Amendment 64 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:
Currently, individuals who grow, transfer, manufacture, possess, or sell marijuana violate federal, state, and, in some cases, local laws.
However, state penalties for marijuana offenses are not as severe as penalties for many other drug-related offenses. Although the use of marijuana for medical purposes is not authorized under federal law, Colorado and several other states have enacted legislation allowing the use of medical marijuana. Right now, state regulation of medical marijuana establishments has generally been allowed to occur, although the federal government has ordered some businesses to close.
Amendment 64 states that its provisions are not intended to:
Personal use of marijuana. Under the measure, individuals who are 21 years old or older (adults) may possess, use, display, purchase, and transport up to one ounce of marijuana. Adults may share up to one ounce of marijuana with other individuals who are at least 21 years old, but are not allowed to sell marijuana. The use of marijuana in public or in a manner that endangers others is prohibited.
The measure allows adults to grow their own marijuana or to purchase marijuana from a licensed retail marijuana store with proof of age. Adults may possess up to six marijuana plants, of which three or fewer are mature, flowering plants, as well as the marijuana harvested from the plants, provided that the plants are kept in an enclosed and locked space and are not grown openly or publicly. The marijuana harvested must remain on the premises where the plants were grown. Adults are also permitted to possess, use, display, purchase, and transport marijuana accessories that are used for the growth, manufacture, and consumption of marijuana.
Regulation by the state. Amendment 64 requires the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) to adopt regulations by July 1, 2013, concerning licensing and security requirements for marijuana establishments, the prevention of marijuana sales to underage individuals, labeling requirements for marijuana products, health and safety standards for marijuana manufacturing, advertising restrictions, and civil penalties for violations. The measure specifies that the regulations may not prohibit marijuana establishments or make the operation of such establishments unreasonably impracticable.
Regulation by local governments. Local governments may enact regulations concerning the time, place, manner, and number of marijuana establishments in their community. In addition, local governments may prohibit the operation of marijuana establishments through an ordinance or a referred ballot measure; citizens may pursue such a prohibition through an initiated ballot measure. Even if marijuana establishments are prohibited by a local government, individuals in that community who are at least 21 years old may still possess, grow, and use marijuana as allowed by the measure.
Types of licenses. Under Amendment 64, marijuana growth, processing, testing, and sales are authorized under four types of licenses: Marijuana Cultivation Facility, Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility, Marijuana Testing Facility and Retail Marijuana Store.
Taxes. Under the measure, marijuana is subject to existing state and local sales taxes and a new state excise tax to be set by the legislature. An excise tax is a tax on the use or consumption of certain products such as gasoline, alcohol, or cigarettes. The tax is generally collected at the wholesale level and passed on to consumers in the retail price. Marijuana cultivation facilities will pay the excise tax when selling marijuana to either marijuana product manufacturing facilities or to retail marijuana stores. Amendment 64 requires the legislature to enact the state excise tax; however, the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) requires a separate statewide vote to approve the tax and any future tax
Industrial hemp. The measure requires the state legislature to enact, by July 1, 2014, legislation concerning the growth, processing, and sale of industrial hemp, but does not specify what provisions must be included, or whether such activities should be authorized. The measure defines industrial hemp as the same plant as marijuana, but with a THC concentration of no more than three-tenths percent. THC is
the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. Federal law currently prohibits the growth of industrial hemp, although it is legal to sell imported hemp and hemp products in the United States. Hemp seeds are sold as food, and hemp fibers are used to manufacture rope, clothing, and building materials.