Denver, CO: Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order on Monday amending the state Constitution to allow for those age 21 or older to legally possess and cultivate cannabis in private.
Fifty-five percent of Colorado voters on Election Day approved Amendment 64, which legalizes the adult personal use of cannabis and calls on state lawmakers to enact regulations licensing its commercial production and sales.
"Voters were loud and clear on Election Day," Gov. Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement. "We will begin working immediately with the General Assembly and state agencies to implement Amendment 64."
Under the new law, the possession by adults of up to one ounce of cannabis, and/or the non-commercial cultivation of up to six marijuana plants in private is no longer subject to criminal or civil penalty.
The Governor also announced the formation of a 24-member task force to oversee the eventual implementation of regulations regarding the commercial production, distribution, and taxation of cannabis. A representative of Colorado NORML sits on the task force.
Stated NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano: "To be clear, this is not decriminalization -- a policy change that amends criminal penalties for minor marijuana offenses, but that continues to define cannabis as illegal contraband under the law and subjects its consumers to civil penalties. Today in Colorado, like in Washington, cannabis -- when possessed in private by an adult in specific quantities -- is a legal commodity."
The new law does not amend the state's existing medical cannabis law or regulations.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.