On Monday, January 27, 2014, Sen. Pat Steadman introduced SB 14-129 – Concerning Changes to Criminal Provisions Related to Marijuana. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
The bill adds consumption and possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia to the crime of underage possession or consumption of alcohol. The bill changes the penalty structure for the crime as follows:
- For a first offense, there is a fine of up to $100 or a requirement to attend substance abuse education classes;
- For a second offense, there is a fine of up to $100; a requirement to attend substance abuse education classes; if appropriate, an order for a substance abuse assessment and any treatment recommended by the assessment; and up to 24 hours of public service; and
- For a third or subsequent offense, there is a fine of up to $250, an order for a substance abuse assessment and any treatment recommended by the assessment, and up to 36 hours of public service.
Under current law, the P.O.S.T. board is encouraged to offer an advanced roadside impaired driving training course at basic academy training. The bill encourages the P.O.S.T. board to offer the course as an elective to basic field sobriety training recertification.
The bill changes the open marijuana container crime to require that prosecution prove that the container has a broken seal, that the contents were partially removed, and that there is evidence that marijuana was consumed in the vehicle. Current law only requires proof of one of those three elements. The bill makes conforming amendments.
On Feb. 12 the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and referred it to the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee approved the bill on Feb. 18 and sent it to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the Fiscal Impact. On Feb. 21 the Appropriations Committee amended the bill and sent it to the full House for 2nd Reading.
Since this summary, the bill passed the Senate on Second Reading, with amendments.