Outside of voters, no entity has more power over Colorado's legal marijuana landscape than the state legislature. Over the years, the Colorado General Assembly has passed laws that add new ailments to the state's list of medical marijuana conditions or restrict home growing, while denying measures that would have allowed legal pot delivery or expanded gun rights for MMJ patients.
Deciding whether to approve or reject new marijuana measures requires a lot of education...and some legislators are definitely behind the curve. Past and current marijuana policy, studies of industry regulations and results, analysis of successes and failures should all play into crafting rules for the future — and a lot has happened in the six-plus years since recreational pot was legalized.
To stay updated on the state of Colorado's marijuana industry, lawmakers receive a comprehensive set of the equivalent of CliffsNotes several times a year that cover everything from how marijuana tax revenue is spent to reminders of the pot-related laws that have passed.
Written by the state's Legislative Council Staff, a nonpartisan research team, these updates "serve the members of the General Assembly as they formulate public policy for the citizens of Colorado," according to the legislature's website, which is full of reports on marijuana, tobacco, immigration, labor, health care and just about every other important issue you might want to nerd out on.
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The latest report, released in December right before the current legislative session began, is a 55-page breakdown of eighteen years of marijuana laws and regulations, revenue spending and more. It might not sound like they know jack about pot after hearing them talk about it, but Colorado lawmakers get some very solid information on legal marijuana.
These reports aren't only available to state senators and representatives, though. You can view them for yourself — and see how informed the people creating Colorado's laws really are.
Or could be, if they just studied.