Colorado has been one of the states that has led the way in legalizing recreational marijuana. State officials have learned by trial and error how to develop the strongest and safest industry, helping other states to write similar rules and regulations for legalizing marijuana. However, threats from the Trump administration have made Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper wary about advancing too much further ahead when it comes to marijuana reform. 2 pieces of legislation have caused the governor concern and he has even gone so far as to say he will veto 1 of them if it passes.
A Hit Against Marijuana Social Clubs
Senate Bill 184, which won approval in the state Senate yesterday, is a measure that would allow marijuana clubs to be run. Local government would be allowed to set their own rules and regulations regarding how they’d like the clubs to function in their jurisdictions. This means clubs could even theoretically section off indoor smoking areas. The governor was particularly concerned about allowing indoor smoking, saying a lot of work was done to prevent smoking in workplaces and this would be a step backwards on the progress made in that area. More than this, the governor is hesitant to draw any attention from the Trump administration by avoiding making any strong legislative advancements in favor of marijuana right now.
A Shadow Over Marijuana Delivery Bill
Senate Bill 192 allows medical marijuana dispensaries to make home deliveries for patients who qualify for the Colorado medical marijuana program. The bill has also already been approved by the Senate business committee and is designed to emulate a process that is already in place in Oregon. The measure is meant to help patients who are too sick to make their own way to dispensaries. Given that many cancer patients and other people with debilitating conditions are the ones who are likely to utilize this service, it’s one that could be very beneficial for patients’ care and wellbeing. Unfortunately it comes at a time when the Trump administration is stirring fear in many marijuana advocates and the governor seems intent on avoiding rocking the boat.
“A Pretty Heavy Hand”
Last month, the Trump administration press secretary Sean Spicer revealed that the administration would be cracking down on recreational marijuana. Jeff Sessions, the appointed Attorney General and longtime marijuana opponent, echoed this sentiment stating that illegal marijuana is responsible for violence. The administration seems a little more open regarding medical marijuana but it is unclear how they will move forward with either industry. It’s this reason Hickenlooper is uncertain about taking any forward steps with marijuana legislation.
“Given the uncertainty in Washington, this is not the time to be … trying to carve off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statements about marijuana,” says Hickenlooper. “The federal government can yield a pretty heavy hand on this and I think we should be doing everything we can to demonstrate … we are being responsible in how we implement the will of our voters.”
No affirmative decisions have been made as yet regarding these measures as they continue to be discussed.