Efforts to Repeal Marijuana Legalization in Colorado Flailing, Retail Sales to be Delayed

A few days ago reports began coming out of Colorado of an effort to repeal Amendment 64, the state’s new recreational marijuana law. Now come reports that the repeal effort is dying, but it seems there will be a delay in the regulations for retail marijuana distribution points until lawmakers can hammer out the details of taxation.

“I think people are counting their votes,” said House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat who didn’t endorse the repeal proposal but previously said he was open to the discussion. “I think there are people on both sides who have concerns about it.”

Denver 4/20 Rally

Denver 4/20 Rally

According to Ferrandino, under the latest draft proposal for regulations commercial marijuana sales in Colorado would be put on hold until voters approve extra taxes on the sale of cannabis.

How long this delay could be is anyone’s guess, but when you’re talking about elected officials, the delay could be quite long.

We do know that things would have to wait until after voters approved new taxes in November. As of now, lawmakers have proposed a bill (House Bill 1318) that places a 15% excise tax and an initial 10% extra sales tax on marijuana.

A full repeal of Amendment 64 would also have to be approved by voters – the same voters that just approved the amendment itself – but only after getting two-thirds support in the state legislature.

But that option doesn’t seem likely, according to Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat opposed to the repeal plan.

“There was a pretty strong grassroots response that I think every member received that said, ‘Don’t threaten us,'” Pabon said.

It seems voters don’t take to kindly to the legislature trying to wipe out what they approved only 7 months before. Congratulations to activists in Colorado for getting the word out; this is something they will have to do time and time again as opponents of legalization come with everything they have.

Hopefully 2014 will see the opening of retail marijuana shops in Colorado, but those who live in the state must continue to let their representatives know how they feel about the issue. Delay can often spiral into quagmire, and then complete inaction. This would prevent the full implementation of Amendment 64 and thwart the will of the voters.

The good news is that many in the Colorado legislature are evidently affected by voter feedback, hence the inability of the repeal idea to get any traction. So keep it up Colorado! Make your voice heard, and make sure your reps keep hearing it!

– Joe Klare

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  • Theodore Chu

    NO extra taxes on marijuana. Huge savings to the state will occur with cessation of prosecuting, persecuting and incarcerating people for the use of a substance demonstrably less harmful than high fructose corn syrup.

  • ray

    the last dieing gasp of a doomed prohibition.