Colorado passes measures to regulate recreational use of marijuana

Online Staff Report

Measures to regulate the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado were signed into law May 28 by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

Among the regulations is a bill for a referendum in November calling for a 15 percent excise tax and an additional 10 percent sales tax on marijuana sales.

The legislative package also sets blood limits for driving while under the influence of marijuana at 5 nanograms per milliliter, and limits purchases of marijuana to non-Colorado residents to one-quarter to 1 ounce.

The regulations come after Colorado voters charged lawmakers with setting up the regulatory system after approving legislation in a vote last November.

State lawmakers in Illinois approved a measure May 17 that would allow Illinois residents with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The bill is awaiting the signature of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D). Quinn has said he is “open-minded” to signing the bill into law.

The Senate approved the measure 35-21 May 17, and it received approval from the House of Representatives by a vote of 61-57 April 17.

The measure, House Bill 1, would allow people suffering from specific medical conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Qualified patients would be able to obtain marijuana from one of up to 60 dispensaries, which would acquire marijuana from up to 22 cultivation centers. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Department of Financial & Professional Regulation would regulate the cultivation, acquisition and distribution of marijuana.

Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., allow patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians. Similar legislation has been introduced in 16 additional states this year, and it is anticipated in one more state.

Posted May 29, 2013

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