SUNRISE: Marijuana legalization effort draws big donors

Staff reports Updated: September 24, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: September 24, 2012

Pro-marijuana donors with deep pockets are pouring millions into legalization measures on the ballot in Colorado, but they appear to be bypassing a similar pot campaign in Oregon.

Marijuana legalization advocates connected with billionaire donors George Soros and Peter Lewis say the Oregon measure doesn't appear as politically attractive as it is in Colorado and Washington, the Oregonian reported (http://is.gd/TAnlzv ).

The reaction to Oregon's Measure 80 is a "cause for concern and a disincentive" to donate money, Ethan Nadelmann, a prominent national opponent of the nation's drug laws, told the newspaper. He heads Drug Policy Action, a New York-based nonprofit that donated $715,000 in Washington and another $90,000 in Colorado.

Law enforcement officials opposing marijuana legalization in Oregon eyed the big dollars from national pot advocates and expected to be heavily outspent this year. But Measure 80 is shaping up to be a low-dollar affair, the newspaper reported.

"We're trying to bring that money, but we haven't been successful so far," said Paul Stanford, Measure 80's sponsor who owns a chain of medical marijuana clinics around the country. "They say our poll numbers aren't that great."

In Colorado, committees supporting marijuana legalization reported raising $1.1 million as of Sept. 12. Most of the money came from Lewis, who has donated $876,000 to Amendment 64.

Paul Ryan to visit the Springs

Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is planning two campaign stops in Colorado this week.

Ryan is planning to hold a town hall meeting at Walker Manufacturing in Fort Collins Wednesday morning and a rally at America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs on Wednesday afternoon.

Ryan's visit comes on the heels of two campaign stops in two days by running mate Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney in Pueblo for campaign rally

Mitt Romney is returning to Pueblo for a campaign rally he had to cancel.

Romney is due to speak Monday morning at the Pueblo airport. He had to cancel an appearance there last week in the wake of a fatal plane crash at the airport.

On Sunday, he held a rally in the Denver area.

Romney has not appeared publicly in Colorado since early August. His campaign has been roiled by his comments over the Middle East and a secretly recorded tape of his remarks at a fundraiser.

Romney told reporters he now plans to spend less time raising money and more time on the stump.

Woman arrested, slips cuffs and flees with sheriff's vehicle

What should have been a routine traffic stop turned into a wild chase on Interstate 70 on Sunday when a woman who was pulled over slipped out of handcuffs and stole a Clear Creek County deputy's vehicle.

The woman's driving led deputies to try to pull her over a little before 10 a.m. as she drove west on I-70.

She didn't stop, and the deputies pursued her in a "low-speed chase."

When the deputies finally managed to get the woman to pull over, at mile marker 225, she backed up and hit the patrol car, which was behind her car.

The woman then "exited her vehicle and became combative with the deputies," according to a statement from the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office.

Read more on incident at denverpost.com


Lakewood set to spend $2.8M on light rail stations

The city of Lakewood is set to spend up to $2.8 million to prepare for the opening of the West Rail Line in April.

Among the rail-related improvements being proposed are the installation of benches, shelters, bike racks, trash receptacles and wind screens at all seven of the new light-rail stations in Lakewood.

The city would also move the traffic signals on West Colfax Avenue at Newland and Kendall streets to Lamar and Harlan streets to improve pedestrian connections to the stations. Missing sidewalk between the stations and Colfax also would be installed.

Read more on light rail stations at denverpost.com

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