Are you happy with the direction it's going now? What about the reaction — or lack thereof — from the federal government?

I think the way things are going is positive. What is occurring right now is that our governor and the governor of Washington state have been communicating with the Department of Justice and have come away from that correspondence believing we should continue forward with implementing these initiatives.

And those are the people who should be having the conversation. It's our governor and our state officials who are responsible for representing Colorado in that discussion. And that is a discussion that is taking place. They are providing the Justice Department with descriptions of how these regulations are going to look, what state employee roles will be, what measures will be put in place to prevent interstate trafficking and to ensure the safety of minors.

SAFER at home: Mason Tvert.
Anthony Camera
SAFER at home: Mason Tvert.

The federal government has made it very clear that their interest is in preventing interstate trafficking and protecting children. If you look at their involvement in Colorado over the last few years, it has been falling into that category. Where there have been situations where a medical marijuana business or actor has been found to be, or suspected to be, diverting marijuana out of state, they have gotten involved. Otherwise, to my knowledge they have not. The only other time they have significantly interfered is when they instructed those businesses to move away from schools.

Our state officials and the bill that we now need to pass need to respect those concerns.

I think people wanted an immediate response from the government. I certainly wanted to know what they were going to say. But I feel like they've handled it pretty well. I know people are saying it's so funny that they say they are still reviewing it. I've said that. Oh, yeah, like they're still reviewing it. Like they didn't review it in September, let alone in May of last year. But they are definitely being thoughtful, it would seem, unless they are just diabolical. How would they necessarily say this is no good without knowing what "this" is and neither state has decided what the actual system will be?

For them to come out and say, "Nope, this is no good," it's very similar to some of these localities banning these businesses without knowing what these businesses will entail. They don't know what their requirements are going to be; they don't know anything about them. All they do know is that voters supported this initiative — which does allow municipalities to ban.

Obviously, you guys wrote the local ban in there and knew it could happen, but did you expect to see this many municipalities take up bans before regulations had even been passed?

I feel it is premature. I think that there are obviously plenty of times for a locality to take this up once these regulations are finished and before the application process even begins. We put that in there, but if we had left it out, it still would have been the case. We're a home-rule state; localities have a great deal of control. For the same reason that a city can say we are not allowing liquor stores, they could say we are not allowing this. We simply made it clear that they are able to do that, for the same reason we made it clear that this does not make driving while impaired legal. That would have been the case if we didn't make it clear, but we wanted to make it clear.

I think it is premature for localities to be taking these actions absent a very compelling reason. And having not heard from their voters since the passage of the initiative, I would like to think it would be difficult to know where they stand on this. I've heard some of them say that they've heard from their constituents. Sure, you've heard from the ones who care about it.

They could do this by local referendum, and they should do it. Any local official who decides that marijuana businesses should be banned should be absolutely confident that a majority of voters in their locality would support that if it were put in front of them at the ballot box.

What's next for Colorado? Where do we go from here?

It's already happening. It's only been six months since it passed, less than five months since it went into effect. Things are moving very quickly. And seemingly quite efficiently, in my opinion. So I think it will continue to move forward with implementation, and we will establish a system, and then we will continue to address elements of that system as needed. If it becomes clear that something is not working, we will address that. These things will always come out.

I've said this a million times. Don't hate the player, hate the game. There's a debate to be had over whether our legislative system works and represents people versus private interest and how to things get done. It's a valid debate to have. But in light of the fact that this is the current system, that is what is going to need to happen with this.

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15 comments
ChoosingWisdom
ChoosingWisdom

I am very happy that we are getting closer to legalizing weed, but A64 still kept criminal penalties in place, so it did not make weed legal.  The law was written for business and tax revenue.  Otherwise, they would have also freed those in jail for non-violent marijuana related laws.  A-64 was created by the wealthy, for the wealthy.  Mason, being as fat and gluttonous  as he is, is a great spokeperson for the amendment.  Afterall, he personifies the the sociopathic greed behind the law.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the financial backers of A64 also had stakes in the prison industrial complex, which would make sense considering the criminal penalties in place.  Can't get rid of that gravy train!  I know that's hyperbole, but let's call a spade a spade.  If the intention was to legalize marijuana, then that is what it would have done.  However, the law was to REGULATE marijuana, not legalize it. 

sicclos
sicclos

U can never go wrong blazin some bomb weed!!! ;)

Testecleese
Testecleese

Mason, thank you for all your hard work and effort with A64. After using cannabis for over 40 years, it is a relief to finally not have to constantly look over my shoulder and stay mostly hidden. Because of your efforts we can all inhale just a little more freely now.

mnetters
mnetters

I always wondering how different the world would be if weed was the drug in place of booze

tabbysan1
tabbysan1

Thank you Mason for my freedom.

ANDROLOMA
ANDROLOMA

It's about legalizing freedom.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Testecleese  ... utter NONSENSE!

Before A64, you could possess up to 2 (two) ounces for recreational use and not face any jail time, merely a paltry fine *if* you were stupid enough to get caught in public.

With A64, you can only possess 1 (one) pathetic ounce, and you still can NOT use or consume openly in public.

Given that PUBLIC use, display and consumption is STILL ILLEGAL, how do you inhale "more freely" now ?

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay <===== LIES AND DISTORTIONS! Prohibitionist turncoat spreading DISinformation!

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay = PATHOLOGICAL LIAR! 

A64 legalized all 21 and over to carry/purchase/give away up to an ounce, grow 6 plants, and keep an unlimited quantity of what they grow! 

@DonkeyHotay <=== LYING prohibitionist turncoat

 
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