Amendment 64's Brian Vicente on how act might be challenged, why he doubts it will be
|Amendment 64 proponents Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente (from left).|
"There absolutely are historical precedents," he says. "In the 1930s, Colorado overturned alcohol prohibition one year before the federal government did -- and this year, Colorado has overturned marijuana prohibition. Hopefully, the federal government and other states will get on board soon. But in the meantime, Colorado has chosen to lead in this area, and we think that's a great thing for the state."
What happens next when it comes to Amendment 64? "Within thirty days, the governor must sign it into law -- and he's promised to do so," Vicente says. "At that point, adults will be immune from criminal prosecution for small personal possession and cultivation. Then, there's a fourteen-month timeline for implementation to get new storefronts off the ground. The legislature and the Department of Revenue are tasked with taking up certain rule-making issues in 2013 to write strict regulations around these new facilities, and to license them as early as October 2013, and as late as January 2014."
Likewise, "the legislature is tasked with writing regulations and issuing licenses for hemp during the 2013 legislative session."
For now, anyone who assumes the amendment went into effect the moment Tuesday's vote became final is advised to take a breath.
"I would stress to readers that until the governor signs Amendment 64 into law, criminal laws remain on the books in Colorado," Vicente points out. "Upon his signature, adults will be able to possess small amounts of marijuana privately. But until that time, it remains a criminal offense. So please use discretion. It's really incumbent on the people of this state to make this a meaningful victory."
And if they do so? "Then," says Vicente, "we can serve as a model for other states around the country."
More from our Marijuana archive: "Amendment 64 approved: Mason Tvert celebrates, John Hickenlooper talks Cheetos."