With Governor’s Signature, Colorado Marijuana Law Goes Into Effect

Colorado’s law to legalize and regulate marijuana went into effect Monday, as Gov. John Hickenlooper quietly signed an executive order making Amendment 64 part of the state’s Constitution. In approving the law before the Jan. 5 deadline and without advance notice, Hickenlooper, who has opposed the law, avoided the public celebration that occurred on the eve of Washington’s enactment of its law last week. As in Washington state, possession of an ounce of marijuana is now legal for those 21 or older, but public use of the drug is prohibited. Because regulations for licensing dispensaries are not yet in place, there is currently no legal way to distribute the drug. Limited home-growing is also permitted under Colorado’s law. Hickenlooper also announced a Task Force today to implement the law. He has asked the Department of Justice several times for guidance on how they plan to react the law, but has gotten no definitive response.