Amendment 64 goes official, makes pot legal in Colorado
By Kathleen Goddeyne -
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order that made an “official declaration of the vote” related to Amendment 64 Mon. Dec. 10. This formalized the amendment use as part of the state Constitution, which makes the personal use, possession, and limited home growing of marijuana legal under Colorado Law for adults 21 years of age and older.
“Voters were loud and clear on Election Day,” Hickenlooper said. “We will begin working immediately with the General Assembly and state agencies to implement Amendment 64.”
In order to inform the public of the upcoming legislative process, Hickenlooper, by signing another Executive Order, created a Task Force of 24 government officials that will handle with policy, legal and procedural issues, involving various interests and stakeholders, to implement the new constitutional amendment.
The Executive Order states, “All stakeholders share an interest in creating efficient and effective regulations that provide for the responsible development of the new marijuana laws. As such there is a need to create a task force through which we can coordinate and create a regulatory structure that promotes the health and safety of the people of Colorado.”
Co-chairs of the Task Force will work in groups chaired by one or more members of the Task Force and persons with subject matter expertise.
A press release put out by Hickenlooper’s office states, “Issues that will be addressed include: the need to amend current state and local laws regarding the possession, sale, distribution or transfer of marijuana and marijuana products to conform them to Amendment 64’s decriminalization provisions; the need for new regulations for such things as security requirements for marijuana establishments and for labeling requirements; education regarding long-term health effects of marijuana and use and harmful effects of marijuana use by those under the age of 18; and the impact of Amendment 64 on employers and employees and the Colorado economy.”
Essentially, the Task Force is going to find solutions to the challenges faced by implementing Amendment 64. However, the Executive Order clearly states that the Task Force must respect the will of the voters in Colorado and are not to engage in a debate of the merits of marijuana legalization or Amendment 64. Task Force meetings and working groups will be open to the public. The first meeting was held Dec. 17 in Golden. The Task Force is expected to report recommendations and findings to Hickenlooper, the General Assembly and the Attorney General no later than Feb. 28 2013.
“As we move forward now with implementation of Amendment 64, we will try to maintain as much flexibility as possible to accommodate the federal government’s position on the amendment,” Hickenlooper said.