On Monday, December 10, 2012, Governor Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order that formalizes Amendment 64 as part of the Colorado Constitution. The Executive Order makes legal personal use and possession of small quantities of marijuana, as well as limited home-growing. It is still illegal to buy or sell marijuana, use it in public, or use it in a way that endangers others.
In addition to the Executive Order formalizing Amendment 64, Governor Hickenlooper signed another Executive Order to create a task force on the implementation of Amendment 64. The task force will create and enforce a regulatory structure. There will be 24 members of the task force, who were named by the governor in the Executive Order. The task force will be chaird by Jack Finlaw, the governor’s chief legal counsel, and Barbara Brohl, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue.
The task force will address many issues related to the continuing regulation of marijuana, such as amending current laws regarding marijuana possession, sale, and distribution to reflect its legality; creating laws regarding security and labeling requirements for marijuana establishments; education efforts to address long-term health consequences of marijuana use; and the impact of Amendment 64 on employers and employees. The task force is expected to report back to the governor, the General Assembly, and the Attorney General by February 28, 2013.
The task force will also attempt to reconcile Colorado law with federal law so that the Colorado government and its employees will not be subject to prosecution. Governor Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers wrote a letter to Eric Holder, the United States Attorney General, regarding the federal government’s position on Amendment 64, but the state has not yet received a response. Governor Hickenlooper stressed that he will attempt to retain as much flexibility as possible in order comply with federal laws.
For the governor’s complete press release, click here. To hear a panel discussion about the implications of Amendment 64 for Colorado, come to the live CLE program on December 18.