The marijuana legalization amendment will not become law until Governor John Hickenlooper proclaims it to be part of the constitution, and by law he has until Jan. 5 to do so. A spokesperson for the Governor's office said no date had been set as of Thursday.
Also uncertain is whether the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado will choose to intervene in any way. The federal government, through the U.S. Justice Department, has stated repeatedly that marijuana possession and distribution remains illegal under federal law, but has yet to issue a firm directive to both Colorado and Washington state.
Amendment 64 allows for the recreational use and possession of marijuana by adults 21 and over in Colorado. While it will eventually permit a licensing structure to allow for the distribution of marijuana, it places the impetus to get that going with the Colorado legislature. Licenses for marijuana distribution cannot even begin until October of next year.
Public use of marijuana will not be permitted under Amendment 64, and municipalities will be allowed to opt out of licensing marijuana sales should they choose to do so. Already counties like Douglas County have announced that they intend to do so.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)