The Colorado Senate voted on Monday night to kill HB1261, the THC/DUI bill, in its entirety, scoring a huge victory for patients nationwide. According to the Denver Post, the bill cannot be brought up again this session.
Earlier today, it looked like the bill was sure to pass. Sen. Morgan Carroll said in an interview today that law enforcement was lobbying heavily in favor of it. Sen. Carroll didn’t think the Democrats had the votes to kill the bill.
The death of the bill did not come easy, and its last minutes were filled with high stakes political drama, as law enforcement lobbyists scrambled to snatch up last minute votes on the Senate floor.
On the first attempt to vote on it, the bill was laid over until the fiscal note could be presented. This gave the lobbyists more time. The Fiscal Note was retrieved less than an hour later, and the Senate attempted another
vote on the bill.
First, they voted whether or not to insert the study recommended by the Senate Judiciary Committee back into the bill, and reject ed the 5 ng THC/DUI per se law. On a voice vote, the Senate voted to adopt the study and reject the 5ng THC/DUI per se law.
This amazing reversal of the language was surprising even to the Senate chair, who said “the chair is in doubt” as to which side won in the voice vote. The Senate chair then asked the members against HB1261 to stand. The chair then pronounced, “More than 18 having arisen, HB1261 fails.”
About 15 minutes later, there was a last ditch attempt to revive the bill by Senators Boyd and King by an amendment from the Committee of the Whole to reverse the vote that just happened. This time, the chair called for a roll vote. The Senate voted 20 to 15 not to revive HB1261. So, now the bill is killed, and cannot be revived any more this session, in any form.
“This is a huge victory for patients, who fought to uphold their rights with hundreds of letters and phone calls,” says Laura Kriho, spokesperson for the Cannabis Therapy Institute, which led the fight against HB1261.
Kriho credits Corey Donahue, of a group called “Crazy for Justice”, for helping kill the bill. “Corey spent the whole day down at the Capitol today trying to educate the Senators. His effort was an enormous help,” says
Kriho. “The Senate got pressure from everywhere. Thanks to all those who helped in this effort!”
Please write to the Colorado Senate and say THANK YOU for killing HB1261:
LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP MEETING
Wed., May 11, 2011
Casselman’s Bar and Venue
2620 Walnut Street, Denver, CO 80205
Legalize 2012 Monthly Networking Meeting
Medical Marijuana Legal Panel
7:00pm to 9:00pm: Legislative Wrapup: The legislative session ends on May
11. Find out what the new laws mean for you. Get the opinions of Colorado’s
top attorneys, including Danyel Joffe, Craig Small, Ann Toney, Leonard
Frieling and Rob Corry!
Free and open to the public.