Marijuana backers courting conservatives

DENVER (AP) - Campaigns to legalize marijuana for recreational use in three Western states are courting conservatives to endorse their cause.

Most Republicans - including Mitt Romney - oppose making pot legal in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

But a handful of conservatives have signed on. They include former presidential hopefuls Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul, as well as the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Legalization activists are appealing to Western individualism, states' rights and a mistrust of federal government to make their case to conservatives.

Tancredo, a former Republican congressman from Colorado, compares the federal government's prohibition on marijuana to New York City's ban on sugary sodas.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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