Within 24 hours of the polls closing at Crawford Town Hall, the town council was discussing a moratorium on recreational marijuana. Colorado voters on Nov. 6 approved Amendment 64 on the legalization of marijuana allowing those 21 years of age and older to possess, use, display, purchase, transport and transfer one ounce or less of marijuana.
Marijuana is still considered illegal by the federal government.
Crawford voters in the April 2012 municipal election had banned medical marijuana retail outlets and cultivation operations, confirming the decision of the town council in 2011.
Jackie Savage, town clerk, asked the council at its Nov. 7 meeting whether it wanted to enact an ordinance or moratorium regarding commercial marijuana operations and shops.
Savage said she will have a breakdown on the local vote count on Amendment 64 in time for the next meeting. The council will then know how town residents voted. Town attorney Jim Brown is preparing a letter explaining the town's legal options.
Under Amendment 64, the Colorado Department of Revenue is required to adopt regulations by July 1, 2013.
With the passage of the amendment, marijuana is subject to current state and local sales taxes with a new excise tax to be enacted by the state legislature. The latter taxes the use of a product such as gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes.
The amendment permits local governments to enact their own regulations regarding the time, place, manner and number of marijuana establishments and the option of prohibiting the operation of marijuana establishments through an ordinance or a referred ballot measure.
The approved amendment states, "Even if marijuana establishments are prohibited by a local government, individuals in that community who are at least 21 years old may still possess, grow, and use marijuana as allowed by the measure."
Another provision in Amendment 64 requires the legislature to enact by July 1, 2014, laws covering the growth, processing, and sale of industrial hemp. Under federal law, the growth of industrial hemp used in rope, clothing and building materials is prohibited, but it is legal to sell imported hemp and hemp products in the U.S.
Because the Crawford Town Council may need to vote on their direction on the issue, they voted to recess, rather than adjourn, their Nov. 7 meeting. They will reconvene their council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. to decide what direction to take. If they want to proceed with an ordinance, a future public hearing would have to be held.
The date change from Wednesday, Nov. 21, to a day earlier is due to council members not wanting to work the night before Thanksgiving.
The meeting is open to the public. A work session will follow the council meeting.blog comments powered by Disqus