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Recreational marijuana

Recreational marijuana officially legalized in Colorado following governor's signature

Thursday, December 13, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: recreational marijuana, Colorado, governor

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(NaturalNews) Coloradans for the decriminalization of marijuana had a lot to celebrate on December 10 when Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order much earlier than expected that officially recognizes the passage of Amendment 64, making Colorado the second state in the union to legalize marijuana in defiance of federal prohibitions.

According to reports, individuals 21 years of age and older can now legally use, possess, distribute, and cultivate marijuana in limited quantities throughout the state without fear of retribution by local and state law enforcement. And over the next few months, the logistical intricacies of how the plant will be regulated and sold at the retail level in accordance with the provisions of Amendment 64 will also be determined.

"This is a truly historic day," said Mason Tvert, co-director of the campaign to pass Amendment 64, to reporters. "From this day forward, adults in Colorado will no longer be punished for the simple use and possession of marijuana."

According to the new law, adults living in Colorado are now able to possess or transfer up to one ounce of dried marijuana, and also freely cultivate up to six marijuana plants at one time on their own property. And to help facilitate the establishment of a regulatory framework for the new law's retail sales provision, Gov. Hickenlooper has established a 24-member "Task Force on the Implementation of Amendment 64" to guide the process.

The purpose of the Task Force will be to guide lawmakers in properly establishing regulatory guidelines for the distribution of marijuana throughout the state; growing areas for cultivating marijuana; a network of retail shops in which to sell marijuana; and even new policies regarding the legal cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp, which had previously been off limits due to federal restrictions.

"The Task Force shall respect the will of the voters of Colorado and shall not engage in a debate of the merits of marijuana legalization or Amendment 64," states the Executive Order.

Though Hickenlooper has said he personally did not support Amendment 64, he expressed his intentions of fully supporting the voters' choice in the matter. He and his legal team have also sent a formal letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder petitioning the federal government to disclose how it plans to move forward in enforcing federal laws that restrict access to marijuana in light of Amendment 64.

Initiative 502, a similar decriminalization measure passed by voters in Washington state, recently became law as well on December 6. Like in Colorado, Washington lawmakers are in the process of developing their own regulatory framework for the eventual cultivation and sale of marijuana at the retail level throughout the state.

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