Amendment 44 is tricky
October 23, 2006
Last week we all received the “little blue book” from the Legislative Council for the state of Colorado. This allows us to thoroughly study the ballot issues prior to going to the polls on Nov. 7.
In the process of reviewing all of the ballot issues, I learned some about Amendment 44 ” Marijuana Possession. What I would like to know is: Who is responsible for writing this proposed amendment?
Taking a look at the details, I learned the following from the text out of the “Analysis of the 2006 Ballot Proposals”:
– Amendment 44 allows for adults 21 years of age or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana; this includes consumption or use, as long as it does not occur in public.
– It also would include transferring up to 1 ounce of marijuana to another individual 15 years of age or older as long as there is no compensation, although possession for those under 21 years of age would remain illegal.
However, the following offenses would continue to be illegal under state law if Amendment 44 passes:
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– For individuals under 21 years of age, possessing any amount of marijuana
– Possessing more than one ounce of marijuana
– For individuals from 18-21 years of age transferring any amount of marijuana to a person under 15 years of age
– Growing or selling marijuana
– Open and public display, use or consumption of marijuana
– Driving under the influence of marijuana
OK, let me understand all of this. If the amendment passes:
– It’s OK to possess 1 ounce or less, but it’s illegal to grow it or, I assume, buy it.
– It’s OK to “transfer” up to one ounce of marijuana to kids 15 or older, but it’s still illegal for persons between the age of 15 and 21 to possess one ounce or less.
Now, maybe I’m being overly simplistic, but if one can’t buy or grow marijuana, how in the world are they suppose to obtain it, legally? Is someone else going to give it to you? Maybe … but at some point in the chain, someone is going to have to grow it, import it or buy it. Right?
Secondly, it’s OK to give less than an ounce to kids 15 or older, but it’s illegal for them to possess any amount of marijuana. OK, so the second you give an ounce or less of the stuff to a kid 15 years or older, that kid is breaking the law, and the person giving it to the 15-year-old will be contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Right? But, the act of giving it to the 15-year-old is not illegal. Oh, let’s not forget that it’s illegal to give a 15-year-old alcohol, right? If you do this, you could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. But, it would be OK to give that same person an ounce or less of marijuana. Now, let’s remember, that it will still be illegal for that 15-year-old kid to posses (or I assume, use) that ounce or less of marijuana.
Well, at this point in writing this letter to you, my head is beginning to hurt trying to understand the entire logic of the amendment we are to consider on Nov. 7.
At best this amendment is a quick way for the police and the courts not to be bothered with a person over the age of 15 from possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. At worst, it’s an amendment that’s incomplete, not thought through and makes no sense whatsoever!
It is also incomprehensible for me to understand or condone the idea that it’s “OK” to give a 15-year-old marijuana.
Although I am not a proponent of legalizing marijuana (in any amount), even if I was, I would not vote for such a poorly authored amendment that has little thought in composing the wording or the consequences.
Vote No on Amendment 44.
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