Governor Hickenlooper Proclaims Amendment 64, What is Next for Local Colorado Government?
Will December 10 be Colorado's new 4/20? Today December 10, 2012 marks the day when marijuana becomes legal for adults in the state 21 or over. Coloradans voted to regulate marijuana like alcohol on November 6, 2012. Despite his personal feelings, Governor Hickenlooper made the official proclamation today.
Governor Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order today to make an official declaration on the Amendment 64 vote. As he made the amendment an official part of the state constitution he said, “Voters were loud and clear on Election Day. We will begin working immediately with the General Assembly and state agencies to implement Amendment 64.” Along with that he signed another Executive Order to form the Task Force on the Implementation of Amendment 64.
The Executive Order for the Task Force says, “All stakeholders share an interest in creating efficient and effective regulations that provide for the responsible development of the new marijuana laws. As such, there is a need to create a task force through which we can coordinate and create a regulatory structure that promotes the health and safety of the people of Colorado.” The task force will be headed by Jack Finlaw who is Chief Council to the Governor and Barbara Brohl the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue which oversees the medical marijuana system.
One focus of the new task force will be to make sure state and federal law don't cause employees prosecution by the federal government. The first task force meeting is December 17, 2012 and they are expected to have a final report by the end of February 2013.
This still leaves local counties wondering what to do next. Colorado Counties Inc. has been recommending to county commissioners statewide to wait to make any regulations concerning Amendment 64.
Last week the group presented their analysis telling county commissioners the best thing to do right now is utilize the "opt-out" provision. The deadline for state regulations is July 1 2013.
Colorado Counties Inc. says Amendment 64, "Seems to allow counties the right to get a head of the state, but does not require it." Leaving counties to "opt-out" and be a "dry" county or develop local licenses and regulations.
Mesa County commissioners Steve Aquafresca and Craig Meis attended the presentation coming away with the feeling that opting-out and waiting on the state is what they'd like to do. The pair also wants to let a future board of Mesa County Commissioners discuss a moratorium.