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Marijuana bills loaded with new amendments -- including one to revive THC driving limit

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for marijuana plant photo 205x205.jpg
Yesterday, we noted that the marijuana bills needed to implement Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over in Colorado to use and possess small amounts of cannabis, would be facing their first tests. But the exams are far from over.

The most high-profile of the bills squeaked out of its first committee by a 6-5 vote -- but it's been larded with amendments, including an attempt to resurrect THC driving limits from the dead after the proposal seemingly snuffed it earlier this week.

Dean Toda, communication director for the House Democrats, walks us through the rapidly moving process.

"There are three marijuana bills," he notes. "One of them" -- Senate Bill 13-283 -- "implements the non-controversial recommendations of the legislative joint select committee impaneled in February."

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Dan Pabon, sponsor of HB 13-1317, with Governor John Hickenlooper.
A brief aside: In this context, "non-controversial" means those recommendations that received unanimous support from the joint select committee. However, marijuana activist Robert Chase finds the measure to be very controversial, calling it "a direct declaration of war against cannabis-users and a monumental gesture of contempt for the express will of the people of Colorado that cannabis be regulated like alcohol."

The two other proposals? They're House Bills 13-1317 and 13-1318, with the first qualifying as "the majority report from the joint select committee -- a round-up of the issues that didn't receive unanimous support," Toda says.

And 13-1318 "implements the tax structure," he explains. "Because of TABOR, any new taxes have to be referred to the people. So the bill sets up a referendum this November on the creation of an additional sales tax of up to 15 percent on recreational marijuana and an excise tax of up to 15 percent. So that's a total of up to 30 percent in taxes on recreational marijuana, with the first $40 million to go toward a K-12 capital construction fund in the state."

This last dictate may be difficult to accomplish according to a just-released study by CSU's Colorado Futures Center. We've got the full report below (along with the three bills as originally submitted), but the summary spotlights five points -- including the seemingly contradictory assertion that while recreational marijuana will generate more than $130 million in tax revenues, the way the excise tax is structured will prevent it from coming up with that aforementioned $40 million for school construction. The study also suggests that the program will neither pay for itself nor make up for the state's budget shortfall. Here's the breakdown:

1. The adult recreational marijuana market in Colorado will be $605.7 million and taxation of that market will bring an additional $130.1 Million in state tax revenue in fiscal year 2014‐15.

2. The 15% wholesale excise tax created by the amendment will not reach the goal of $40 Million for school construction as stipulated in the ballot language approved by voters.

3. The high water mark for marijuana tax revenue is likely to be in the first few post‐legalization years with revenue flattening or declining thereafter.

4. Marijuana tax revenues may not cover the incremental state expenditures related to
legalization.

5. Marijuana tax revenues will not close Colorado's structural budget gap.

No doubt legislators will look to address these issues -- and there's no shortage of other topics on their plate.

Continue for more about the three Colorado marijuana bills working their way through the state legislature, including the original documents.


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38 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

                "I am not even a registered patient" -- Robert Chase

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 *** Colorado Appeals Court OKs firing for Off-Duty Marijuana Use ***

Coloradans who use medical marijuana off the clock can be fired from their jobs for doing so even if they aren't impaired on the job, an appeals court ruled Thursday in a major decision.

A divided Colorado Court of Appeals panel upheld the firing of a quadriplegic man for off-the-job medical-marijuana use, concluding that, because marijuana is illegal under federal law, employees have no protection to use it anytime.

The 2-1 decision — which is precedent-setting — has broad implications not just for the state's nearly 109,000 medical-marijuana patients but for any adult using marijuana in Colorado since voters legalized the substance in November. The case is the first to look at whether off-duty marijuana use that is legal under state law is protected by Colorado's Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute. The statute says employers can't fire employees for doing legal things off the clock.

"What the Colorado Court of Appeals said is, by definition, the use of medical marijuana cannot be lawful," said Vance Knapp, an attorney with Sherman and Howard who specializes in employment law

===

Good thing that the authors and supporters of A64 included a provision protecting EMPLOYERS and not marijuana users, eh?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 Here's what you ignorant stoner fucktards VOTED FOR with A64 --

(III) DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA SHALL REMAIN ILLEGAL;

b) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED TO ALLOW DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA OR DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA OR TO SUPERSEDE STATUTORY LAWS RELATED TO DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA OR DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA, NOR SHALL THIS SECTION PREVENT THE STATE FROM ENACTING AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF OR WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA.


Get REGULATED, bitches! ... it's what YOU VOTED FOR!



nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

Westword: Thanks for keeping an eye on these regulations. Nobody else wants to reports on this, and once again you lead the pack in Marijuana reporting.

irq77
irq77

Impairment while driving is NOT okay regardless of drug, but how does a test that does NOT prove impairment somehow make our roads safer?  Where is the logic?  Where is the science?  Where is there a problem with the existing law that shows a NEED for additional legislation?

Two minutes and Google shows the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the following (http://www.nhtsa.gov/People/injury/research/job185drugs/cannabis.htm):

"It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects."

"It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations"

The present DUI laws already include Cannabis and have > 90% conviction rate.

Common sense, science fact, and past experience have not deterred these legislators.  Instead Rhonda Fields, Mark Waller and Dan Pabon charge ahead fuelled by hate, fear, and ignorance.  We might as well throw out presumed innocence out the window as well...   ...Oh wait, that's in the bill too!

These legislators are blatantly attacking freedom and the will of Colorado voters.

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson

Any new law to make uncle Sammy happy!! Fuck that!!! That law needs to be burned I maintain a thc level twice that 24/7!!! Last time I checked I haven't hit anyone or anything at a drive threw. Tastefully discretion folk,s don't be a dumbass like a drunk! 420 love

JimTom
JimTom

Road side test was good enough until we had to create MMJ and A64. Enjoy what you created. Remember the days when the cops would poor out you bag, break your pipe and send you on down the road? Ah, the good old days.

Val Weitz
Val Weitz

If at first you don't succeed.... Just bury your ill conceived unwanted amendment in a new bill. The magic world of civic duty. Good thing there is a government entity that can identify what is best for me.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

The state had a 96% conviction rate on impaired drivers.  That's an A in any school.  This is a witch hunt.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

Well bend us over and stuff it further and please, no lube.  A few rabid prohibitionists left continue to fuck us all really hard. 

Zach Stock
Zach Stock

I think sobriety tests supported by ZERO science are ridiculous. Roadside sobriety has worked fine for a very long time, all this does is make it easier for prosecutors to jail innocent people. As has been proven over and over again the limits on these bills are ridiculously low. This law will do nothing but clog the court system as anyone charged who has a few dollars to their name will take their case through every appeals court available until a judge rules the law unconstitutional.

Marc Khan
Marc Khan

How do we test people under the influence of prescription pills? Roadside sobriety test. It's such a simple answer.

Steve At Work
Steve At Work

I certainly don't care to see stoned drivers on our roads and I find the excuse "I can drive fine while stoned" ridiculous. They obviously don't smoke what I do nor have they ever downed a 100mg CheebaChew without reading the "quad dose" in tiny print. However, the THC levels suggested to define impairment are ridiculous. I'm quite sure that most recreational users (evening only in my case) maintain a steady level of several times that, even days after consumption. It's a poorly conceived bill and one that will have serious unintended (or intended perhaps) consequences.

Pete
Pete

Robert,

My understanding of the William Breathes blood test that showed him well over 5 nanogram level while sober is that the MJ content was a combination of active and inactive THC.  Do you have the results of his test broken out between the active and inactive elements of THC?  This new DUID amendment supposedly only tests for active THC?  Can anyone post a link to impairment testing that is limited to active THC levels?

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay  

That was a MEDICAL case, idiot, and the decision deferred to federal law, which A64 is not.

hth fucking moron

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay  

HipTip: "Shall remain" =/= "add new laws"

hth chickenshit whiny pussy

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@nemopunk15        **** Regulation Works! ****

... get REGULATED, punk ... it's what YOU voted for!


michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@JimTom That's one way to look at it. Thanks for the post, JimTom.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@KathleenChippi In school, most of us would have been thrilled with a 96. Thanks for the post, Kathleen.

stuka1
stuka1

@KathleenChippi 

Yes, like the rabid prohibitionists who tried to bend over out-of-state visitors to Nederland by forcing them to consume ALL of the up to 1-1/2 eights of an ounce they would be allowed to buy at the pot shop before turning them loose on the streets and into the arms of the imprisonment industry piggies.

*******OH,WAIT, THAT WAS YOU!********

"(6) it shall be unlawful to sell a non-colorado resident marijuana or marijuana products that
exceed five (5) grams or five (5) servings (edibles) per consumer per day and all sales shall be for
on premise consumption only;
(7) it shall be unlawful to sell a non-colorado resident seeds, clones or sealed containers of
marijuana or marijuana products intended for off premise consumption;"

Pete
Pete

Sorry, meant to address this to Michael Roberts, not Robert.  No, I'm not stoned, yet.

JimTom
JimTom

@sucka1 If you don't think this will apply to non-MMJ you are stupider than I thought you were.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 =  know-nothing legal retard and general imbecile

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 = dumber than a bucket of festering pus

NOR SHALL THIS SECTION PREVENT THE STATE FROM ENACTING AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF OR WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA.

irq77
irq77

@michael.roberts 
 Thanks for taking the time to check out the comments section.  Most days I see the comments section filled with trolling comments and name calling.  Is there a new policy change at the Westward?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@michael.roberts " In school, most of us would have been thrilled with a 96"

Typical slacker-stoner ...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 @KathleenChippi

"it shall be unlawful ..."

"it shall be unlawful ..."

Sounds like the usual Prohibitionist Law enFORCEment Scumbaggery from the self-loathing psyche of poseur punks like Rico Colibri ... or lyin' Brian Vicente ... or mendacious Mason Tvert.

It was a sad day in Marijuana Activism when Kathleen went along with this ... even for a nanosecond.


Pete
Pete

@hurfdurf @Pete Thank you, this 5ng proposal is even more messed up than I thought.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@irq77 @michael.roberts 

No change ... Michael is still the Primary Pot Propagandist and user comment fluffer.


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