to 43%. Again, I guess we'll find out Tuesday. For those who cannot wait until Friday to hear more about what is going on in these two campaigns, I suggest you visit their web sites, which are fairly comprehensive and quite up to date.
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