What Happens If Colorado Legalizes Marijuana?

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  What Happens If Colorado Legalizes Marijuana?

Posted by CN Staff on September 20, 2012 at 17:36:55 PT
By Scot Kersgaard, The Colorado Independent 
Source: Huffington Post 

Colorado -- If Amendment 64 passes, it will become almost immediately legal under Colorado law for adults to possess, grow, consume and give away up to an ounce of marijuana. It may take more than a year, however, before adults can purchase marijuana legally in a store.A poll released in early September by Public Policy Polling shows the amendment continues to lead, currently by a 47-38 margin, with 15 percent still undecided. Passage could enable the state to increase tax revenues by $50 million a year or more while also potentially reducing law enforcement costs.
If the measure passes, the parts of the amendment related to individual behavior go into effect as soon as the governor signs a proclamation certifying the results of the election, which he is required to do within 30 days.Sections related to the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana would take effect incrementally but marijuana would be available for sale legally no sooner than late 2013 or early 2014.Even if the state moves forward with implementation in a timely fashion, it is anyone’s guess what the federal response–if any–will be. The feds could do nothing, could move to block implementation, or could wait until legal businesses are set up and then move to shut them down, possibly arresting owners and employees in the process.The amendment requires the Colorado Department of Revenue to adopt regulations governing the licensing of commercial businesses by no later than July 1, 2013. According to the amendment these regulations cannot prohibit marijuana businesses or make their operation “unreasonably impractical.”Attorney Brian Vicente, co-director of the pro-64 campaign, says that the amendment was written in such a way that the legislature can choose to address the issue, thus providing guidance to the DOR, or can do nothing and leave the crafting of regulations entirely to DOR staff.“We left it open so that the legislature can be as active as it wants to be or it can leave the matter entirely to DOR,” Vicente told the Colorado Independent.DOR must begin processing business applications by Oct. 1, 2013. If the DOR fails to meet the deadline, prospective business owners can apply for local business licenses, thus bypassing the state. Local governments must establish their own regulations, also by Oct. 1, 2013. Local governments may also ban marijuana businesses, but need a vote of the people to do so.Even if a city or county bans marijuana businesses, residents of the area would still be allowed to grow, possess, consume and give away small amounts of marijuana.While the amendment legalizes private use of marijuana, public use would remain illegal. Patrons at a ball game, for instance, would not be able to go to the smoking area and light a joint. People would not be allowed to sit on a park bench and light up a marijuana pipe. People growing their own could have up to six plants, with no more than three being mature at any given time. Plants would have to be grown in secured areas that are not visible to the public. Even if it exceeds the legal one ounce, growers would be allowed to possess their entire harvest.Employers would not have to accommodate people who wish to smoke at work and would still be allowed to test for marijuana use and to fire people who test positive. Driving under the influence of marijuana would remain illegal and it would remain illegal to sell or give marijuana to anyone under 21 years old.Vicente explains that “employers will still have the absolute ability to retain any policies they have about marijuana use. Once it is legal, it is our hope that they will embrace common sense rules regarding the legal use of a legal product on people’s own time.”Economic ImpactThe Blue Book, produced by the Colorado Legislative Council, estimates the fiscal impact that could be expected if the amendment passes. The book says that sales taxes and licensing fees would be expected to be between $5 million and $22 million per year and that the cost to the state would be $1.3 million in the first year and around $700,000 a year after that. The book makes no estimates of local revenues or costs.The amendment, though, also requires the legislature to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent through 2017 and at any rate agreed to by the legislature after 2017. This tax would be collected on sales from growers to retailers and marijuana product manufacturing companies. The Blue Book makes no estimate of how much such a tax could generate. The tax would have to be set by the legislature and then voted on by residents of Colorado.“It is our strong belief that the legislature will pass such a tax as soon as they can,” Vicente said. He and the campaign estimate that the revenue from such a tax could be as much as $24 million to $73 million a year. The amendment stipulates that the first $40 million a year generated by the tax will go to a state fund for the construction of public schools.Laura Chapin, spokesperson for the anti-64 campaign, said she doubts the state would ever see anywhere near the amount of money talked about by proponents. “How do you tax an industry that cannot use bank accounts?,” she asked, pointing out that federal law prohibits banks from accepting deposits of money earned by selling a substance that will remain illegal under federal law.Vicente, though, says some medical marijuana businesses in the state actually do have bank accounts. He notes that there has been lots of press about banks not doing business with marijuana dispensaries, but said numerous banks and dispensaries are “quietly doing business together.”Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said Chapin’s argument is “absurd.”“Many marijuana businesses do have bank accounts, but I guarantee you that even those that don’t, pay their taxes,” he said. “That is simply an absurd statement. They didn’t do their homework,” Smith said.A study released in August by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimates that local governments would generate a combined $14 million a year in the beginning. That study also estimates savings in law enforcement of $12 million a year immediately, increasing to $40 million a year in later years.While it doesn’t relate directly to Amendment 64, the National Cannabis Industry Association released a study on Sept. 13 that shows tax revenue in Colorado as a result of medical marijuana likely exceeded $10 million in 2011. The study, which looked at only ten Colorado cities, shows that medical marijuana businesses in the cities studied, generated $5.1 million in local tax revenues and nearly $4.5 million in state tax revenues. Business license fees bring in millions more, the study says. In Denver alone, revenue from such fees exceeded $6 million in 2011 alone, according to the study.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Scot Kersgaard, The Colorado Independent  Published: September 20, 2012Copyright: 2012, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #20 posted by christopher smith on October 01, 2012 at 13:26:44 PT:
open new cult generation with new rock bands.
 merlin the wizard perdicks on december 21,2012 soler system milkyway galaxy is going to shift into a straight line on mayan colender cycle dates on 72 years is going to end in 1940 to 2012 in this generation and start over a new generation cycle is going to move 1 degree over to the next astrolgy sign to another cult generation is going to start in 2012 to 2084 in 72 years. in the 40's to the 60's the war and breaking up the war by creating rock in the 50's.then,the 50's opened the generation with the peace sign.The peace sign could not be used untill the 60's,the war damgaed,delayed the generation from opening untill the 60's.In today the peace sign can be used in remaking a another cult generation like the 60's had with new rock bands from a rock directer with the hippie movement in 2012 to 2084 with open this decaid.2012 to 2014 of new years eve is the hippie movement,in the summer of 2015 with all rock bands are ready to proform for the first time in a british invasion that invads radio stations,parks,fairs,carnavials and a montrarey pop festuvial leading into a summer of love and woodstock in 2019.
 DOG is a new rock band that was trained by a rock directer who worked with them into a rock band,if band passes ok.Look up rock directer to look up new rock bands in all 15 rock bands all together.Look up on facebook christopher smith profile look up timothy mocrory who is in this band look up the person who worked with ehem and how maney bands he can come up with.
 All mayan cycle and their colender is on the history channel and H2 on directv on december 21,2012 and 2012,and on the stoned ages,vanguard war on weed are all on the mayan area and tooms same area.need to recreate a new cult generation because the generation from the 1960's is dieing out of old age this is going to die out starting in 2030 and over,need to remake another cult generation like the 1960's had opened in the same way in 2012 to 2084 in 2020 is like the 70's with the just writing this to see if this idia can be used and to see if this can grow out and complete.look up committs in free state na
open new cult generation with new rock bands in 2012 to 2084
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on September 25, 2012 at 04:39:44 PT
Sinsemilla Jones 
No problem at all. It's fixed now. I have done it before too. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #18 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 24, 2012 at 22:28:01 PT

Sorry, FoM, for the double post.
It was an accident, but I realized it as I did it. I didn't think my click had registered, so I clicked again, and right then realized it was already loading.I always wondered how people managed to do it. Now, I know.
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Comment #16 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 24, 2012 at 22:20:17 PT

So, if Gary Johnson is working for the 1%...
why aren't they paying him?I think the 1% likes things the way they are.The truth is, the 1% is paying Obama and Romney.Romney and Obama work for the 1%.Official Gary Johnson website Johnson video ad player Gary Johnson facebook page on Youtube Gray on Youtube and Jim Online Town Halls’s Reddit AMAs Johnson Libertarian Grassroots Resource Page
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on September 23, 2012 at 21:32:29 PT

"wasted voters"?
Ha ha.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on September 23, 2012 at 06:57:02 PT

Good article. I heard Gary Johnson's opinion on issues of importance to me besides our issue. I could never vote for him because of his stand.
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on September 23, 2012 at 01:57:53 PT

Don't Be Fooled
AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld.
Don't Be Fooled by Pot-Loving Libertarian Gary Johnson -- He Works for the 1%. 
Johnson’s candidacy is heavily premised on cultivating wasted votes by wasted voters...but are people that stupid?
 September 20, 2012
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on September 22, 2012 at 12:31:44 PT

Colorado officials?
I think I meant employees... like if they issued any licenses or collected any taxes. They'll threaten someone. They also might arrest some employees anyway, before the vote, for a show of force to warn people... to threaten them more harshly.And then the officials would step in and say, "I have to protect my employees."Then I don't want to guess beyond that.But a lot of people will be glad and hopeful for awhile. Then they'll start getting upset when the see all the stalling, and the foot dragging, and excuses, and tyranny.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on September 22, 2012 at 12:24:32 PT

What Will Happen?
I think first thing they are likely to do is threaten Colorado officials with federal arrest if they have anything to do with it.
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Comment #10 posted by schmeff on September 22, 2012 at 11:36:25 PT

What Will Happen?
Assuming it's too late to simply rig the election, the Feds will respond as they always do when their authority is challenged, with coercion, intimidation and violence.At a minimum, expect border checkpoints on all roads leaving Colorado, where travelers will endure intrusive searches of their vehicles, possessions and body cavities to prevent diversion of contraband. Air passengers with Colorado destinations will also face increased scrutiny, perhaps even being required to pass through some form of Customs inspections. Maybe they'll just put everyone from Colorado on the 'no fly' list. Getting into Federal parks in Colorado might require checkpoints.Agricultural products could face transport slowdowns as additional inspection procedures are implemented, or could be banned entirely from interstate commerce citing threats of contamination by controlled substances.Federal highway funds and other forms of federal assistance could be withheld. Military bases could be closed and relocated out-of-state.In short, expect a campaign of constant Federal harassment. The goal will be to have Coloradans so beaten-down by Federal interference that by the next election cycle, they'll be begging to give their freedoms back.Democracy will not be tolerated.
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Comment #9 posted by fight_4_freedom on September 22, 2012 at 03:19:52 PT

This outta be interesting...
I truly believe in my heart it eill pass, it might barely pass. I just think the progressive voters of Colorado will be the first to embark on the legalization rollercoaster. Wish them hella luck. Been 4 years since we Passed Prop 1 and still the gov dept. basically haven't added ned conditions, they are backlogged like crazyBut guess what. I'm looking at the bright side to end my post. Going to sit back, relax,watch my Michigan Woveries and my Detroit Lions, write a couple desperately needed LTEs in some newspaper sout there. Hell even Colorado or a state that has an import Cannabis Ballot proposal. We must all help each other in this battle against evil. State
to state, city to city.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on September 21, 2012 at 10:54:18 PT

There will be joy in the land if this passes.
"If Amendment 64 passes, it will become almost immediately legal under Colorado law for adults to possess, grow, consume and give away up to an ounce of marijuana." It's a huge step forward. It's a victory, among many more to come, I pray, in the struggle for freedom from overbearing government prohibition, interference, intimidation, and injustice. Many people will rejoice.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 21, 2012 at 10:36:21 PT

You're right. Regulations are always a part of it. I think sometimes when people say legalization they want no regulations or they want to make their own regulations and do it their way but that is what won't happen. I see it with how they are acting in California. 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 21, 2012 at 09:33:58 PT

Some killing.
It would prevent some deaths. It would stop the killing that happens on raids and other misadventures over cannabis.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 21, 2012 at 09:32:02 PT

It would stop the killing. It would stop 
so much injustice. It would be good."If Amendment 64 passes, it will become almost immediately legal under Colorado law for adults to possess, grow, consume and give away up to an ounce of marijuana. It may take more than a year, however, before adults can purchase marijuana legally in a store."It won't be perfect. Nothing is. But some things are a heck of a lot better than other things.Legal... to stop the cruelty of the state. That's why.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on September 21, 2012 at 09:28:21 PT

In fact...
anything sold legally, commercially in the marketplace is regulated to one degree or another.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on September 21, 2012 at 09:26:16 PT

Alcohol and tobacco are legal...
but there's regulation.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 21, 2012 at 04:14:41 PT

Sinsemilla Jones
Decrim is better then prohibition in my opinion. We have had decriminalization in my state since the 70s and it works and people aren't afraid like in other states with no decrim. Legalization is no regulations and that isn't going to happen at least for a long time. 
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Comment #1 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 20, 2012 at 22:43:03 PT

Sounds good to me!
"If Amendment 64 passes, it will become almost immediately legal under Colorado law for adults to possess, grow, consume and give away up to an ounce of marijuana. It may take more than a year, however, before adults can purchase marijuana legally in a store."I saw a comment by someone on another article somewhere that this law was "just shitty decrim".
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