Yesterday Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed the latest attempt to give recreational cannabis consumers in his state someplace aside from private residences where they can legally use the marijuana they have been legally buying since the beginning of 2014. Hickenlooper erroneously claimed that H.B. 18-1258, which would have allowed “tasting rooms” where customers of marijuana shops could sample the merchandise, conflicted with Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot initiative that legalized recreational use.
“Amendment 64 is clear,” Hickenlooper says in his veto letter. “Marijuana consumption may not be conducted ‘openly or publicly’ or ‘in a manner that endangers others. We find that HB 18-1258 directly conflicts with this constitutional requirement.”
Amendment 64, now part of the state constitution, actually says “nothing in this section shall permit consumption that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others.” The conjunction is significant because it implies that cannabis consumption can be permitted if it is merely open or merely public but not if it is both. Depending on how open and public are understood, smoking pot on the patio of a restaurant, which is on private property but visible to passers-by, could be legal. So could vaping in a wooded area of a public park, which is on public property but shielded from passers-by.
Read the rest at reason.com.
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