The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 put a metaphorical cork into the drug-addled debauchery of the 1960s by cleanly placing unregulated drugs into five overarching categories. The substances are categorized ostensibly based on danger of consumption, lack of approved medical use, and evidence of the potential for addiction.
This is relevant today because Colorado and Washington recently decriminalized the private use of marijuana, which holds category one (most dangerous) status under the Controlled Substances Act. Consequently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a quandary on its hands: does the DEA uphold federal mandate or respect recently unveiled state law. President Obama has decided to go the latter route by pledging to let the states decide matters of recreational drug use on a state-by-state basis. The Case of Colorado
In the most recent November election, the citizens of Colorado voted for Amendment 64, which promised to decriminalize and eventually tax marijuana. Colorado Amendment 64 is an amendment to Article 18 of the Colorado state constitution. Effectively, Amendment 64 renders the personal use of marijuana lawful for private use, but only for individuals over the age of 21. Amendment 64 also includes details about the commercial cultivation of marijuana, yet marijuana still remains illegal to distribute without a license in the state of Colorado. The crux of the law is thus: adults, ages 21 and older, may possess up to an ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants without the intent to sell.
What's the Catch?
Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, firmly stated that marijuana may not be smoked in public in the state of Colorado under Amendment 64. The current governor also points to convoluted legal details involving interstate transportation of substances deemed illegal under federal law, such as marijuana. John Hickenlooper also pointed out that marijuana use is not permissible in a place of business. The idea behind most of these decriminalization measures is to keep Colorado safe yet streamline its prison systems and create tax revenue, much in the same way as alcohol, via taxing marijuana.
In and Outs of Amendment 64
There's clearly a philosophical issue embedded in the recent ratification of Amendment 64: what happens when your pursuit of happiness impinges on my pursuit of the same? Colorado statute makes it clear that publicly smoking marijuana is still socially verboten and illicit by law. Moreover, Colorado citizens must strictly adhere to the six plant cultivation policy or face time legal repercussions. If Colorado localities are still upset with recent developments over Amendment 64, they may find recourse in banning marijuana dispensaries in their localities. Although Amendment 64 did pass last November, 44.7% of Colorado's citizens did not vote for marijuana decriminalization in their state
This article was written on behalf of the Freedom Treatment Center by Christi McCurie, and for those who are looking for help, or have questions about rehabilitation facilities, please visit their website for more information.
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Author Name : Zafar Sheikh