Pubdate: Sat, 04 Nov 2006
Source: Casper Star-Tribune (WY)
Copyright: 2006 Casper Star-Tribune
Author: Robert Weller
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Bush, George)
Cited: Amendment 44


DENVER - A group that claims marijuana use is safer than drinking ran 
newspaper ads Saturday mentioning allegations that President Bush 
once drunkenly challenged his father to fight and Vice President Dick 
Cheney's accidental shooting of a friend after drinking.

SAFER Colorado, which put a measure on the Colorado ballot to 
legalize possession of marijuana, placed an ad in a newspaper in 
Greeley, where Bush made an appearance on Saturday.

The ad in the Greeley Tribune had a photo of Bush accompanied by text 
that read: "In 1972, this man tried to fight his dad when he was 
drunk. Just one more reason to vote 'Yes on 44.'" The ad was 
referring to published reports that in 1972, a 26-year-old Bush had 
come home drunk and challenged his father to a fight. The matter was 
reportedly settled without violence.

The group ran the Cheney ad in The Gazette of Colorado Springs, a day 
after he spoke to troops at the nearby Fort Carson Army post and 
attended a campaign rally. The ad said, "Shot his friend in the face 
after drinking. Just one more reason to vote 'Yes on 44.'"

Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a friend while hunting in Texas 
in February. The vice president said he had one beer several hours 
before the shooting.

"They were both in town ... and we are simply taking this opportunity 
to draw attention to the fact that alcohol contributes to far more 
problems than marijuana," said Mason Tvert, the group's campaign director.

White House spokesman Tony Snow, asked for comment aboard Air Force 
One as Bush headed to Texas after the rally, dismissed the ads as 
"kind of snarky and juvenile."

"I'm not sure they did their cause much good," he said.

Referendum 44, which is on Tuesday's ballot, would allow adults to 
carry up to an ounce of marijuana, similar to an ordinance Denver 
voters approved last year. No other state allows pot possession for 
anything other than medical use. Federal law also prohibits possession.

A recent poll of 625 registered voters by Mason-Dixon Polling & 
Research found 34 percent of voters supported the measure, while 57 
percent opposed it. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 
percentage points.

Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler contributed to this report.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman