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Colorado

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 30, 2019

    Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has signed multiple bills into law amending the state’s marijuana laws.

    House Bill 1234 establishes regulations for the delivery of cannabis products from state-licensed retailers. Under the plan, deliveries are limited to one per day per household, and are only permitted in municipalities that explicitly allow for such activities. Deliveries to college campuses are prohibited. The delivery of medical cannabis products would begin on January 2, 2020, while retail cannabis sales would begin on January 2, 2021.

    House Bill 1230 establishes regulations for the licensing of “marijuana hospitality spaces.” Under the measure, licensed dispensaries and retailers could apply for on-site consumption permits. Hotels, restaurants and other private business would also be permitted to apply for similar licensing. At indoor facilities, marijuana smoking will be permitted unless prohibited by local rules. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020. Colorado is only the second state to regulate social use marijuana spaces.

    House Bill 1263 reduces criminal penalties for the possession of large quantities of cannabis. It reduces penalties for the possession of over six ounces of marijuana and/or three ounces of marijuana concentrate from a level 4 felony to level 1 misdemeanor. It also mandates that police may not arrest a defendant for violations involving the possession of between one and two ounces of cannabis. The measure further reduces penalties for the low-level possession of other controlled substances from felonies to misdemeanors. The new penalties take effect on March 1, 2020.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 2, 2019

    Marijuana HempLegislation is before Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to regulate the home delivery of cannabis and cannabis-infused products.

    House Bill 1234 establishes regulations for the delivery of cannabis products from state-licensed retailers. Under the plan, deliveries are limited to one per day per household, and are only permitted in municipalities that explicitly allow such activities. Deliveries to college campuses are prohibited.

    The delivery of medical cannabis products would begin on January 2, 2020, while retail cannabis sales would begin on January 2, 2021.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 12, 2019

    Marijuana and MoneyThe passage of statewide adult use marijuana laws is associated with an immediate uptick in housing prices, according to an assessment published by the online service Clever Real Estate.

    The study determined: “States that legalize recreational cannabis see an immediate bump in home values following legalization, even without retail dispensaries opening up. From 2017 to 2019, cities where recreational marijuana is legal saw home values increase $6,337 more than cities where marijuana is illegal” after controlling for potential confounders.

    Cities that regulated retail marijuana facilities experienced an even greater increase in overall home prices.

    By contrast, the study did not identify a similar significant increase in home prices in cities where only medical cannabis was legally regulated.

    Regarding crime rates following the passage of legalization, the study failed to identify any overall trends in legal states that significantly differed from the national average. “The crime rate increases in Washington and Colorado are consistent with nationwide violent crime trends since 2014. … Using Colorado and Washington as case studies, it’s clear that the market benefits from marijuana legalization outweigh the potential costs in terms of home values,” the study’s author concluded.

    The report’s findings are consistent with those of prior studies, such as those here and here.

    Full text of the study, “How Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Impacts Home Values,” appears online here.

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director December 18, 2018

    As marijuana sales in Colorado exceed $1 billion, residents are seeing marijuana tax revenues being put to work in their communities. From funding local projects to restore historic sites and construct a new irrigation system in Denver, to providing college scholarships to more than 500 students in Pueblo, and statewide grants for early literacy programs, Coloradans from every corner of the state are benefiting from the legalization of marijuana.

    But there’s more. Similar to other areas of Colorado’s public education system that have benefited from marijuana tax revenues, the state’s School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Program (BPEG), which has earned local and national recognition for its effectiveness, is being funded by the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund.

    “I think we provide an environment where you can concentrate on studying rather than just on conflicts,” Jessica Hale, Dean of Discipline at Skinner Middle School, stated in a recent interview with the Denver Post.

    Read more here: https://dpo.st/2Gr1DFj

    While some remain skeptical of marijuana legalization, it’s hard to ignore the positive impacts it’s having on communities across Colorado.

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with the NORML Fact Sheets. For more information follow Colorado NORML on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director December 16, 2018

    Following the lead of other major cities and counties in states that have legalized adult-use marijuana such as San Francisco and San Diego in California and Seattle and Pierce County in Washington, local officials in Colorado are taking action to undo the injustices of marijuana prohibition.

    Six years after voters in Colorado legalized adult-use marijuana, Boulder County, which encompasses the city of Boulder, and the City of Denver, have announced plans to expunge past convictions of low-level marijuana crimes from criminal records. Regardless of adult-use marijuana being legal to possess and consume in 10 states, a lingering marijuana-related conviction can prevent otherwise honest and hardworking adults from job opportunities, housing and financial resources.

    Boulder County Assistant District Attorney Ken Kupfner shared his thoughts in a recent interview with Colorado Public Radio:

    “We want to help people whose convictions are having the greatest impact first,” Kupfner said. “It could span everything from jobs to potential housing to educational opportunities. Anytime someone has a conviction, even for marijuana, it still shows up as a conviction.”

    Read more here: https://www.cpr.org/news/story/boulder-county-makes-move-to-cancel-past-marijuana-convictions

    Following the announcement from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled a new citywide effort to expunge low-level marijuana convictions that occurred in Denver before voters legalized adult-use marijuana in 2012. According to the Mayor’s office, more than 10,000 convictions for low-level marijuana crimes will be eligible for expungement.

    Read more here: https://komonews.com/news/local/following-seattle-denver-officials-want-to-erase-low-level-marijuana-offenses

    Colorado state law currently only allows for the expungement of juvenile records, arrests based on mistaken identity and underage DUI offenses. However, in 2017 Representatives Edie Hooton and Jovan Melton worked together to pass HB 1266, which allows those who were convicted of criminal offenses for the use, cultivation, or possession of marijuana to petition for the sealing of criminal records. Certainly a step in the right direction.

    Lawmakers in California, Delaware, Rhode Island, Oregon and others have taken similar steps to allow for the expungement of marijuana-related convictions or at the very least, seal criminal records. With a record number of state legislatures expected to consider numerous bills to tax and regulate adult-use marijuana in 2019, advocates can rest assured that expungement will continue to be a part of the conversation.

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with the NORML Fact Sheets. For more information follow Colorado NORML on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website

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