Staff CMM - Wednesday, December 26, 2012
As the new amendment becomes a reality in Colorado, representatives from the Department of Revenue gather together as a task force to discuss the various issues that will arise under the new marijuana law. Issues such as licensing requirements to whether the state should regulate potency will all be discussed. The task force will have until February 28th to iron out any issues and get something together. Because recreational marijuana in Colorado is a completely new subject, the task force will be setting brand new rules for the state. To make the task less daunting, they will divide themselves into five groups to focus on key issues, including recreational store regulations, types of local regulations cities and counties can impose, employment issues and taxes, criminal law and social issues related to legalization.
Staff CMM - Friday, November 30, 2012
Although Colorado recently passed a bill to make marijuana possession legal to adults in small quantities, setting rules and regulations for the substance moving forward will be no easy task. Most lawmakers are estimating that depending on how the federal government will approach the new state law, it could take until July 1, 2013 to even adopt new regulations for marijuana stores and these new stores wouldn’t be looking at opening until January of 2014. Considering that it took a full year for departments to write and implement new procedures for medical marijuana in Colorado, it is a safe bet that the new marijuana store process will take at least that long. The goal for state lawmakers is to construct a set of rules and regulations that will be the least offensive to the federal government as possible in order to avoid a federal crackdown.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, November 28, 2012
With the onset of marijuana legalization in Colorado thanks to the passing of Amendment 64 in November, Governor Hickenlooper is just starting out on a series of discussions with various officials regarding both the impact on the state and the direction it will be heading as it moves forward. One of the primary concerns Governor Hickenlooper has is how the federal government will respond ot the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and whether the federal government will choose to execute power over the legalization. The main area of concern is that while the U.S. Justice Department officials have stated that the federal government will continue to consider marijuana possession illegal under federal law regardless of individual state laws, they have been vague regarding the specifics and it is that detail Governor Hickenlooper is making an attempt to gt clear answers to. A spokesman for the Governor stated recently that Hickenlooper will continue urgent efforts to get the federal government to state its position on the issue.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Recently, heads of the United Nations Drug Watchdog Agency expressed concern over the passing of the recent Washington and Colorado marijuana laws which decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over. The U.N. heads are urging federal officials in the U.S. to challenge the recent ballot measure, as they feel this measure sends out a very bad message to both other states in the U.S. as well as to other countries abroad, giving the impression that marijuana possession is acceptable in the U.S. A recent statement by Raymond Yans, the head of the International Narcotics Control Board, to the Associated Press, expr4essed hopes that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will take the necessary measures to ensure that marijuana possession and use continues to remain illegal throughout the U.S. Until officials come to a decision, both Washington and Colorado are holding off on regulating and taxing the drug pending word as to whether the Justice Department will assert federal authority over the recently passed drug laws.
Staff CMM - Friday, November 16, 2012
As the law was passed this November to legalize marijuana in Colorado, leaders of several Latin countries including Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica expressed extreme concern over the impact this law will have on their efforts to curb illegal drug smuggling from their own countries to America. The leaders called for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the votes. It is expected that the United Nations’ General Assembly will hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015. With these countries already experiencing a very high percentage of drug trafficking, leaders are concerned about the death toll that will follow as they continue their attempt to police illegal drug activity. Drug exporting is expected to rise as a result of the law being passed and with the increased inflow of marijuana in Colorado, officials are concerned that more dangerous drugs will also begin to follow suit.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Although the measure was passed on November 6, 2012 to legalize marijuana in Colorado in small quantities, the future of this law is still in question as is the impact it will have on the state. Officials in Mexico are expressing concerns regarding cartels and the pot that is sent from Mexico to the U.S. and Colorado illegally. It is speculated that the passing of this measure will encourage a heavier import of the drug, making work for law officials harder and potentially more dangerous than it already is. According to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, speculation that the pot measure will increase Colorado ‘pot tourism’ is unrealistic. Although the ease of obtaining the drug will initially attract people, it will be difficult to take the drug out of the state and although marijuana in Colorado is legal, it is still considered illegal under federal law. It is believed that federal officials will be keeping an even closer eye on the drug trafficking activity occurring in the state.
Staff CMM - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Although the vote last Tuesday was an overwhelming yes to legalize marijuana in Colorado, officials and head of the Colorado tourism board felt the initiative is raising more questions than anything else. A major concern is that the passing of the law will bring an influx of marijuana tourists – people who come to the state simply to purchase and use marijuana, thus increasing the possible trafficking of the drug. Another concern is that if this should happen, it will begin to deter others who had planned to visit Colorado, thus bringing down the image of the state. A further concern is the fact that marijuana laws in Colorado do not supersede federal laws. Since federal law still considers marijuana illegal, there is the question as to whether the recreational marijuana measure will actually take effect at all. The U.S. Department of Justice is still pending decision on possible lawsuits directed at the state as they determine the assertion of federal supremacy over drug law. Until the issue is cleared up, the most that recreational marijuana users can do is speculate about the future of marijuana in Colorado.
Staff CMM - Friday, November 02, 2012
Although Amendment 64, the bill proposing to legalize marijuana in small amounts to adults appears to be beneficial on the outside, many dispensary owners fear a backlash of problems the Amendment will create should it be passed. Dispensary owners fear that if marijuana should become legal, many dispensaries will open that would not require people to have as medical marijuana card, making it much easier for people to purchase marijuana and therefore circumvent the need for medical marijuana dispensaries all together. There are still a few who hold out hope that the Obama administration will change its mind about marijuana legalization if Obama is reelected, but should Romney be elected, he has already made it clear that he will fight the marijuana legalization efforts tooth and nail.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The issue of whether or not marijuana in Colorado should become legal has now spilled into mainstream politics with a fervor and only seems to be picking up speed. Candidates from both sides are working hard to make their opinions known, even going so far as to stand on the steps of the state capitol to hand out flyers. Republicans seem to be pulling ahead as far as favoritism for the bill, while Conservatives and Democrats are showing a stronger preference toward opposing the bill. In Colorado Springs, which has a larger Republican population than any other city in the state, activists stood outside Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan’s rally handing out flyers to inform passing Republicans, stating legalization would be fiscally prudent as it would be able to be taxed, regulated and monitored by the state. Democrats in opposition feel legalization will pose a threat to future generations and feel the bill is not in the best interest of children.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, October 10, 2012
November is rapidly approaching and when it arrives, voters will be making a choice about amending the law in Colorado regarding marijuana and its legality. Amendment 64 has been a hot topic of discussion amongst both sides and now it will be up to Colorado citizens to decide its fate. Amendment 64 is a bill proposing to make possession of limited amounts of marijuana legal to adults in the state. Those for the bill feel by legalizing the drug, the state will benefit from taxes collected and will still be able to regulate it at the same time. Supporters feel this will open new avenues for the economy and reduce illegal black market activity. Those who are against the bill feel that the legalization of marijuana will lead to heavier teen drug abuse. Those opposing the bill also feel that illegal drug trafficking will not stop with legalization in the state and are concerned about the negative overtones legalizing the drug could have on the state’s reputation.