By Russell Haythorn – 7 News – TheDenverChannel.com
DENVER – It is now legal for Coloradans to possess pot and smoke it in their own home.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Monday formalizing Amendment 64, which was passed by Colorado voters in November.
“This is truly a historic day. This is new,” said Amendment 64 proponent Mason Tvert.
Marijuana for recreational use is now legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older. They can possess up to an ounce of pot and grow six plants for their own use.
Even though the governor opposed the measure, he said Monday he saw no point in waiting to formalize what voters approved in November.
“This transition to a more permissive society is happening all across the country,” said Hickenlooper.
It remains illegal to toke up in public, and the sale of the drug — or commercially growing it for non-medical use — is prohibited until a newly established task force comes up with recommendations on how to regulate it.
The task force is made up of 24 people who will consider a number of policy, legal and procedural issues, involving various interests and stakeholders.
“To come up with the best policies and practices possible in order to not let this dominate the legislature, but rather have the legislature listen to the recommendations of the task force,” said task force member Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat.
Medical marijuana is already legal, but medical dispensaries cannot sell to just anyone. And the governor said he wants kids to know his proclamation Monday is not an endorsement.
“When your brain is still forming, and you’re still in your teenage years, this is exactly what you don’t want to do,” said Hickenlooper.
Cities and counties in Colorado can still choose to ban the sale of marijuana, but advocates of the drug say the will of the majority should not be ignored.
“It’s about time,” said Tvert. “And I have no doubt that we’re going to see a much better and safer Colorado as a result.”
However, U.S. attorney John Walsh said Monday that “growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.”
And he said it is strictly prohibited on “federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations and courthouses.”
Colorado’s proclamation is right on the heels of a Washington State law legalization proclamation last week.
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