Colorado’s Marijuana Task Force Makes Final Recommendations

Yesterday Colorado’s marijuana task force – established by the state’s governor to study and recommend regulations on legal cannabis in the state – held its final meeting, and concluded on a number of issues that they were discussing. The panel has voted on a variety of other suggestions prior to today’s meeting, including recommending last week that out-of-state residents be able to legally purchase and consume cannabis. Welcome-to-Colorado-Marijuana-Green-Rush_grande

The first action taken yesterday was their recommendation that cannabis-infused alcohol be banned. They also voted in favor of a 15% excise tax on cannabis, as well as a standard sales tax, which would require voter-approved referendums to become law.

In addition, the panel voted in favor of mandated label requirements of serving amounts (potency) on medicated foods such as brownies, as well as mandatory child-proof packaging. The group didn’t come to a conclusion on what the punishment should be for someone over 21 selling to someone under 21, but over 18.

On the unfortunate side of things, the group voted that the legislature consider discouraging, or making illegal, bars, shops, etc. that allow cannabis consumption on their premises, potentially even banning cannabis clubs. They also voted to make cannabis as a donation illegal, recommended that growing outdoors be prohibited, and that localities be given the option to ban or allow retail cannabis outlets.

Also agreed upon was that a regulatory system should be created, similar to how the state handles medical cannabis, which follows the cannabis from seed to sale.

The task force is planned to report their recommendations to the legislature early next month.

– TheJointBlog

1 comment

    • Robert Chase on March 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm
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    (Colorado has few journalists worthy of the name, and no journalistic institutions — the news about cannabis coming out of local media is uniformly distorted and even disinformative)

    The Amendment 64 Task Force failed the People of Colorado and it defied the Constitution — mostly because Hack (Gov. Hickenlooper is often called “Hick”, but “Hack” is far closer to the mark) appointed so many prohibitionist swine to it. This was very clear at the last meeting of the Task Force, with the introduction and discussion of a slew of manufactured concerns and recommendations either contrary to Article XVIII, Section 16 or unrelated to its implementation emanating from the Criminal Law Issues Working Group. The Task Force completely evaded its primary responsibility: to advise the General Assembly on the changes to statute necessary to treat cannabis like alcohol — this would require drastic alterations in our law, since what we propose to license by January next is the subject of umpteen felony provisions in the C.R.S. now. With the passage of the Amendment, people who violate our laws against cannabis should face no more punishment than those who violate our laws restricting the manufacture, sales, and use of alcohol — the Task Force concluded without making any of these essential recommendations, and Coloradans face the same draconian penalties for cannabis offenses as before, despite the fact that the statutes imposing them are now unconstitutional. Advocates for our right to use cannabis allowed themselves and the process to be largely co-opted by the prohibitionists, and they threw over the task of advocating for dismantling our prohibitionist statutes in favor of their focus on economics; i.e. greed.

    The industry may have gotten the comeuppance its disregard for Prohibition’s victims deserves at the last meeting of the Task Force; the multiple, exorbitant, and unjustifiable taxes the Task Force recommended are so excessive that they may prove prohibitive. I was unable to tolerate listening to too much of the deadly dull nonsense coming out of the prohibitionists on the Task Force, but I have monitored and participated in the proceedings nonetheless. The Task Force did not permit me to speak during public comment today, but I did manage to prevent the boobs from defining an enclosed space as having “5 sides” by shouting: “What about an hexagonal greenhouse? That would be illegal.” — we are truly dealing with a bunch of squares!

    The lesson to be learned from the conduct of the Task Force is that the prohibitionists are still fully in control of the reins of power in Colorado, and that they will continue to resist the will of the People of Colorado until they are deposed. The regulatory system to be promulgated by the GA and DOR may never even take shape, depending on what the Injustice Department says (Holder is recently quoted as saying that it will make a policy statement soon), and while it may be the first, and serve as a model for other states, it will be an absurdity, justified in part only if it manages to deliver cannabis to adults who wish to purchase it at a reasonable price. We must expel the fascists from the General Assembly — most of its membership — and overturn the prohibitionist statutes. The tenacity of the stonewalling on the criminal statutes means that it is incumbent on us all as citizens to find people accused of violating the cannabis statutes not guilty — juries can send a message to persecutors that they cannot ignore. The People of Colorado should eliminate the laws, institutions, and, if necessary, the persons that oppress them: jury nullification of unconscionable laws and the vindication of the parasites’ intended victims is one of the best ways to undermine Prohibition and the prohibitionists. We should also anticipate the need to amend the Constitution again soon, to end Prohibition by striking down or altering the statutes our supposed representatives refuse to; to that end, getting out the message that it has not ended, that cannabis is still illegal, and that our criminal injustice system continues to feed people who use cannabis into the corporate prison system is essential to further progress. The mutual congratulations of Task Force members to each other and the collaboration with the avowed enemies of reform on it did us no good. Would those who want to make money off cannabis please consider taking a much stronger stand for our rights and against the prohibitionists?

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