Amendment 64:Marijuana legalization

Use and regulation of marijuana
Outcome: Passed

Summary

State and local government would regulate marijuana sales like those of alcohol. Text of the measure:

"An amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning marijuana, and, in connection therewith, providing for the regulation of marijuana; permitting a person twenty-one years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana; providing for the licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores; permitting local governments to regulate or prohibit such facilities; requiring the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund; and requiring the general assembly to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp."

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what your vote means

Yes

Marijuana would be legal and regulated. Would require licensed consumers to be at least 21 years of age and allow state and local government to regulate marijuana manufacturing and retail facilities. Would also allow for hemp to be grown and sold in Colorado.

No

Marijuana would be illegal, but medical marijuana would still be legal. A person of any age may continue to receive a license to use medical marijuana (parents of persons under 18 may be primary caregivers for minors to have license). State and local regulations of medical marijuana would remain.

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financial effect

Yes

Sales taxes and licensing fees are expected to increase from $5 million to $22 million a year, according to Colorado legislative staff. A separate excise tax also could be applied, but it would have to be approved by both the legislature and voters; the first $40 million of that would go to the public school capital construction fund. Costs to regulate marijuana would increase from $5.7 million currently with medical marijuana to $7 million in the first year of legalization and by $700,000 annually after that. Legislative staff could not determine the impact on individual cities. 

No

Current tax revenue from medical marijuana would continue to go to state and cities, but not to public schools as proposed in 64. Lower tax revenue would be earned with current laws than with 64.

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campaign arguments

Yes

The official Colorado staff analysis says:

"Current state policies that criminalize marijuana fail to prevent its use and availability and have contributed to the growth of an underground market.  By creating a framework for marijuana to be legal, taxed, and regulated under state law, Amendment 64 provides a new, more logical direction for the state.  The use of marijuana by adults may be less harmful than the use of alcohol or tobacco, both of which are already legal for adults to use and are regulated by the state.  Furthermore, marijuana may be beneficial for individuals with certain debilitating conditions.  The consequences of burdening adults with a criminal record for the possession of small amounts of marijuana are too severe, and there are better uses for state resources than prosecuting such low-level crimes."

"It is preferable for adults who choose to use marijuana to grow it themselves or purchase it from licensed businesses that are required to follow health and safety  standards, rather than purchasing products of unknown origin from individuals involved in the underground market.  A regulated market will provide a safer environment for adults who purchase marijuana and, by requiring age verification, will restrict underage access to marijuana.  The measure will also add needed tax revenue and job opportunities to the state economy."

"The adoption of Amendment 64 will send a message to the federal government and other states that marijuana should be legal and regulated and that industrial hemp should be treated differently than marijuana.  Adults should have the choice to use marijuana, just as they have that choice with other substances such as alcohol and tobacco.  Further, because of its commercial applications in fuel, building materials, clothing, and food, industrial hemp should be allowed to be grown, processed, and sold domestically."

No

The official Colorado staff analysis says:

"Even if Amendment 64 is adopted, the possession, manufacture, and sale of marijuana remain illegal under current federal law, so the adoption of the measure may expose Colorado consumers, businesses, and governments to federal criminal charges and other risks.  People who invest time and money to open marijuana establishments have no protections against federal seizure of their money and property.  Because federal banking laws do not allow banks to accept the proceeds of, or loan money for, activities that are illegal under federal law, marijuana businesses will likely need to be cash-only businesses.  In addition, enhanced federal scrutiny and competition from retail marijuana establishments could jeopardize the existing medical marijuana system.  The efforts of individuals who feel that marijuana use should be legal for all adults are more appropriately directed at changing federal law."

"Marijuana impairs users' coordination and reasoning and can lead to addiction. Allowing state-regulated stores to sell marijuana will make it more accessible, which is likely to increase use and may give the impression that there are no health risks or negative consequences to marijuana use.  Greater accessibility and acceptance of marijuana may increase the number of children and young adults who use the drug. Furthermore, because more people are likely to use marijuana, the number of those who drive while under the influence of or while impaired by the drug may increase."

"Amendment 64 asks voters to approve a regulatory structure for the sale of marijuana, but does not specify critical details about what the regulations will entail.  Furthermore, because the provisions of Amendment 64 will be in the state constitution and not in the state statutes, where most other business regulations appear, there may be unintended consequences that cannot be easily remedied.  For example, the state legislature cannot adjust the deadlines, fees, and other details regarding the implementation of the measure.  In addition, by constitutionally permitting marijuana use, the measure, despite its stated intent, could create conflicts with existing employment, housing, and other laws and policies that ban the use of illegal drugs."

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campaign information

Yes

Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Website: http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/

Email: info@regulatemarijuana.org

Telephone: 303-861-0033

Address: 1177 Grant St., Ste 310  Denver, CO 80203

Contact: Mason Tvert

No

Smart Colorado

Website: http://votenoon64.com/

Email:  info@votenoon64.com

Telephone: 303-534-0278

Address: PO Box 6627  Denver, CO 80206

Contact: Jon Anderson  

 

No On 64 Take the Greed Outta Weed
Miguel Lopez
2121 Delgany St., #1346
Denver, CO 80202
720-338-8766

Safe and Healthy Mesa County
Zelda Popovich
643 Livvy Ct.
Clifton, CO 81520
970-434-9869

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Additional information

Amendment 64 Full textClick here to view.
Measure TypeInitiated state constitutional amendment.

Funding

Yes

RankContributor nameTotal
1MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT$1,233,412
2SCOTT BANISTER$250,100
3DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE$100,000
4DRUG POLICY ACTION$85,000
5DR. BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPS ALL-ONE-GOD-FAITH INC.$50,000
60.8%
12.3%
4.9%
4.2%
2.5%
$2.0 million raised in total

No

44.6%
4.4%
4.4%
4.4%
4.0%
$571.2 thousand raised in total
RankContributor nameTotal
1SAVE OUR SOCIETY FROM DRUGS$254,866
2CITIZENLINK$25,000
3BENSON MINERAL GROUP$25,000
4J. LANDIS MARTIN$25,000
5TRICE JEWELERS$22,588

Editorials

Yes

No

Campaign Advertisements

Yes

No

Comments

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