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Next steps for marijuana law being taken

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New marijuana laws will still have some restrictions and kinks that have to be worked out between Colorado and Federal agents. Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.

Since the amendment passed on Nov. 7 with roughly a 55 percent majority (54.9 percent in Pueblo County), it will now go through a certification process in order to become a law.

The amendment took its first steps toward that process earlier this week, as county clerks casted their certified votes to be reviewed and counted by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. All certified votes must be submitted by Dec. 6.

Gov. John Hickenlooper will then have thirty days to formally sign off on the amendment.

However, many still seem to question what the federal government’s part will be in all of this. Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers, who both reportedly opposed the amendment, now are said to be working to gain support in favor of the amendment from the federal government.

Should the feds leave it alone (at least for now), the law will take effect as soon as Hickenlooper signs his name.

What that would mean is that it will become legal for people, over the age of 21, to use (privately but recreationally) and possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

According to the amendment, marijuana will be treated much like alcohol in that identification must be shown before purchase, driving while under the influence will remain illegal, and it will be taxed along the same lines as alcohol.

Growing of personal plants will also be legal, according to the amendment, as long as there are no more than six plants per person, with three or fewer being “mature”, or flowering.

As for the taxation of marijuana, it is said in the text of the amendment that the first $40 million generated annually will be given to the “public school capital construction assistance fund”.

The law will also bring about manufacturing and testing facilities and eventually retail stores ran by “legitimate, taxpaying business people, and not criminal actors,” according to the text of the amendment.