Amendment 64 task force approves recommendations concerning pot sales and taxation

DENVER - Thursday evening, The Amendment 64 Task Force approved recommendations concerning pot sales in Colorado. The recommendations will next be sent for review by the Colorado legislature.

Lawmakers will get the final say as to how sales should be executed.

While the legislature will have to set the final amounts, the panel agreed marijuana should be taxed more than cigarettes but lower than alcohol.

The group also suggested decisions about when and where marijuana dispensaries can operate may ultimately end up with local governments according to panel members.

Previously, the task force agreed that there should be no ban of sales to out-of-state residents, but suggested limiting how much non-residents could buy at any one time. They also suggested requiring store license applicants to have lived in Colorado for two years.

Governor John Hickenlooper says he expects a decision from federal authorities about the ability of states to sell recreational marijuana.  Hickenlooper said he spoke with Attorney General Eric Holder at the inauguration and was told “all hands are on deck,” concerning a resolution to this issue.

"They have an obligation to uphold the law of the land, but at the same time the last thing they want to do is go against the vote of one of their states, a democratic vote of what they think they should be subjected to, " said Hickenlooper.

During the final meeting of the panel, the governor called for caution.

"I'm not saying the sky is falling and we're going to have thousands of homless teenagers we didn't have before, but we will have more," said Hickenlooper.

Part of his plea - to make sure pot is thoroughly regulated - after voters approved amendment 64.

"For some of those kids it's going to make it easier to throw in the towel for a while," he said.

While some proponents question the governor's facts, they acknowledge his concerns, stressing the need for a solid set of rules.

"He's expressing his caution about proceeding. And I think we all agree it's a cautious approach, and that's reflected in the recommendations," said Chris Sederberg, who lead the committee to pass amendment 64.

Among those recommendations:

-A special marijuana tax.

-New training for law enforcement to detect impaired drivers.

-Revising the Colorado Clean Air Act to include the impact of marijuana smoke.

-Restricting underage access.

There are so many issues that are involved in this. But I think the big issues were resolved in this," said Sederberg.

Each of the members of the task force had bags of snacks at their seats, in reference to Hickenlooper's memorable Election Night statement: "Don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly."

Print this article Back to Top