The New Colorado Marijuana Law
For the longest time, Amsterdam has been regarded as the world’s most weed-friendly place. But when the year started, it was replaced by the state of Colorado, making it the first state to legalize selling retail marijuana since the US federal government banned it in 1937.
On November 16, 2012, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 or the legalization of marijuana. The following month, it was already adapted to the state constitution. Regulators then proceeded to making the guidelines and specifics of the law for its historic implementation.
As more people talk about Colorado’s new marijuana law, the more they hear about false ideas about it. In this article, readers will be provided with a clearer view on the law and its provisions.
1. Qualified sellers
The Colorado state only allows licensed vendors to sell marijuana. To apply, go to Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division and get all necessary approval. In Denver, its capital city, sellers are required to apply for a local license as well.
By January 1, more than twenty (20) vendors are already licensed and ready for selling according to the Denver Post.
2. Qualified buyers
If you are 21 years old and above possessing a valid Colorado ID, you can buy up to an ounce of the drug. The Colorado marijuana law also allows non-residents to buy as long as they are 21 years old and above. However, they can only buy up to a quarter of an ounce.
Recently, the Denver city government decriminalized possession of marijuana for those between 18 and 21 years old. Although it is still considered illegal, first-time offenders will only receive a penalty of $150 fine. Still, the allowable amount is up to one ounce.
Amendment 64 aims to regulate the use of the drug just like alcohol.
3. Types of marijuana sold
You can legally buy the following marijuana products in Denver:
- magic cookies
- weed brownies
- cannabis lollipops
For those who do not know such products, the Denver Post launched “The Cannabist” to inform the city’s residents about the latest news, discoveries, products and information about the drug. Visit the website at www.thecannabist.co.
4. Indoor and outdoor use
The Denver City Council allows the following:
- smoking in balconies and front porches
- smoking inside your house
- growing up to six plants with three or less of them are mature
(Note: The plants must be in an enclosed space.)
If you are planning a stoner’s party in your house, do not worry because the federal government already left the regulation of marijuana use and sale to every state.
Meanwhile, the following are considered illegal:
- smoking at other people’s house without their permission
- using in public in a way that “endangers others”
- smoking in areas prohibited by Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act
- selling or distributing marijuana to minors
In Colorado, it is illegal to transport marijuana to different states. To further prevent marijuana trafficking, the Denver International Airport implemented a ban in the entire airport property.
Definitely, driving under the influence of the drug is still illegal.
6. Marijuana as gift
The amendment allows you to give your friend up to one ounce of marijuana as a gift with the following conditions:
- the recipient is 21 years old and above
- amount of drug is one ounce or less
- there is no money involved
7. More states will follow
In 2013, research found out that 52 percent of Americans want to legalize marijuana use. With this states such as Washington and New Hampshire are expected to follow Colorado’s steps.
Meanwhile, a marijuana advocacy group named Marijuana Policy Project has targeted ten states to legalize the drug by 2017. They are the following:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Tax revenues from marijuana sales attract lawmakers in different states to push for its legalization. For the Colorado government, the first $40 million taxes raised yearly from marijuana sales will go straight to its public school funds.