Implementing Pot Legalization in Colorado and Washington: Q&A with David Bienenstock and Harris Kenny

Last November, Coloradans and Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana. For those fed up with marijuana prohibition, the moment was an important victory and, perhaps, an indicator that marijuana prohibition nationally is coming to an end. For reformers in Colorado and Washington, however, the work is just beginning. Implementating the new laws will not be easy, and there are lots of big questions that will need to be answered.

Will adult tourists visiting Colorado and Washington be allowed to buy pot? Will adults be allowed to smoke pot in coffee shops or private clubs? Will adults who legaliy smoke pot be eligible for federal grants? How will the federal government respond?

In February, Reason TV's Paul Feine, David Bienenstock, Harris Kenny and some friends of Reason gathered in Reason's LA studio to learn more about the challenge of implementing the new pot laws. David Bienenstock is an editor at High Times magazine and the author of the recently published Legalized It!: Inside Colorado and Washington State's Historic Votes to End Marijuana Prohibition. Harris Kenny is a Reason Foundation policy analyst and a member of Colorado's Amendment 64 implementation task force.

Approximately 24 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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  • sarcasmic||


  • BlogimiDei||


  • Hyperion||

    I'm still really concerned about how DUI laws might be abused in the case of MJ. I mean, last time I smoked some weed... 25 years or so ago, the real effects did not last more than a couple of hours, as best I can remember. So how do you know if someone is impaired by a test? With alcohol I think it's pretty clear, at least to the extent of what level of BAC you have, since it leaves the body pretty quickly... to be honest, even though I don't drive even after a couple of beers, I am a much better driver after 6 beers than I would be hungover, even though there would be no BAC test that would detect alcohol at that time... but with pot, I dunno...

    Sorry, run on sentence I know, but it's a fucking SNOW DAY! And I can do WTF I want!

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "I am a much better driver after 6 beers"

    Not if you drink a 6 pack of Storm Kings.

  • JoshSN||

    I'd like to think I have the best answer for this.

    Who cares how much alcohol or crack or pot is in a person's system? What we really want to know relates to reaction times and coordination.

    There should be no breathalyzer test, there should be no urinalysis, there should only be a test of a person's ability to respond to the situations presented by driving.

    1) this could snag some old people, who weave a bit while driving. Fine! If they can't control their car, because they are stoned, or because they are old, we don't want them driving.

    2) this solves any and all future concerns about other drugs which may, or may not, become legal.

    There is also the possibility that the test for driving down a 25 MPH suburban street is different/easier than highway driving. Reaction times do not need to be as good when driving slowly.

    BAC was never perfect. Testing reaction times and coordination keeps all bad drivers off the road.

  • rickl7069||

    The difficulty in determining impairment with marijuana is no different than with alcohol. Georgia has set .08 as DUI with alcohol and for some people .08 has no effect while others might be quite impaired. For people who actually drink daily, .08 is generally not impaired. Same with marijuana, I think they were talking about possible DUI at 5 ppm, but for a daily smoker that is not impaired. Hopefully they don't set it too low like with alcohol. I mean, for me, if I stop at a bar and have one beer and a shot, I am at GA's legal limit, yet I am in no way impaired.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "yet I am in no way impaired"

    Which is irrelevant to a breathalyzer. In most states you can be hauled in and charged for practically any amount of liquor on the breath which is correctly known as a DUI. Typically the DWI is the .08 and above. Some states use the term interchangeably but the process is the same: .08 is a basic threshold, below it you can still be yanked.

    My view is if you want to totally avoid the bullshit don't drink in public at all unless you have a driver or can spend enough time at the pub for the body to naturally dispose of the liquor.

    I have nothing against booze- this is from a hard-drinking muthafuka.

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  • abercrombie brussel||

    I have nothing against booze- this is from a hard-drinking muthafuka.

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