CO Task Force Okays Marijuana Purchases by Tourists

Pot tourism may be coming to Colorado. The state's Marijuana Task Force today approved purchases at retail stores by out of state visitors. The quantity will be limited to reduce incentive for "smurfing" and resale on the black market.

The task force hearing minutes are here. [More...]


The Amendment 64 Task Force recommends that the General Assembly not enact a Colorado residency requirement for purchasing marijuana for personal use for individuals 21 years of age or older.

The Task Force's Reasons:

The Working Group recommends that there should be no such requirement for two principal reasons.

First, the plain text of the Amendment suggests, though it does not require, such a reading. The text speaks of consumers solely as those over the age of 21 and envisions such customers presenting a "government-issued" identification. While not dispositive, these references appear to envision that any person over the age of 21 who can produce government-issued (not solely Colorado-issued) identification should be entitled to purchase marijuana for recreational use. The Blue Book explanation of Amendment 64 also repeatedly describes consumers simply as those over the age of 21. Thus, neither the text of the Amendment nor its official explanation envisions a residency requirement for consumers.

Second, imposing a residency requirement would necessarily create a black market for recreational marijuana within the state. It is clear that under current state law out-of-state residents may possess less than an ounce of marijuana without penalty. Forbidding those from out-of-state from purchasing the marijuana that they may lawfully possess in Colorado would thus encourage straw purchases and unauthorized resale to out-of-state residents.

The working group believes that these considerations were sufficient to outweigh the principal concern- namely that opening recreational sales to out-of-state residents could attract greater federal scrutiny and the displeasure of our neighboring states. The working group believed that these considerations could be addressed through labeling and education rather than residency requirements.

Among the suggestions made for minimizing the risk of out-of-state purchasers taking marijuana home with them were: providing point-of-sale information to out-of-state consumers reminding them that marijuana cannot leave the state, signage at airports and near borders reminding visitors that marijuana purchased in Colorado must stay in Colorado, and coordination with neighboring states regarding drug interdiction. There was also discussion of imposing a restriction on retail licenses located near the state's borders.

The Task Force also recommends that distribution of marijuana not be run by the state.

The Amendment 64 Task Force recommends that the General Assembly not enact legislation to allow or require a state-run distribution model. Such legislation is not consistent with either the text or spirit of Amendment 64.

Quite simply, a state-run retail model is not consistent with either the text or the spirit of Amendment 64. The Amendment clearly envisions private parties applying to the state for licenses and then being supervised and regulated by the state. In every part, the Amendment contemplates the state as a regulator of private commercial activity rather than as a market participant itself. Adopting a state-run system would thus be inconsistent with the Amendment's clear mandate and should not be adopted by the Task Force.

As an additional matter, we note that adopting a regulatory model which called for state-run retail stores would raise serious federalism concerns.

Under such a model the state would be actively violating federal law rather than merely licensing others to do so. Such open defiance of the Controlled Substances Act might be seen by the federal government as an intolerable obstacle to the enforcement of federal law and could lead to a suit to enjoin such conduct. A state-run distribution system is thus far more antagonistic to the federal government than one in which the state merely licenses private conduct and should be rejected for that reason as well.

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    Some big wins... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:06:30 PM EST
    for the existing MM shops in there.  Although, the dual system is kind of confusing.  Why not one store that ID's and requires a MM card for those under 21?  Seems a bit overly burdensome.

    A residency requirement... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:45:46 PM EST
    more than anything imo, would defeat part of the purpose, which is tax revenue for the state.  

    Besides, who in Colorado cares what neighboring tyrannical states think about Colorado's newfound freedom.  If anything Colorado should be displeased with their neighbors for treating the citizens of their state like sh*t.

    As for the feds, they will be displeased no matter how the new law is implemented...there is no pleasing the feds when you question or rebuke drug war dogma.  All that pleases the feds is handcuffs and stealing crops.

    Dude... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:40:47 PM EST
    have you seen Addy?  She seems chill. I'm guessing she could give you a run for the money in the tokeage department!

    That was awesome... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:37:19 PM EST
    those other dudes are a couple a lightweights...ya know Addy went home and smoked two more before she smoked two more.

    You can bet... (none / 0) (#5)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:33:29 PM EST
    she won't be packing her own bowl for quite some time!

    Without a doubt Addy's down with Bradley, Lou Dog and the boys.