Public Draft #1
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Public Comments Requested: The ballot initiative will be open for public comments until Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. This is a true citizen’s ballot initiative, so all comments are welcome and will be incorporated as they can to further the goals of the amendment.
Know Your Ballot Initiatives: Legalize2012.com is NOT Initiative 30, which is supported by a different group. The Legalize2012.com amendment removes all criminal penalties and gives control of cannabis to the people. Read more about the two campaigns on our website. Be prepared to educate yourself and other voters who may be confused by the two campaigns.
Timeframe: This ballot initiative will be filed with the Secretary of State and have more hearings on the language of it until it is finalized and a ballot title is set. That process should take 2 to 4 weeks. Then the ballot initiative can be printed and circulated for signatures, if sufficient funds are raised.
How to Sign: Sign our online petition so we can contact you when we are ready to collect your physical signature.
Send all inquiries to:
P.O. Box 19084 Boulder, Colorado 80308
This initiative is co-sponsored by:
Dr. Robert Melamede, President
Colorado Cannabis Science, Inc.
6946 North Academy Blvd, Suite B #254
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado:
The constitution of the state of Colorado, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A
NEW ARTICLE to read:
ARTICLE XXX: Cannabis Re-legalization.
Preamble: Whereas, the people of the state of Colorado believe that cannabis is safe and has many uses, including food, fuel, fiber, plastic, lumber, paper and medicine and believe there is compelling evidence that cannabis may be a cure for many cancers; and
Whereas, the human body produces cannabis-like compounds, including psychoactive ones, known as endocannabinoids that are necessary to maintain the biochemical balance in all of our body’s systems; and
Whereas, cannabis has no known toxicity level and is safe for humans to consume; and
Whereas, we believe the use of preparations derived from cannabis is a fundamental human right and necessary to maintain our body’s natural systems and our health;
Therefore, be it resolved, this article is enacted to completely re-legalize cannabis, remove any punishment for its use, and encourage Colorado to become a leader in cannabis research and economic development.
Section 1. Purpose. The goals of this article are to:
(1) Create a constitutional right to personal cannabis use in Colorado.
(2) Allow personal cannabis use by adults without punishment or discrimination.
(3) Allow commercial cannabis use without restrictions that are onerous and burdensome.
(4) Redefine the terms “marijuana” and “marihuana” as used in statute and replace them with the word “cannabis”.
(5) Repeal all criminal statutes and rules that punish, regulate or discriminate against the personal and commercial use of cannabis, while leaving other parts of those statutes in effect.
(6) Create the Colorado Cannabis Commission to implement this article.
(7) Prohibit the use of any chemical tests to determine cannabis impairment.
(8) Allow only the use of performance tests which have been scientifically proven to show impairment.
(9) Prohibit the personal and commercial use of cannabis by persons under the age of 18.
(10) Require commercial cannabis industry to self-regulate.
(11) Prohibit state law enforcement resources from being spent to assist federal marijuana investigations.
(12) Require any tax on cannabis sold commercially to be approved by voters.
(13) Require and authorize the governor, attorney general, general assembly and state agencies to implement this article.
(14) Investigate and punish any state official that does not uphold and enforce this article.
(15) Create an affirmative defense to cannabis prosecutions.
(16) Protect a citizen’s right against self-incrimination and prohibit compulsory testimony as defined in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with regards to federal marijuana crimes.
(17) Allow existing licensed medical marijuana centers to stay in business.
Section 2. Definitions. For the purposes of this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Adult” means a person over 18 years of age.
(2) “Cannabis” means all parts of all plants of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, extraction or preparation.
(3) “Cannabis use” means the acquisition, possession, production, transportation, sale, distribution, presence in the body, consumption, cultivation, dispensation, or delivery of cannabis.
(4) “Personal cannabis use” means cannabis use without the intent of making a profit.
(5) “Commercial cannabis use” means cannabis use with the intent of making a profit.
(6) “Commission” means the Colorado Cannabis Commission.
Section 3. Declaration of Policy.
(1) Personal cannabis use by adults is part of the fundamental right to seek and obtain safety and happiness, as protected in Section 3 of Article II of this constitution.
(2) Personal cannabis use by adults shall not be punished. No adult shall be subject to arrest or prosecution, nor penalized in any manner, nor denied any right or privilege, nor discriminated against, nor have their privacy violated, for personal cannabis use. This includes, but is not limited to penalties in cases related to employment, insurance, benefits, or child custody.
(3) Only performance-based tests that have been scientifically proven to show impairment by cannabis shall be performed on anyone suspected of endangering public safety under the influence of cannabis.
(4) The people find and determine that the laws of the state of Colorado shall always:
(a) Use the term “cannabis” as defined in this amendment, and shall not use the words “marijuana” or “marihuana”;
(b) Conform to the principles and limitations embodied in this constitution;
(c) Allow personal cannabis use by adults without punishment;
(d) Treat commercial cannabis as an agricultural product either equally or less restrictively than grapes, tomatoes or other harmless botanical plants;
(e) Allow adults to acquire, cultivate, possess, transport, and distribute cannabis;
(f) Allow commercial use of cannabis without onerous or burdensome restrictions;
(g) Be based on science and research and have adequate evidence to support them;
(h) Protect a citizen’s right against self-incrimination with regards to federal marijuana crimes;
(I) Prohibit the state from presenting false information about cannabis to the public.
Section 4. Repeal of Marijuana Criminal Statues.
(1) Immediately upon proclamation of the governor that this amendment has been approved by a majority of the votes cast, all criminal statutes and regulations related to marijuana shall be repealed. This includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18, Article 18, Section 406, Offenses relating to marijuana and marijuana concentrate,
(b) Colorado Revised Statutes Title 12, Article 43.3, and
(c) Any other state, county and municipal statutes, rules, regulations, ordinances or laws that punish the use of marihuana, marijuana and marihuana concentrate, including medical marijuana
(d) All other parts of such laws shall otherwise remain in effect.
Section 5. Duty to Replace Term “Marijuana” with “Cannabis”.
(1) (a) The general assembly and all state and local governments and agencies shall amend all statutory laws, regulations and policies previously enacted concerning or relating to marihuana, marijuana and marihuana concentrate to conform to the provisions of this article.
(b) The general assembly and all state and local governments and agencies shall eliminate the terms marijuana and marihuana and replace such terms with the word “cannabis” as defined in Section 2 of this article.
(c) If the general assembly does not amend such statutes to conform to the provisions of this article within one year of the enactment of this article, such statutes will be voided and of no effect, except as provided herein.
(d) All other parts of such statutes shall otherwise remain in effect.
(2) Until such time that the general assembly amends statutes, as directed in this article, any action that conforms to the provisions of this article shall be an exception to the state’s criminal statutes.
Section 6. Unlawful Acts.
(1) This article does not provide for any person under 18 years of age to engage in cannabis use, unless under direct parental supervision for health reasons as approved by a physician.
(2) The General Assembly may define prohibition for cannabis use by persons under 18 years of age. Confinement shall not be used as a punishment. Counseling may be required if approved by a parent.
(3) Any other unlawful acts shall be defined by state or local governments only if approved or recommended by the commission.
(4) Any medical marijuana center that has a state and local license in good standing upon the passage of this article shall be allowed to continue operation unhindered and shall be considered grandfathered in under any new regulations that are enacted under this article.
Section 7. Law Enforcement – Duty to Self-Enforce – Prohibition on Assistance to Federal Government.
(1) In the interest of creating a self-regulating commercial cannabis industry, all persons engaged in commercial cannabis use have a duty to enforce all the provisions of this article and may join together as a group for the purposes of enforcement of this article.
(2) State officials or employees, including law enforcement officers, shall not assist agents of the federal government in the criminal investigation of any marijuana or cannabis-related acts or in any other manner that violates their oaths of office.
Section 8. Commission Powers, Duties and Responsibilities. (1) The Colorado Cannabis Commission is hereby formed and charged with carrying out the directives and guidelines of this article. The primary agenda of this article, and therefore the commission, is to allow personal cannabis use by adults without punishment, to allow commercial cannabis use without onerous and burdensome restrictions, to encourage and direct research into the many uses of cannabis and to encourage economic development of cannabis.
(2) The commission is given the power and the duty to promulgate rules, pursuant to responsibilities set out in this article. These rules shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) regulations regarding commercial cannabis use;
(b) regulations encouraging cannabis research and economic development;
(c) regulations concerning punishment of public officials pursuant to
Section 15 (4) of this article.
(3) The commission shall determine the regulations regarding commercial cannabis use that are the minimum necessary to protect the public health and safety. Commercial cannabis regulations shall not be onerous or burdensome and shall not require a mandatory registry of customers who purchase cannabis. All regulations shall be evidence-based.
(4) The commission shall make recommendations to the general assembly necessary to enact and enforce the provisions of this article. These recommendations shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations for:
(a) determining offenses and penalties for violation of the provisions or intent of this article;
(b) determining any restrictions on cannabis that may be necessary to protect the public health or safety
(c) labeling standards of cannabis sold to the public
(5) The commission may make recommendations to the governor of persons to be considered for pardon, commutation, or reprieve who were convicted, prior to the enactment of this article, of a non-violent offense related to the use of cannabis.
(6) The commission shall file an annual report to the governor and general assembly on or before the second Tuesday in January each year. The first report shall be due in January 2014.
(a) The report shall include recommendations for any statutory changes necessary to implement and enforce the provisions of this article.
(b) The report shall indicate the degree of compliance by federal, state and local governments, agencies, non-profit corporations, or any other entities dealing with cannabis.
(c) The report may include recommendations for research programs designed to gather information or answer questions about cannabis
(d) The report shall make recommendations to establish adequate funding levels to achieve the goals of this article.
(7) The commission will establish discussions between federal government agencies, state government agencies, and other parties in interest, to establish a cohesive transition where conflict of law or regulation may exist. All policies shall evidence-based.
(8) The commission shall have the power to issue subpoenas, hold hearings, compel testimony, and hire experts in various disciplines.
(9) The commission shall investigate complaints against public officials and shall have the power to punish public officials, pursuant to pursuant to Section 15 (4) of this article.
(10) The commission shall provide the Attorney General with a report containing adequate scientific evidence to support a petition to the federal government to remove cannabis from the federal schedule of controlled substances.
(11) At its first meeting, the commission shall establish the guidelines for its meetings, including frequency of meetings, procedures, and other administrative functions.
(12) The commission shall fill vacancies in the commission by a majority vote for the remainder of the vacated term.
(13) The commission is required to establish initial rules and regulations within 180 days after its first meeting to begin the implementation this article.
(14) It is the duty of the commission, and the commission is vested with the authority, to implement this article.
Section 9. Formation of Commission – Governor Appoints – Qualifications — Senate Confirmation.
(1) The commission will be composed of seven members to be appointed by the Governor. The governor will take applications for the position and appoint the candidates who will best implement this article. Potential appointees must be residents of Colorado and must meet the following qualifications:
(a) Six appointees must have been publicly advocating for the re-legalization of cannabis without onerous or burdensome restrictions for all adults 18 years of age and older in Colorado for at least the past 10 years. Four of these appointees shall have a term of four years and two of these appointees shall have a term of three years.
(b) One appointee shall be chosen at large at the discretion of the governor whom he/she believes will best represent the state of Colorado in the implementation of this article. The term of this appointee shall be 3 years.
(2) Each appointee shall be confirmed by a majority of the Senate.
(3) The governor shall make the first set of appointments no later than January 15, 2013. The Senate shall confirm the commission no later than May 15, 2013.
(4) The commissioners shall serve without compensation, unless otherwise provided for by law.
Section 10. Tax on Commercial Cannabis Sales – Tax to Fund Commission – Election Required for Additional Taxes.
(1) There shall be a 1% sales tax on commercial cannabis sales. The tax money shall go in its entirety to fund the activities of the cannabis commission.
(2) The General Assembly may enact additional taxes on the cannabis commercial use sold commercially, but any such tax shall first have been approved by the voters through enactment of an initiated or referred measure authorizing the tax pursuant to section 1 of article V of this constitution.
Section 11. Attorney General – Chief Legal Officer of the State – Requirement to Make Recommendations for Enforcement to Governor and General Assembly.
(1) The attorney general is the chief legal officer of the state and has the duty to enforce this article. (2) The attorney general shall make timely recommendations to the general assembly and the governor to assist those bodies in the promulgation of statutes or rules and establish enforcement regulations to enact the goals of this article.
(3) (a) The attorney general shall establish guidelines for law enforcement officers for establishing probable cause that the provisions of this article have been intentionally violated.
(b) The purpose of these guidelines shall be to eliminate as much as possible the prosecution of adults for cannabis use and to enable immunity from prosecution.
(4) The attorney general shall, upon written notification of the commission, assist the commission with recommendations to promulgate effective rules and regulations to achieve the goals of this article.
Section 12. Governor – Chief Executive Officer – Duty to Execute the Article.
(1) The governor, as the Chief Executive Officer of the state, has the duty to execute and enforce this article.
(2) Upon written notification of the commission, the governor shall assist the commission in its constitutional duties to carry out the goals of this article.
(3) The governor shall work closely with the commission and its recommendations to implement this article.
(4) The governor shall grant reprieves or pardons, pursuant to Article IV, Section 7 of the state constitution, to persons recommended by the commission, pursuant to Section 8 (5) of this article.
Section 13. General Assembly – Duty to Authorize Funds – Duty to Assist the Commission – Duty to Promulgate Statutes.
(1) The general assembly shall provide from the state treasury adequate funding levels to the commission, sufficient to accomplish the goals of this article. The commission shall make timely recommendations to the general assembly to establish adequate funding.
(2) Upon written notification of the commission, the general assembly shall render the assistance requested within the laws of the state of Colorado.
(3) The general assembly shall work closely with the commission and its recommendations to enact statutes that would more effectively enforce or otherwise implement the goals of this article.
Section 14. Other State Government Agencies – Duty to Assist the Commission.
(1) As this article is first and foremost an amendment to the Colorado state constitution, and all agents of state government must protect and defend that constitution, the Cannabis Re-legalization Act is the law of the land that all government agents must protect and defend.
(2) Upon written notification of the commission, any state government agency or agent shall render the requested assistance within the laws of the state of Colorado.
Section 15. Executive Officers – Duty to Resign – Subject to Impeachment – Commission Investigates.
(1) It is the duty of all state executive officers to implement this article, notwithstanding their personal beliefs, and shall carry out their duties as herein provided or as may otherwise be provided for by law.
(2) Should a state executive officer be unable to implement of this article, due to personal beliefs or any other reason, it is that officer’s duty to resign their office.
(3) Failure of a state executive officer to perform their ministerial duties as provided in this article shall subject such officer to impeachment for malfeasance in office pursuant to Article XIII of the state constitution
(4) Any party aggrieved by the malfeasance in office may file a written complaint with the commission. The commission shall conduct a thorough and swift investigation of the charges. If the commission determines that an officer has committed malfeasance in office, the commission shall determine any additional punishments, including but not limited to, withholding of salary, leave without pay, or other sanctions.
Section 16. Immunity from Prosecution – Affirmative Defense.
(1) Any person who had a reasonable belief that his or her actions conformed to the provisions of this article shall be immune from prosecution by the state of Colorado for offenses relating to this article.
(2) Any person charged with a violation of state law related to marihuana, marijuana, marihuana concentrate, or cannabis may raise an affirmative defense to such charge that their actions conform to the intent or provisions of this article. Any official arresting or prosecuting any adult for a cannabis infraction as a crime shall be deemed to have deprived a citizen of a civil right and shall be subject to a suit for damages secured by the official’s pension.
(3) In all trials in which an affirmative defense is raised, notwithstanding the possible penalty for the offense, the defendant shall be entitled to a trial by jury, and such jury shall be informed of their right to judge the law as well as the fact.
Section 17. Notification to Federal Government – Petition to Remove from Federal Schedule of Controlled Substances.
(1) Upon passage of this amendment, the governor of the state of Colorado is instructed to inform the President and Congress of the United States of America of this amendment’s passage and ask them to repeal the federal prohibition laws against marijuana and to enact federal laws similar to or less restrictive than the provisions of this amendment.
(2) Within six months of the passage of this amendment, the attorney general of the state of Colorado shall file a petition to remove marijuana and cannabis from the federal schedule of Controlled Substances. Such petition shall contain evidence gathered by the commission, pursuant to Section 9 (10) of this article.
Section 18. Severability.
If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this article are declared to be severable.
Section 19. Liberal Construction.
This article shall be liberally construed in favor of the people to achieve the goals of this article.
Section 20. Article Self-Executing.
This article shall be in all respects self-executing; but the general assembly may by law provide for its more effective enforcement.
Section 21. Effective Date. Enacted by a vote of the people, November 6, 2012. Effective upon proclamation of the governor.
Public Comments Requested: The ballot initiative will be open for public comments until Monday, Jan. 16, 2012.
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