Colorado Ballot Measures

November 11, 2022

The state election didn’t just favor progressive candidates but also progressive ballot initiatives. The one that will impact Frederick High the most is the passing of Proposition FF, which will raise taxes for households that make $300,000 in income and put those proceeds toward making all school lunches free of charge for all enrolled students. For the past two years, breakfasts and lunches were free as a way of managing the nationwide pandemic. However, the Federal money funding this state program expired this summer, which brought back lunch costs this year and led to an uproar in complaints from families of students.

Several other ballot measures passed: Amendment D, which allows the governor to appoint judges in newly created judicial districts; Amendment E, which expands a state property tax exemption for not just injured veterans but for the families of veterans lost in during their service; Proposition 121, which will reduce the state income tax rate to 4% next year; Proposition 123, which will dedicate 0.1% of state income tax to create affordable housing; and Proposition GG, which will add a tax table to Colorado ballots showing how certain ballot initiatives would specifically increase or decrease taxes.

Perhaps the most noteworthy and controversial ballot measure to pass was Proposition 122, which will lead to decriminalizing the use of psychedelic plants and fungi in the state. Proponents of the measure say that the psychoactive ingredient psilocybin helps people fight depression and PTSD, and designed the measure off the 2019 law that decriminalized “magic mushrooms” in the city of Denver. The measure barely passed with 52% of the vote, making Colorado the second state in the nation to decriminalize such psychedelics. Note that psychedelic plants and fungi are not legalized but decriminalized: only licensed healing centers can buy, sell, and transport the psychedelics, and patients must take the drugs under medical supervision. Other possession or use is still against the law, though as a decriminalized drug, enforcing this law will no longer be a priority for police.

While many Colorado ballot measures passed, several also failed. Colorado voted no to Amendment F, which would allow managers of charities that run gambling activities to be paid; to Proposition 124, which would allow Colorado liquor stores to open more than three locations, and Proposition 126, which would allow third parties like GrubHub and Uber Eats to deliver alcoholic beverages. The only ballot measure that has not been called at the time of this writing is Proposition 124, which would allow grocery stores to sell wine–this measure may barely pass, with 50.1% yes and 49.9% no with about 10% of ballots in the state still to be counted.

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