Colorado's Marijuana Task Force Pushes Bad DUID Law, Pot Protectionism, Heavy Taxes

Jacob SullumJacob SullumThe final report of the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, which was appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to advise the state legislature on how best to regulate recreational marijuana, recommends passage of a bill that would allow DUID convictions based on nothing more than blood test results showing a THC concentration of five nanograms per milliliter. As I explained earlier this month, that "permissible inference" policy, while not as bad as a per se standard, is still scientifically unjustified and apt to result in the conviction of unimpaired drivers.

The task force's report, which was issued today, also recommends that licenses for growers and retailers be limited to Colorado residents, which would seem to rule out participation by entrepreneurs from other states. It says current medical marijuana providers should be allowed to continue serving patients even if they decide to get into the recreational market (where they would have first dibs on licenses), as long as they keep inventories for the two businesses "separate and distinct." It suggests a "reasonable per‐transaction limit of less than one ounce [the maximum adults 21 or older may possess] for all purchases" and "more restrictive purchase limits for non‐residents," although it is hard to see how the latter can be enforced, since Amendment 64 forbids the state to demand information from buyers beyond their age. 

The task force says "smoking of marijuana" should be banned not only in the bars and restaurants covered by the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act but also "in 'cigar bars,' smoking clubs or [other] establishments where tobacco smoking is allowed." It also wants the legislature to prohibit open packages of marijuana in vehicles. It justifies both recommendations by referring to Amendment 64's ban on marijuana consumption "that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others." 

As for people younger than 21, who are not allowed to possess marijuana under Amendment 64, the task force recommends making possession of less than an ounce by 18-to-20-year-olds "a civil charge with treatment and conditions to be established by a judge." For minors, it prescribes "education and treatment  without the consequences of a conviction because of a petty offense, which could result in detention or commitment to youth corrections."

Here are some of the other major recommendations (which I have previously reported):

  • Pot stores must get local as well as state approval.
  • Current medical marijuana centers (MMCs) should have a one-year monopoly on the recreational market.
  • Marijuana stores must grow at least 70 percent of what they sell and transfer no more than 30 percent of what they grow to other stores or manufacturers of cannabis-infused products. That "70/30" rule, which many MMCs lobbied to keep, would expire after three years, at which point the legislature could choose a more flexible approach.
  • The legislature should propose both a 15 percent excise tax (collected at the wholesale level) and a special marijuana sales tax (collected at the retail level), both of which would have to be approved by voters.
  • Visitors as well as Colorado residents should be allowed to buy marijuana (as long as they are 21 or older).
  • Marijuana should be sold in "child-resistant packaging."
  • Labels should indicate THC content, and the state should establish "rules for edible marijuana-infused products to prevent accidental over‐consumption—e.g., by saying that "a serving should not have more than 10mg of active THC."

The current session of the Colorado General Assembly ends on May 8, so the legislature has eight weeks to act on these recommendations and create the statutory basis for regulation of cannabis businesses by the Department of Revenue, which is supposed to write its rules by July and start accepting license applications by October. Barring federal intervention, marijuana stores serving the recreational market are expected to start opening early next year.

The task force's complete report is here. Previous coverage of the task force's recommendations here. Reason TV's story about implementing Amendment 64:

 

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  • A Mathematician||

    What if you refuse to give a blood test?

  • R C Dean||

    They strap you down and put in a needle in you anyway.

    Seriously.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That would seem to run afoul of the 5th Amendment, no?

  • Zeb||

    Seems that way to me. It's a bit odd that you can refuse to speak, but can't maintain your bodily integrity. Courts seem to forget about that stuff when it comes to DUI.

  • ||

    The technical argument is: ROADZ!!!

  • Paul.||

    That would seem to run afoul of the 5th Amendment, no?

    No. States have been doing this for years without any interference from the Court of the Supreme.

    Oh wait, are you asking whether it runs afould of the 5th, or if anyone cares?

  • prolefeed||

    According to SCOTUS, it doesn't run afoul of the 5th, because SCOTUS has determined that the Constitution means what they say it means, even if that is in direct conflict with the wording of the Constitution.

    Seriously.

  • ||

    You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?

  • R C Dean||

    It also wants the legislature to prohibit open packages of marijuana in vehicles.

    If I close the ziploc on my baggie, is it still an open package?

    It justifies both recommendations by referring to Amendment 64's ban on marijuana consumption "that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others."

    Jeebus, who equates having an "open package of pot" with "public consumption"?

    What a stupid rule.

  • NeonCat||

    They know all the reeferheads will see the open container and rush for it, resulting in a bloodbath. There's nothing more desperate and unthinking than a reeferhead confronted with an open bag.

  • Hyperion||

    In order for you to transfer your open bag of reefer by motor vehicle, you have to take it by a state approved ORBIS(open reefer bag inspection) station.

    There for a small fee, after you have taken your number and waited in line for 2 hours, your open reefer bag can be weighed, approved, sealed and stamped by a well trained and courteous inspection attendant.

    Afterwards, you will be promptly arrested for public intoxication, and your sealed bag of reefer will be confiscated.

    Have a nice day.

  • R C Dean||

    Pot stores must get local as well as state approval.

    Isn't that directly contradictory to the law?

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    They want the legislature to change the law. All this crap coming from these assholes are recommendations.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "The task force says "smoking of marijuana" should be banned not only in the bars and restaurants covered by the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act but also "in 'cigar bars,' smoking clubs or [other] establishments where tobacco smoking is allowed." It also wants the legislature to prohibit open packages of marijuana in vehicles. It justifies both recommendations by referring to Amendment 64's ban on marijuana consumption "that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others."

    Not inside...not in the open...seems as good as illegal to me

  • R C Dean||

    I'm curious: how do you smoke pot in a way that endangers others?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    If you have that cheap dirt weed with seeds one could burst and put an eye out.

  • NeonCat||

    You didn't happen to see the "Use Your Eyes" training film shown on TCM
    Underground last week, did you?

    It's pretty funny.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWmsKY2jZNs

  • NeonCat||

    Wave the joint or blunt around wildly, burn them with the tip?

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    By not passing the joint.

  • NeonCat||

    That's not endangering them, that's protecting them from the weed with roots in hell!

    I'm picturing a PSA where someone takes a joint from somewhere else and smokes the hell out of it: (trying to hold breath in) "You'll thank me for this later." (cough)

  • Zeb||

    They probably want to consider smoking it in a building which also contains children "child endangerment".

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    actually that would be attempted murder according to some top men in Charleston, West Virginia.

  • Copernicus||

    Excessive bogarting is what destroyed the Romans.

  • Paul.||

    I'm curious: how do you smoke pot in a way that endangers others?

    Secondhand smoke, baby, secondhand smoke.

    Tobacco legislation, meet Marijuana laws.

  • SKR||

    yeah fuck what the second hand smoke studies actually say. let's go with the wild extrapolations of studies offered by news organizations to make public policy.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What constitutes "reasonable suspicion" (haha, I love that bullshit term) leading to a blood test?

    "Your Honor, I observed the defendant's eyes to be red, and he appeared to be behaving in a nervous and distracted manner."

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Yep. I smelled marijuana too.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    my dog barked.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Wow, these are some stupid rules. WA seems to be doing a better job of it, but only on a relative basis. It will be interesting to see what a relatively low-reg state, such as TX does when they legalize it.

    Too bad that won't happen until 2026.

  • ||

    We'll see what the State Liquor Board puts forth as the rules soon enough. However, I must say it was really nice driving home from my friend's house with a bag of weed in my pocket and knowing that it was completely legal.

  • R C Dean||

    I hope it met the legal requirement for a "closed, child-proof container", or you're risking hard time. Hippy.

  • ||

    Dave's not here, man.

  • Hyperion||

    No, man, I'm Dave, man. I got the stuff.

  • ||

    I'm totally pulling your anarchist queen tiara for that comment.

  • Paul.||

    That 2.5" knife from Home Depot you were carrying probably wasn't, though.

  • Hyperion||

    Maybe their current anti-gun boner's got them all wee weed up and they can't think rationally?

  • prolefeed||

    It will be interesting to see what a relatively low-reg state, such as TX does when they legalize it.

    States won't legalize it until they have enough liberals voting for it that the government is no longer a low-reg state any more.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Well who didn't see this coming. Voters fix a problem, a bureaucratic "task force" fucks it up.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What if you refuse to give a blood test?

    It's a privilege, not a right. You can't just go roaming around without being subject to random warrantless scrutiny and interrogation.

    Papieren, bitte.

  • NeonCat||

    (hands cop a package of Job 1.25s) "Here, dude."

  • Hyperion||

    appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to advise the state legislature on how best to regulate recreational marijuana

    Wait, is this the same Lickenhooper, err... Hoopenlicker.., Loopenhicker, whatever... who was opposed to the bill and who reluctantly signed it anyway? Nothing can go wrong here.

    Hickenlooper, lol, he must have had lots of fun in school.

  • NeonCat||

    Lickenpooper?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Dick in pooper.

  • Hyperion||

    +1

    /adolescent school boy

  • Copernicus||

    Parents must have been reading lots of Dr. Seuss when they were naming him.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    how do you smoke pot in a way that endangers others?

    Just don't drop that roach in your lap.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Rather than looking for DUID, couldn't they just look for drivers operating their vehicles recklessly?

  • Hyperion||

    That doesn't cut it with the currently trending pre-crime crowd.

  • txgypsy||

    isnt it illegal to have an opened half empty bottle of whiskey on your lap while driving??? its the same with an open container of weed, no????..........Ive warned the potheads, it wasnt going to be easy, they arent going to enjoy "pot paridise" like they thought..........its going to be regulated to all hell.........
    "legalize it...regulate and tax it like alcohol!!!"....when dealing with the azzclowns of govt,...be careful what you wish for, it may come true.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, there is a slight difference between an open container of a drinkable intoxicant, and an open container of one that has to be burned, vaporized, or cooked.

    Its like charging someone for negligent discharge of a weapon because they have an open box of bullets.

  • Paul.||

    If the gun is nearby, that's probably illegal too.

  • SKR||

    better labyrinthine regulations than a simple one that sends you to jail.

  • Hyperion||

    Ive warned the potheads

    Oh noes. Have you warned the 32 oz soda swillers, also?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    couldn't they just look for drivers operating their vehicles recklessly?

    Too hard.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    That would defeat the purpose of punishing stoners.

  • Juice||

    So if you smoke pot (legally) you can't drive for the next few weeks?

  • Hyperion||

    You should have thought of the consequences, ahead of time, stoner!

    Needz moar rulez and regulashunz, or society with collapse into anarchy!

  • SumpTump||

    Stupid punk cops, go find some REAL crime to pursue!

    www.EliteAnon.tk

  • Lincoln||

    "with treatment and conditions to be established by a judge"--

    I didn't realize judges had substance abuse counseling credentials. . .

  • Summer||

    So every adult who chooses to smoke or otherwise ingest THC, and then drives within the several days that follow, will still be a criminal in the state of Colorado; and subject to the same oppression we've been subjected to for the last several decades by local law enforcers. This will allow peace officers to hassle anyone they want to under the pretense of suspicion of having ingested THC. [We all need to wake up and vote for better politicians. Letting the aristicratic two percent have more than fifty percent of the vote on anything is a mistake to my way of thinking.] Recent tests have shown that there is no evidence of driving impairment under the influence of pot, but the panel has chosen to ignore the scientific data available. The following report was referenced in a link on the Huffington Post and was sent to the governor, senators, and members of the panel. I think everyone should be made aware of it.

    [Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers Than Non-Marijuana Users, New Study Shows
    A new study released by United States auto insurance quote provider shows that statistically speaking, marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users.]
    New York (PRWEB) April 06, 2012

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/.....375729.htm

    VOTERS TAKE NOTE.

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