Colorado’s Marijuana Task Force Releases 58 Recommendations for New Laws
The task force set in place to decide the plan on how Colorado grows, sells and taxes marijuana in the state issued 58 recommendations on Wednesday. Next step, the governor and state legislature.
Government regulators, pot advocates and law enforcement officials made up the Amendment 64 Task Force which would make recommendations to Gov. John Hickenlooper on implementing the use of recreational marijuana by adults 21 years of age and older.
The group based their recommendations on one or more of these guidelines:
All of the Task Force recommendations stem from one or more of these Guiding Principles:
- Promote the health, safety, and well-being of Colorado’s youth
- Be responsive to consumer needs and issues
- Propose efficient and effective regulation that is clear and reasonable and not unduly burdensome
- Create sufficient and predictable funding mechanisms to support the regulatory and enforcement scheme
- Create a balanced regulatory scheme that is complementary, not duplicative, and clearly defined between state and local licensing authorities
- Establish tools that are clear and practical, so that interactions between law enforcement, consumers, and licensees are predictable and understandable
- Ensure that our streets, schools, and communities remain safe
- Develop clear and transparent rules and guidance for certain relationships, such as between employers and employees, landlords and tenants, and students and educational institutions
- Take action that is faithful to the text of Amendment 64
During the talks, a 25% marijuana tax was recommended, but some members thought that such a high tax would put the cost of marijuana to high, which would continue the underground pot market.
A topic that the task force could not agree on was "open or public consumption," which by Amendment 65 is prohibited. The group could not decide what constitutes "open or public consumption," task force Co-Chair Jack Finlaw told ABC 7 in Denver,
"For example, I think about half the tax force thought that people should be allowed to smoke marijuana on their front or back porch and the other half thought that maybe they should not be able to do that."
Finlaw added that there should be a distinction between smoking pot and eating edibles. If one was smoking a joint on his front porch, the smoke could pour into the streets and become open consumption. But maybe eating an edible treat on your front porch, the public wouldn't know it's weed -- this could be view as not open consumption.
The recommendations are still being deferred to the local governments on whether or not they will allow stores, social clubs or other marijuana commercial establishments.