-On May 28, 2013 Governor Hickenlooper signed a number of bills into law making the use of recreational retail marijuana legal in Colorado.
–Retail Marijuana stores cannot open before January 1, 2014.
–From now until July 1, 2014 only current medical marijuana dispensary owners can apply for a retail marijuana license at a fee of $500. Anyone else that wants to apply for a license has to wait until July 1, 2014 to apply for a retail marijuana license at a fee of $5,000. You must be a Colorado resident to own or invest in retail marijuana stores.
–The current Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division (MMED) that monitors and enforces all medical marijuana licenses, fees and applications will be replaced by Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). The new MED will monitor and enforce both medical marijuana and retail recreational marijuana.
–Colorado residents that do not have a medical marijuana red card are legally allowed to carry up to one ounce of marijuana and can grow up to six plants. Non-residents are allowed to purchase and carry up to a quarter-ounce of marijuana.
— You must have a red card to purchase marijuana from a medical marijuana dispensary.
— The DUID bill, HB-1114 (the THC/DUI stoned driving bill) was also signed and passed and under this bill a driver with more than 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood will be considered impaired to drive. This means there will be roadside sobriety checks by police to test the amount of THC in a driver’s system if they have been pulled over and are suspected to be under the influence of marijuana. The police may ask to draw a blood sample, or ask to see/ swab your tongue for traces of THC.
This bill also allows the conviction of citizens that show the presence of 5 nanograms or more of THC in their blood even if they were not consuming/smoking marijuana or actually impaired at the time of the blood test. If a driver wants to fight these accusations they will have to prove their innocence in court and convince a jury that they were not impaired.
By Neil Charles