Gov. John Hickenlooper made it official Monday: Pot is now legal in the state of Colorado, according to the state constitution.Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed the proclamation that places Amendment 64 into the constitution.
And he announced the creation of a task force to attempt to work out the many legal and logistical details that must accompany the amendment, which makes the use, 1-ounce possession and limited home-growing of marijuana legal for anyone age 21 and older.Neither the law nor the constitution requires the governor to sign a proclamation, but state law and the constitution say the measure takes effect 30 days after the votes have been canvassed, regardless of whether the governor has signed it.The governor said he was carrying out the wishes of Coloradans, who approved the amendment with 55 percent of the vote. "Obviously, I didn't support it," Hickenlooper said. "Our voters very clearly said they thought this was a step forward. I think our job now is to do the very best job we can to respect the will of those voters and to make that step forward as thoughtful and constructive as we possibly can."To help do that, the governor on Monday signed an executive order creating a task force on implementation. The 24-member body, composed of lawmakers, cabinet officials, civic leaders and officials with groups representing employers and marijuana advocates, will be co-chaired by Jack Finlaw, the governor's chief legal counsel, and Barbara Brohl, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. Hickenlooper said the panel was supposed to make its recommendations by Feb. 28.Mason Tvert, who served as co-director of the campaign in support of the Amendment 64, said Monday was a "truly historic" day."From this day forward, adults in Colorado will no longer be punished for the simple use and possession of marijuana," Tvert said. "We applaud Gov. Hickenlooper for issuing this declaration in a timely fashion, so that adult possession arrests end across the state immediately." Amendment 64 also allows specially licensed stores to sell marijuana starting in 2014. In addition, Coloradans can own up to six marijuana plants, three of which may be flowering at any given time.It is not legal to smoke or use cannabis in public under state law, and until the state passes and implements laws regulating the sale of marijuana, it's still illegal to buy or sell recreational pot.