What is amendment 64?


It is an Amendment to Article 17 of the Colorado State Constitution passed by the majority of voters in Colorado in the November 6, 2012 election that will:

Allow personal use and possession of marijuana for adults.

Establish a system similar to the one for alcohol that would regulate and tax marijuana

Allow for the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp


Under amendment 64, can anyone use marijuana?


No.  Amendment 64 limits the personal use and possession of marijuana to adults 21 years and older.  Any use or possession of marijuana without a medical marijuana card is still illegal for those under 21 years old.


How much marijuana can I have?


Amendment 64 limits the use and possession of marijuana to one (1) ounce per person and six (6) mature marijuana plants grown in the home of a person.


Are there restrictions on the growth of marijuana?


Yes.  Amendment 64 allows a person to have up to six (6) mature marijuana plants at home.  The plants must be kept in a private, enclosed and locked space.


Where can I purchase marijuana?


Amendment 64 will allow for the establishment of retail stores, cultivation facilities and product manufacturing facilities, similar to those already in place for alcohol.  These facilities will be under the regulation of the Department of Revenue.  Such stores and facilities will therefore be required to follow certain rules and regulations in order to get and maintain a state issued license.  This process is similar to the system currently used for the regulation of alcohol in Colorado.


Can I share my marijuana with others?


Yes.  Under Amendment 64 a person may give another person 21 years or older up to 1 oz of marijuana.  It is still illegal for a person to give anyone under the age of 21 any amount of marijuana.  Likewise it will be illegal for any person who does not have a state license to sell marijuana to any person or gift more than 1 oz of marijuana to any person.


How does amendment 64 affect medical marijuana laws and users?


The short answer is that Amendment 64 if supposed to be separate and distinct from the medical marijuana system.  For example, the tax that may be issued on marijuana grown for non-medical users will not be applied for the marijuana grown for medical marijuana users.  All current rules and regulations for medical marijuana users are still in effect.  However, in reality, the full effect of this amendment on medical marijuana patients, caregivers, and distributers is still unknown.


Is it legal for me to use personal amounts of marijuana today?


No.  Amendment 64 does not become law until the Governor ratifies it, which should be within 30 days of voting (Dec. 6, 2012).


What is hemp?


Hemp is the fibrous part of the marijuana plant that can be used for a variety of purposes such as for clothing, textiles, paper and rope.  Amendment 64 allows for hemp to be grown as a crop to be used in such applications.  Amendment 64 defines hemp as any part of the cannabis plant with a THC concentration less than or equal to 0.3% on a dry weight basis.


Will the marijuana be taxed?


It is likely that marijuana will be taxed but there are questions currently surrounding this issue.  Amendment 64 required the general assembly to enact an excise tax of up to 15% on the wholesale sale of non-medical use marijuana.  It further required that the first $40 million raised annually be directed to the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund.  However, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office recently stated that this section of the amendment does not conform to the requirements under the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).  Therefore, any tax on marijuana will now have to be approved by a majority of voters in a statewide general election.


Since marijuana is legal, can my employer still require me to refrain from using it?


Yes.  Amendment 64 has no impact on the drug policies of individual employers.


How will Amendment 64 affect marijuana use and driving?


Amendment 64 does not affect marijuana use and driving.  It is illegal for any person to drive while impaired from the use of any substance in Colorado, regardless of the legality of that substance.  Just as it is illegal to drive while impaired from the use of alcohol, it is also illegal to drive while impaired from the use of marijuana.  However, the practical result of Amendment 64 on driving will likely be that new regulations and laws are put into place to specifically define impairment by marijuana use, such as per se limits.  Again, this will be similar to laws already in place for driving and alcohol use.


Will marijuana use be allowed throughout Colorado?


Possession and use of marijuana will be allowed throughout Colorado.  However, the location of marijuana retail stores, growing establishments, and distribution facilities may be limited to certain cities or counties.  Amendment 64 allows for local governments, such as individual cities or counties, to ban or regulate marijuana establishments.


What about federal marijuana laws?


Current federal laws define marijuana as an illegal substance.  Therefore, under federal law it is still illegal to possess or use marijuana.  This is in direct conflict with Amendment 64, which will fall under state law.    Since it is still illegal under federal law, the federal government can still arrest and prosecute marijuana users, distributors, and cultivators.  However, it is not known at this time to what extent the federal government will exercise this right.  The Colorado Attorney General’s Office has stated that they will be working on implementing Amendment 64 and as part of this effort they will be working with the federal government to determine what stance, if any, the federal government will take on this issue.

Categories: Amendment 64