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May 06, 2013 07:37 PM UTC

BREAKING: Partial Conditional Amendment 64 Repeal Drops

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #3: Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee:

As he announced the 11th hour resolution’s demise to his chamber, Senate President John Morse warned his colleagues that the marijuana industry doesn’t have any incentive to campaign for the tax measure this fall, and may fight legislative efforts to raise taxes on it in the future.

This measure “was an attempt to get the industry’s attention,” said Morse, “I implore those in the industry, get behind 1318 and help pass this tax, so we can give voters exactly what they asked for and not just half of what they asked for.”


UPDATE #2: And this bill is dead–a little over three hours after introduction, FOX 31's Eli Stokols updates:

[A]fter a long pow-wow, the Senate decided not to add the bill to the second reading calendar, effectively killing it, but only after every lobbyist and lawmaker in the building with a skin in the Amendment 64 game almost loss their lunch.

Something like that.


UPDATE: FOX 31 with initial coverage, statements from Senate leadership:

“The two ballot questions would not reverse the decriminalization of recreational marijuana,” said Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs. “This is not an effort to repeal Amendment 64 as has been falsely alleged by marijuana special interest groups. We are giving voters a true voice in how they wish to see the recreational marijuana industry implemented and who will pay for it – marijuana retailers and users, or every taxpaying Coloradan.”

Morse sponsored the resolution along with Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs.

“With this bipartisan legislation, we wholeheartedly support the will of Colorado voters,” said Cadman. “They were promised legalization, they got it; and they were promised a retail system with a tax base, and now they will have an opportunity to put that in place, as well.”



An explosive late-evening debate just concluded in the Senate Business Committee, leading to the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 003 on a bipartisan 4-1–the measure is headed for the floor of the Senate for fully expected passage tonight. We just received the text of the resolution moments ago and are still reviewing it, but it appears to be a partial, conditional repeal of the recently-passed Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana.

As we read it, the bill makes retail sales of marijuana, set to begin on January 1 of next year, conditional upon approval of the 15%+15% tax structure for marijuana sales that the legislature has agreed on for this fall's ballot. The resolution apparently wouldn't affect the possession aspects of Amendment 64 if it fails. The fact is, despite the wording and title language of Amendment 64, the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) has very specific requirements for a measure to raise taxes that Amendment 64's language didn't comply with–that's why this second initiative is necessary.


In this respect, Amendment 64 was always open to second-guessing, before and after passage–and arguably did mislead voters, who thought a new revenue stream for education was a done deal as part of voting "yes" last year.

What we've heard is that proponents of this partial, conditional repeal resolution have lined up solid support to pass it–which they must do very quickly to allow for all the necessary stops before end of session on Wednesday. Needless to say, advocates for the marijuana industry are highly alarmed and converging on the Capitol with haste. We can't tell you with certainty what the real purpose is–to hold stakeholders' feet to the fire to support and fund the marijuana tax initiative? Or to give opponents a pretext to eliminate the most contentious of Amendment 64's provisions–over-the-counter sales–by allowing the tax initiative to wither on the vine?

We'll update as soon as we know more about the purpose of this last-minute jam session.


20 thoughts on “BREAKING: Partial Conditional Amendment 64 Repeal Drops

  1. And the Black Market rejoices.  Can the Senate leadership that push this explain when CO voters agreed to a 30% tax or no retail sales? 

    1. As you say, a 30% tax will simply make it cheaper to import/black market or grow your own.

      This bill is nothing more than concealed prohibition with a wallop of extortion.

      Morse is a creep and a goober.

  2. I say bring it on.  Amendment 64 got almost a 100k more votes than Obama.  It is about taxing a product that a specific segment of the population is willing to buy.  Put it on the ballot boys.  It'll pass then the opponents of legalization will have nothing left.  Nothing.

  3. If John Morse mandated all Coloradoans dressed in pink diapers, Colorado Pols would fall right in line.

    This bill is extortion and tyranny!

    1. Pass this 30% tax or 2. Lose your privilege.


    Smart humans will emphatically vote NO on both!


    1. So what's the matter with imposing a user fee on people who will use a particular product anyway and using the proceeds to monitor the regulations and quality of the product and also help educate children when are trying to destroy our schools by demonizing teachers and cutting funding.  If you have a vice then you should pay the price.  The repeal effort is DEAD dude.  You want the money or not?  If not then are you will to see your own taxes up to help pay for the offset in funding?  Will you vote against your own self-interest in order to prove some meaningless point that won't matter anway.

      1. typo  should read

        . . . when conservatives are trying to destroy our schools by demonizing teachers and starving the schools for funding …

      2.  Will you vote against your own self-interest in order to prove some meaningless point that won't matter anway.

        It is their history, GG. They do it all the time.

      1. In what way are we hypocrites you sniveling dumbass?  Allowing people to live their lives their own way and make sure that their activities are well regulated so that there arent' any problems?  You call that being a hypocrite?  I call it responsible freedom.  Too bad the gun nuts can't act as responsibly.

    1. Hey shithead…will you answer the question I asked of Nockwurst, but he chose not to answer?…How are you giving Morse all the credit here? Did he hold a gun to Cadmans' head?

  4. Uh, oh. . . .

    Two comments in a row from the gopher in the same comment stream.  He must have forgotten he only gets paid for one comment per topic per day.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

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