Marijuana Laws: Legalize Pot Odds in Colorado, Washington, Oregon

Last Updated: November 4th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Light one up and pass down the ballot! Colorado, Washington, and Oregon all have initiatives to either legalize or ease restrictions on marijuana use and sales. With the number of people supporting marijuana legalization growing every year, states have been slowly taking small steps towards legalization for over a decade now but these would be some of the most progressive reforms yet. It comes as no surprise that these initiatives involve three of the most liberal states in the US or that these three early adopters are voting on this on Tuesday.

In Colorado, voters will be able to vote on Amendment 64 which will decriminalize marijuana and give it the same restrictions as alcohol, legalizing it fully for anyone under 21 and allowing stores to sell weed with a state license. If this passes, Colorado would be the first state in the country to fully legalize marijuana and could open the floodgates for other states and perhaps even the national government to fully legalize pot. Currently, Amendment 64 is a -210 favorite at SportBet Sportsbook to pass per the 2012 election odds and the odds for the measure not to pass are +160. When betting these lines, it’s important to keep in mind that initiative or amendment polling has a spotty track record at best, so rather than follow the polls it may be better to go with your gut.

Oregon voters will decide on Measure 80 on Tuesday, but this reform does not seem to have near the support that Amendment 64 has in Colorado. The measure is currently a massive -750 betting favorite according to the marijuana legalization chances with the option of the measure passing checking in as a +450 underdog at A poll released on Wednesday found that 49% of Oregon voters opposed the measure and only 42% supported it. However, marijuana advocates quickly pointed out how the poll may have been skewed due to pollsters conducting this exclusively over the phone on landlines. They point out that a vast number of young people (assumed to be the major proponents of the measure) no longer use landlines and the poll thus had a flaw in its methodology and underrepresented the measure’s support. This is a valid argument and a poll compiled a different way may have an entirely different result.

Washington’s Initiative 502 is a huge favorite to be passed possibly because this does not liberalize marijuana to the extent that the legislation in Oregon and Colorado will. Right now, the bill is a -600 favorite to pass per the odds that weed is legalized at and is a sizeable +400 underdog to fail. With a name like the Evergreen State it seems inevitable that marijuana will be broadly legalized this fall and there may be a cloud of smoke bigger than Mt St Helen’s to celebrate.

Hovering over all of this though is the United States government, which might use its broad powers to sue any state that passes these measures as being in contradiction to federal law. Federal law prohibits marijuana sale, use, and possession and an action by the United States would tie up the legality of these laws in courts for years before potentially going all the way to the Supreme Court. One could only fathom what the Supreme Court would decide, but even this would go a long ways to the legalization of marijuana in America.

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Posted in General Handicapping - Last Updated on Sunday, November 4th, 2012 @ 12:00 am (EST)
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