Should legal marijuana states see “greater enforcement” from the federal government, Colorado will be ready to fight back. In addition to its contingency plan allowing adult-use cannabis shops to become medical marijuana dispensaries, another new Colorado bill would prevent local law enforcement from aiding federal authorities.
On April 10, Colorado legislators introduced HB17-1331, titled “Protect Colorado Constitutional Rights;” a bill that “prohibits a state agency from aiding or assisting a federal agency or agency of another state in:
- Arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right; or
- Violating a Colorado citizen’s Colorado constitutional right”
On Wednesday, the Colorado House voted 56-7 in favor of the bill; the Senate will vote on the bill on May 1. If passed by the Senate, the bill heads to Governor Hickenlooper’s desk for a final signature.
Although somewhat vague, the bill does not explicitly mention cannabis or marijuana cultivators/dispensers in its language. Reading between the lines, the bill would clearly prohibit local law enforcement throughout the state from assisting government officials who wish to interfere with cannabis businesses abiding by state law.
Colorado citizens have the legal constitutional right to grow up to six plants per household. Moreover, Colorado’s cannabis businesses have the right to legally operate per Amendment 64’s guidelines.
While Colorado appears intent on taking precautions in preparation for a federal crackdown, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper does not believe a crackdown will come from Attorney General Jeff Sessions because of “bigger issues” facing the federal government.