By Jason Sattler

Is Marijuana Really Legal In Colorado?

November 7, 2012 4:08 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 24 Comments A+ / A-
Is Marijuana Really Legal In Colorado?

“Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly,” warns Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Amendment 64 has passed in Colorado, making it, along with Washington, the first two states in the union to legalize marijuana with the intent of regulating it in a manner similar to alcohol. However, pot remains illegal in the United States. So what does this mean for Coloradans and the many Americans who may soon migrate to the state?

“This will be a complicated process,” Hickenlooper said, “but we intend to follow through.”

That means first the governor will sign the bill into law within 30 days of the amendment passing. Then it’s up to the state’s attorney general and the Colorado Department of Revenue, which already regulates the state’s medicinal marijuana distributors, to come up with new regulations for the legal growth and possession of marijuana for residents who are 21 years or older.

Does this mean a Coloradan who possess pot will be immune to the federal law that makes the plant a Schedule 1 drug—along with heroin, cocaine and ecstasy? The DEA told Reason Wednesday morning, “the Drug Enforcement Administration’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.”

The DEA had “no further comment” on how they would change the way they enforce the law, indicating that no official policy from the Obama administration has been established.

Activists have been critical of the administration’s policy of cracking down on marijuana dispensaries, though their stated goal has never been to keep the drug out of the hands of patients. “We are concerned with people who are using [medical marijuana] as a pretext to become large-scale drug dealers,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole told 60 Minutes last month.

According to the amendment, those of smoking age will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, grow six plants and share up to an ounce of the drug. Local governments will license outlets that sell the drug, possibly as soon as this month.

Washington also passed a marijuana legalization law that is more detailed in the requirements for distributors specifically barring marijuana on the distributors’ premise—likely to avoid Amsterdam-like cafes.

Federal officials could make the process of legalization much more complex or impossible. However, that would pose interesting “states’ rights” questions that could unite liberals and libertarians into a coalition no politician would want to oppose.

Expect to see Colorado implement the law slowly and carefully, knowing that the less noise they make, the more likely the law is to survive and spread.

So keep those Cheetos and Goldfish handy.

Photo credit: Hupu2

Is Marijuana Really Legal In Colorado? Reviewed by on . "Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly," warns Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Amendment 64 has passed in Colorado, making it, along with Was "Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly," warns Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Amendment 64 has passed in Colorado, making it, along with Was Rating:

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/libboomer Jim Eaton

    “We are concerned with people who are using [medical marijuana] as a pretext to become large-scale drug dealers,” Colorado Deputy AG James Cole told 60 Minutes last month.

    Kind of like voter fraud? Legalizing renders large scale pot dealers irrelevant.

  • William Heiland

    It’s real simple, the war on marijuana has failed horribly. It is time to stop spending millions to stop it’s use. An, regulate it’s legal use, and tax it. Just like tobacco and alcohol. Then instead of spending money, the government will make money on it. And once it is legal it’s use will go down. Plus all the crime associated with it being a crime will probably go away.

    • johninPCFL

      Here’s a place where the backward-looking GOP could logically focus their attention. Take drug policy back to the 1800s, drop the pretense that it is good public policy or that the “war on drugs” is winnable, and let the FDA and BATF do their jobs responsibly.

      But I guess looking “soft on crime” beats out common sense…

  • nobsartist

    Colorado was the first to reject Prohibition of Alcohol. I predict that within 2 years, it is legal throughout the United States.

    • foolsdance

      I hope you are right about that – after 40 years and $1trillion spent on the so called ‘war on drugs’ it is clearly an abject failure. Weed accounts for 60% of the Mexican drug cartels’ profits – sure, they would probably supplement with greater quatities of more powerful drugs, but at least it would give pause to a large part of their deadly operation.
      It is a harmless drug – not a single death is linked to marijuana – and is medicinally relevant.
      Legalize it, regulated it, tax it – it is a no brainer IMHO.

      • nobsartist

        The war on drugs is as big of a farce as the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
        In fact, the same people, the bush crime family started all of them.

        we need an immediate end to this waste of money and we need America to wake up to the bush crime family. we also need the U.S. to turn the AWOL coke head over to the Malaysian government so he can start serving his time for being convicted of war crimes.

        • foolsdance

          I was actually Nixon who declared the war on drugs, but on all other points I agree.

          • nobsartist

            who was advising nixon at that time?

            bush.

          • foolsdance

            Really? I’ve never heard that one. He is not one of the February Group, the top advisors who have remained pals all these years later.

          • nobsartist

            you should do some research on nixon, bush and the dirty tricks like the deal bush made with the sauds when he negotiated giving them the oil fields that we built, the bay of pigs and others all under nixons orders. how do you think he was put in charge of the cia?

          • foolsdance

            I will do that, thanks. Like most dems I eat facts up like reese’s peanut butter cups! Wish the rebubs would give it try once in awhile… wishful thinking, I know.

          • nobsartist

            check out the link between nixon, watergate and the kennedy assasination

  • http://twitter.com/druglessdouglas Drugless Douglas

    Someone from Colorado is a Coloradan, not a Coloradoan.

  • Johnnie D

    So glad that, at least in some states, people will no longer have to buy Marijuana from the drug dealers that a misguided government created. As soon as the other states where Marijuana is still illegal sees all the revenue that will be collected from the sales of marijuana and the hemp industry, they will be forced to legalize Marijuana as well. Hey, you monopolizing textile industries, pretty soon you will no longer be able to hog all of the American pie.

  • René Milan

    “We are concerned with people who are using [medical marijuana] as a pretext to become large-scale drug dealers” – well, at least the new drug dealers don’t shoot each other yet.

    You people are just paid busybodies who have no skills to contribute to society, so you make a living the only way you know how: by meddling in other people’s affairs.

    But of course everybody knows this “medical marijuana” thing is largely a scam to protect users from unjustified prosecution (as well as a profitable business arrangement). Support legalization instead.

    As for THC as a medical agent, why is it not sold in pharmacies like any other prescription drug ?

    • nobsartist

      i think we should be more concerned about people that lie us into wars, steal large amounts of money and then trash the economy.

      as long as assholes like the bush’s are walking around free, yet someone with 2 joints gets 10 years, we have a problem.

      • ALLLLAMERICAN

        Make sure you keep up with the Benghazi court!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.saparata Alexander Saparata

    I have been smoking pot since I was 20 years old. I was a high school dropout and never finished high school always thinking I was stupid. After many years of smoking pot my memory and brain seems to have improved greatly, at age 65 still smoking a little weed every day, I have completed my two year AA degree in psychology, now I have completed my four year Bachelor of Science degree in information technology. By the way I also dropped acid, in the 1960s and conceived a beautiful healthy son who is attending Florida State College getting a business degree, also a smoker. So the idea that Marijuana affects your brain may be true, but maybe it affects you in a positive way

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DS5GL4JIXD4O3V5QM2BE3MV7IA Tax Payer

    The war on drugs kills hundreds if not thousands more than the drugs actually do. We have spent Trillions of Dollars, as much as the War in Afganistan, fighting a war that is driven by people afraid of their own shadows.

    Prohibition taught all the world that one can not stop what citizens want. After alcohol was legalized again, there was a huge buracracy who needed a place to work, so they quietly picked on a slect number of freely available drugs, and made them their new target of puratism. The war on drugs supports thousands of judges, court clerks, police, jails, and removes otherwise upstanding tax pay citizens from our work force.

    Think, legalize like Washington/Colorado have done. Turn it into the cash cow alcohol (the worst drug out there) has become. There will be all kinds of revenue freed up, and the police will actually be able to go after the real criminals that exist without too much attention paid …

    I honestly believe it will hurt gangs as well. There is a lot of money supporting gangs coming from the black market trade of durg.

    • nobsartist

      no one has died from using marijuana. i had 4 friends die from using alcohol in the last year.

  • followet

    I have smoked Marijuana for 44 years. I have never been arrested for smoking or had a traffic accident while under the influence. I have not raped any women rob any store, I have eaten a lot of M&Ms. I have not been in any huge fights or even arguments. Even when my wife is wrong I am able to just listen and smile. I don’t smoke that much maybe two ounces a year, but I like the idea that if I lite up a joint I’m not going to run the risk of finding myself in jail. Or if I am going some place and I have a seed in my pocket I am not going to find myself in court spending thousands of dollars.

    • ALLLLAMERICAN

      GREAT!!!!!

      I am soooo proud of you, are you proud of yourself

  • oneMALEopinion

    They should make it illegal to sell it.USE IT GROW IT FINE. Just illegal to sell. that would keep everybodys hands out of our pockets!freedom from greed now!

  • joyscarbo

    I live in Washington and officials are telling folks not to go around openly carrying and smoking weed as well.
    The federal government still sees it as an illegal substance, period.

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