Conservatives Pissed About Legal Pot and Gun Laws in Colorado Push Secession

In November, 11 counties in Colorado will vote on whether to secede and form their own state in which they hope to promote conservative ideals that residents say have been lost, reported the New York Times.

Entitled the 51st State Initiative, the new state would be called New Colorado or North Colorado and would reject the notion of liberalism and all progressive changes that have remodeled politics in the state, including gun control laws, immigration, legalizing marijuana and efforts to legalize gay marriage.

The move sprung up in the aftermath of the mass shootings at an Aurora movie theatre in 2012 which prompted the Democrat-controlled legislature to pass a number of rulings including the state’s first new gun control laws which require background checks on private gun sales.  This stirred major opposition from Republicans and rural conservatives and led to a successful recall campaign by gun advocates to unseat two Democrats who supported firearms laws.

However, not all are in favor of such radical changes; many residents see it as a ploy to raise capital or as a “bad joke”:

"It's just going to be seen as a crackpot idea by a bunch of crackpot commissioners some of whom are term limited…Some will just call it Crackpottopia,”  Steve Mazurana, former political science professor at the University of Northern Colorado told Denver Post this summer.

Moreover, any move to create another state would face tough resistance particularly in light of the fact that even if the counties were to vote in favor, the decision ultimately rests with Congress – which last voted in support of state succession during the Civil War in 1863 with the breakaway of West Virginia.

Democrats contend that the views of such conservatives do not reflect those of most Coloradans and that the secession attempt is merely a publicity stunt. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.