Colorado voters have approved a ballot initiative to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it in a manner similar to alcohol.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the measure, released a statement Tuesday evening which said, in part, "don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly."
The marijuana measures in Colorado and Washington set up a showdown with the federal government, which outlaws the drug.
The Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office said the Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Spokesman Jeff Dorschner notes that "Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance." Dorschner says they are reviewing the ballot initiative.
Attorney General John Suthers released the following statement regarding taxation of the drug:
"The proponents of Amendment 64 told voters that it imposed a surtax of up to 15 % on marijuana sale that would result in up to $40 million each year going to K-12 schools in the state. In fact Amendment 64 did not comply with required language under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and no such tax will be imposed. Instead it will be up to the Colorado Legislature whether to refer such a tax to the voters and up to the voters of Colorado whether to actually impose the tax. Therefore, such revenue is speculative and will not be forthcoming when Amendment 64 begins to be implemented.”
When state and federal laws conflict, federal law takes precedence. Federal authorities could sue in an attempt to block the measures in Colorado and Washington from taking effect.
The measure allows users to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or six marijuana plants.
We have a crew working on the details of the future of this amendment and will bring you updates on NewsChannel 13 and KRDO.com.