Marijuana Repeal Considered In Colorado

Apr 27, 2013

” Mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion could be going back to the bal­lot in Col­orado — a prospect that infu­ri­ated pot legal­iza­tion activists Fri­day. The pro­posal for a mar­i­juana bal­lot mea­sure came as the House started debate Fri­day evening on bills to reg­u­late and tax pot. One bill would state how pot should be grown and sold, and the other would tax recre­ational mar­i­juana more than 30 per­cent. A draft bill float­ing around the Capi­tol late this week sug­gests that a new bal­lot ques­tion on pot taxes should repeal recre­ational pot in the state con­sti­tu­tion if vot­ers don’t approve 15 per­cent excise taxes on retail pot and a new 15 per­cent mar­i­juana sales tax. Those would be in addi­tion to reg­u­lar state and local sales taxes. Law­mak­ers have only a few days left to fin­ish work decid­ing how to reg­u­late the newly legal drug. Mar­i­juana activists imme­di­ately blasted the pro­posal as a back­handed effort to repeal the pot vote, in which 55 per­cent of Col­oradans chose to flout fed­eral drug law and declare pot legal in small amounts for adults over 21. “It’s clear that the intent … is to pre­vent mar­i­juana from being legal and being reg­u­lated and being con­trolled,” said Mason Tvert, who led last year’s cam­paign to add recre­ational pot to the state con­sti­tu­tion, which has allowed med­ical mar­i­juana since 2000. Sen. Larry Crow­der, R-Alamosa, said the whole pur­pose of legal­iz­ing recre­ational mar­i­juana was to raise money for edu­ca­tion and other pro­grams. “So if there’s no money, we shouldn’t have mar­i­juana,” Crow­der said. A vol­un­teer group that has been crit­i­cal of pro­posed mar­i­juana reg­u­la­tions, Smart Col­orado, praised the effort to get rid of recre­ational pot with­out approval of the taxes. A spokesman for the group, Eric Ander­son, said in a state­ment that mar­i­juana activists “sold the bal­lot issue to Col­orado vot­ers as a way to pay for state pri­or­i­ties like edu­ca­tion, but increas­ingly it’s look­ing like it could be a net drain on the state bud­get.” The mar­i­juana mea­sure approved last year won more votes than Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, who car­ried the state. The pot mea­sure directed law­mak­ers to come back to the bal­lot with a tax pro­posal, with much of the money going to school con­struc­tion. Because of Colorado’s Byzan­tine tax laws, the recre­ational pot taxes can’t be levied until vot­ers again sign off on them. In Wash­ing­ton state, the only other place where vot­ers last year approved recre­ational pot, the bal­lot mea­sure set taxes at 75 per­cent, set­tling the ques­tion. Both states are still wait­ing to find out whether the fed­eral gov­ern­ment plans to sue to block retail sales of the drug, set to begin next year. The Col­orado repeal effort wouldn’t apply to med­ical mar­i­juana, which vot­ers approved in 2000. Law­mak­ers from both par­ties have expressed worry this year that Col­orado won’t be able to afford to give recre­ational pot the kind of intense over­sight and reg­u­la­tion many expect. From label­ing and potency stan­dards to mak­ing sure pot taxes are col­lected, the reg­u­la­tory scheme under con­sid­er­a­tion in Col­orado wouldn’t be cheap. The state House started debate Fri­day on the tax bal­lot ques­tion. The repeal pro­vi­sion, if it appears, would come later, likely when the pot tax shifts to the Sen­ate. Some law­mak­ers said Fri­day they doubt law­mak­ers would send pot legal­iza­tion back to vot­ers this year. “That’s almost like say­ing to vot­ers, ‘Vote for this, or else,’” said Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge. “I don’t think you threaten vot­ers like that. When over 55 per­cent of the peo­ple vote for some­thing, I think we have to respect that.” Mar­i­juana repeal debate could dom­i­nate the Legislature’s clos­ing days. The path to repeal would be uncer­tain, but some law­mak­ers say it’s only fair to ask again if vot­ers are will­ing to legal­ize pot and risk fed­eral inter­ven­tion in exchange for a tax wind­fall pro­jected to exceed $100 mil­lion a year. “I think that’s why the peo­ple sup­ported it,” Crow­der said.…in-colorado-2/

ba85ec818elorado.jpg 150x99 Marijuana Repeal Considered In Colorado

Con­tin­ued here:
Mar­i­juana Repeal Con­sid­ered In Colorado

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