Colorado Marijuana Laws are setting an example for the rest of the country to follow when it comes to marijuana, medical marijuana and industrial hemp but what does this mean for you and me? First off, law enforcement will be focusing on “real” crime instead of chasing around a weed like a bottle of Round-up. Next we have a solid new revenue stream that can fund a ton of our states needs. Thirdly, and this is the one that scares corporate America, we enable the average US citizen to grow food, fuel, fibre (for clothing etc.) and medicine. If 25% of the US citizens could take part in a renewable process such as that the whole world would be a better place. So back to Colorado Marijuana Laws… How are they planning for this change?
In Colorado, No Playbook for New Marijuana Law
By Jack Healy in Denver Colorado – Anthony Orozco, 19, a community college student and soccer player in southeastern Colorado, is facing criminal charges for something that will soon be legal across this state: the possession of a few nuggets of marijuana and a pipe he used to smoke it.
Mr. Orozco said that one day in September he and a few friends were driving in Lamar, on the plains near the Kansas border, when they were pulled over. After the police officer found marijuana in the car, Mr. Orozco was issued a summons for possession and drug paraphernalia — petty offenses that each carry a $100 fine — and given a court date.
“We get treated like criminals,” Mr. Orozco said.
But is he one? In the uncertain weeks after Colorado’s vote to legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, the answer in hundreds of minor drug cases depends less on the law than on location.
Hundreds of misdemeanor marijuana cases are already being dropped here and in Washington State, which approved a similar measure. Police departments have stopped charging adults 21 years and older for small-scale possession that will be legally sanctioned once the laws take effect in the coming weeks.
But prosecutors in more conservative precincts in Colorado have vowed to press ahead with existing marijuana cases and are still citing people for possession. At the same time, several towns from the Denver suburbs to the Western mountains are voting to block new, state-licensed retail marijuana shops from opening in their communities.
“This thing is evolving so quickly that I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” said Daniel J. Oates, the police chief in Aurora, just east of Denver.
Regulators in Washington State are also scratching their heads. And they are looking for guidance on how to set up a system of licenses for production, manufacturing, distribution and sales — all by a deadline of Dec. 1, 2013. They say that Colorado, for better or worse, is ahead of most states in regulating marijuana, first for medical use and now recreationally.
“Colorado has a more regulated market, so they will be a good guide,” said Brian E. Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board. But no place or system, Mr. Smith conceded, can do more than suggest what might work. “There’s no real precedent for us to follow,” he said.
Washington’s law, called I-502, takes effect on Dec. 6, which also leaves a year of limbo during which the state licensing system will not yet exist, but legalized possession will. And there are thorny mechanical questions that must be resolved during that time, like how to balance the state’s mandate of “adequate access” to licensed marijuana with its prohibitions on cannabis businesses within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or child care center.
“Nowhere will it be more difficult to site a licensed cannabis business than in urban areas, particularly in the Seattle metropolitan area,” said Ben Livingston, a spokesman for the Center for Legal Cannabis, a recently formed research group.
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