Colorado could be sealing any past marijuana convictions that Amendment 64 would have rendered impotent. If Senate Bill 218 is passed, Coloradans could petition to have their previous marijuana-related convictions sealed if they would have not been crimes under current Colorado law.
The bill has bipartisan support and was announced Tuesday, April 29. The proposed bill comes with only a few days left in the 2014 session, but its impact could be huge, possibly giving thousands of residents the right to petition.
“There are tens of thousands of people with previous cannabis offenses that hurt them from getting things like loans, housing, and employment,” Jason Warf, a marijuana advocate and director of Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, told The Denver Post late last week.
Sens. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster, and Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, are the sponsors of the proposal, which is scheduled to be heard today by the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee. If approved, petitioners would have to file in the district where their conviction occurred, and they would have to pay the court filing fees to have their records sealed.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives took a major step forward today, voting 170-162 to approve a bill that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for use by adults in the “Live Free or Die” state.
Based on Colorado’s Amendment 64, HB 492 would end New Hampshire’s failed prohibition of marijuana and replace it with a system of sensible regulation. This is the first time any state legislative chamber has approved such a bill, so it’s great to see that New Hampshire legislators have been willing to evolve along with the shift in public opinion!
Next the bill will be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. A second vote by the House will be held in February or March, and if HB 492 passes a second time, it will head to the Senate.
It’s been exactly nine years since MPP provided me with a grant to move to Colorado and begin laying the groundwork for a future statewide ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. All of that work came to fruition yesterday when legal marijuana retail stores throughout the state opened their doors to begin selling marijuana to adults.
I wanted to share one of my favorite pictures that I took of the first sale. This is Sean Azzariti, an Iraq war veteran with PTSD, who appeared in an Amendment 64 TV ad discussing his inability to legally access marijuana because his condition was not covered by Colorado’s medical marijuana law. As of yesterday, he can — and he did.
As I said during our news conference yesterday — which was attended by dozens of state, national, and international media outlets — adults are buying marijuana in every state in the nation. Only in Colorado are they now buying it in legitimate, taxpaying businesses instead of in the underground market. MPP is working to change that by passing similar laws in states around the country over the next few years. With your help, we are confident we can do it. This historic event is getting international attention.
Here is just one example of the amazing coverage surrounding the end of marijuana prohibition in Colorado:
The New Hampshire House will kick off its 2014 session Wednesday, January 8, by voting on a bill that would end the prohibition of marijuana in New Hampshire. HB 492, modeled after Colorado’s Amendment 64, would allow adults to use, possess, and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana with no penalty. The bill would also set up a taxed and regulated market for marijuana production and sale. Legal sales to adult marijuana users began yesterday in Colorado, where marijuana possession and cultivation of up to six plants has been legal since January 2013. By adopting the similar policy proposed by HB 492, New Hampshire could save tens of millions of dollars in enforcement costs and generate up to $30 million in annual tax revenue. In October, the WMUR Granite State Poll found that 60% of New Hampshire voters support HB 492. If you live in New Hampshire, please urge your state representatives to vote YES on HB 492!
The first legal adult marijuana sales will begin Wednesday, January 1 in Colorado. Leaders of the initiative that made marijuana legal, Amendment 64, will hold a news conference at 7:30 a.m. MT at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver — a licensed marijuana retail store with on-site cultivation facility — followed by the first sale at 8 a.m. MT. The licensed marijuana retail store is 3D Cannabis Center, located at 4305 Brighton Blvd. in Denver.
The first customer will be Sean Azzariti, a Denver-based Iraq war veteran who can now legally use marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Azzariti appeared in a Yes on 64 campaign television ad last year in which he discussed how legalization would benefit those suffering from PTSD — a condition that is not covered under Colorado’s medical marijuana law despite repeated efforts to add it.
This is sure to be an historic event. We’ll keep you posted on news coverage as the day unfolds.
“Adults are using marijuana in every state across the nation. In Colorado, they will now be purchasing it from legitimate businesses instead of in the underground market,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project in Denver, which helped lead the legalization campaign.