Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Monday that legalizing pot was “reckless”. Hickenlooper, who made his fortune in the craft brewing industry, was asked at Monday’s Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce debate what he would tell other states considering legalizing marijuana. “Any governor that looks at doing this before we see what the consequences are, I would view it as reckless,” he said. He was then asked if the voters were reckless for supporting the amendment. “I think for us to do that without having all the data, there is not enough data, and to a certain extent you could say it was reckless. I’m not saying it was reckless because I’ll get quoted everywhere, but if it was up to me I wouldn’t have done it, right. I opposed it from the very beginning. In matter of fact, all right, what the hell — I’ll say it was reckless.” A Quinnipiac University poll released in July found 54 percent of Colorado voters still support legal pot.
With marijuana possession decriminalized, what becomes of those with marijuana charges on their record before the law came into effect? Under a bill Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced last fall, the criminal records for District residents convicted of non-violent marijuana-related crimes would be sealed. During today’s legislative meeting, Grosso’s bill unanimously passed the first vote on the bill. The bill applies to “residents with a non-violent misdemeanor or felony possession of marijuana as their only prior criminal history,” according to Grosso’s office. This could apply to 20,000 people arrested over a 10-year period. In August, Mayor Vince Gray quietly signed temporary legislation into law that allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients as they see fit, rather than limiting it to a short list of qualifying conditions. The Council voted to make the temporary bill permanent.
Support for a Florida ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana continued to slide, dropping to 51 percent in a new poll released Wednesday. The measure needs 60 percent support to pass. The Survey USA poll has recorded a slow but steady decline in support for medical marijuana for four consecutive weeks, dropping from 56 percent to 53 percent to 52 percent to the current 51 percent. In the new poll, 15 percent said they are not certain how they will vote on ballot measure, known as Amendment 2. “Depending on what those last 15 percent do, the measure either becomes law, or goes up in smoke,” the pollsters said.
The Richland, Washington, city council voted 3-2 to ban marijuana-related land uses within city limits. The vote followed about 30 minutes of public comment. More than a dozen people addressed the council and at least 10 spoke against banning marijuana-related land uses within city limits. Richland was the last of the Tri-Cities to ban marijuana-related businesses from operating within city limits. City officials cited a decision made by the state attorney general earlier this year that said municipalities could ban marijuana sales and production by imposing zoning regulations. Anderson prepared for Tuesday’s vote by speaking to two friends who are doctors, he said. He wanted to better understand the medicinal uses of marijuana, since so many residents commenting during public hearings cited the substance’s medicinal value. “Both of them said zero,” Anderson said of the doctors. “There is nothing. Really, there is no proof.”
Last week, Hillsboro, Oregon, joined nearly 30 municipalities that have approved or are considering taxing legal pot, despite language in Measure 91 aimed at preventing exactly that. The hope is to pressure state lawmakers into amending the law, if it passes, to allow local governments to levy additional sales taxes — otherwise, cities will find themselves waging an uphill battle in court, legal experts say. Section 42 of Measure 91 states: “No county or city of this state shall impose any fee or tax … in connection with the purchase, sale, production, processing, transportation, and delivery of marijuana items.” Section 58 takes it a step further: “(the state law) shall be paramount and superior to and shall fully replace and supersede any and all municipal charter enactments or local ordinances inconsistent with it.” Even so, the list of localities seeking to impose their own taxes keeps growing by the week. The issue has received even more attention as Portland and larger cities in Washington County are weighing such proposals. Measure 91’s drafters copied the language of the two sections nearly verbatim from the state liquor code, which prohibits municipalities from collecting local taxes on alcohol.