Ballot Amendment 64 will amend Colorado’s constitution to allow the recreational sale, use and possession of marijuana. At a minimum, Amendment 64 will
1) create as much as $20 million or more in additional tax revenues
2) allow law enforcement and the courts to better utilize their stretched resources
3) help eliminate the drug cartels’ reach into the state’s underground pot market
But these benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many positive attributes, Amendment 64 also legalizes the production of hemp. HEMP. Yes, that crop that is stronger and softer than cotton and has NO THC (the stuff that gets you high). Businesses have been itching to get into hemp production in theUnited Statesbecause the opportunity for new materials and uses and immense.Colorado, I hope you’re ready for not just the marijuana boom, but the bigger hemp boom.
Colorado voters in 2000 approved an amendment allowing for pot use by persons with certain medical conditions. These laws won’t change. The current lax medical pot laws already facilitates putting pot into the hands of youth (assuming laws really make a difference!), but at the same time the primary arguments against Amendment 64 is that it will put pot in the hands of youth? Go figure, it’s just “Not true.” (To use Obama’s favorite debate expression.)
Colorado’s law enforcement and judicial system are lax, as they should be, when it comes to pot use. An individual busted with up to two ounces of marijuana can receive a $100 fine and up to 15 days in jail. Pot busts figure into just five percent of all drug arrests statewide; the bigger problem is meth, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of drug arrests. Barely one percent of our state prison population is behind bars because of pot, and law enforcement agencies spend less than four percent on pot-related offenses.