30 day countdown to legal pot in Colorado

8:26 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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By Brandon Rittiman

DENVER (KUSA) - The amendment legalizing recreational use of marijuana in Colorado won't take effect until Gov. John Hickenlooper proclaims that it passed.

After the Secretary of State certifies the vote Thursday, the Governor will have a 30-day window in which to make his proclamation.

Pot possession becomes legal in Washington State on Thursday, though regulations for the sale of pot will take about a year in both states.

Coloradans may look to Washington for a preview of what happens in the meantime, but there are some key differences between the laws passed by voters in the two states.

Under the new Washington law, people can legally have marijuana, but they have no legal way to obtain marijuana.

Colorado's Amendment 64 allows people to grow their own.

It will be legal to have up to six plants, but they need to be out of the open.

"Just like you wouldn't set up a big brewery in your backyard," Mason Tvert, with the Marijuana Policy Project, said. "I mean the idea is if you as a hobby enjoy being able to brew your own beer, you're able to do that-- and you similarly will be able to grow a small amount of marijuana if that's what you prefer to do."

The law states they must be grown in an enclosed, locked space. Only three of the plants can be mature.

The marijuana law in Washington contains nearly 21,000 words-more than five times the length of Colorado's amendment.

Part of the reason is that it establishes more rules and regulations around pot than Colorado's law does.

Washington's law included a DUI limit for THC (the active drug in pot), a set of rules for licensing businesses to grow and sell marijuana, and even restrictions on advertising.

Colorado leaves those issues to be sorted out by state lawmakers and the Department of Revenue.
The proponents of Amendment 64 say this was done deliberately to allow the law to change over time.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)



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