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Colorado Amendment 64 - Why It is Controversial

Marijuana consumption has always been a controversial topic among people. Common people are completely against it and in shocking turns of events, it was the common people who legalized the Marijuana consumption in Colorado and later became a pathway for others states in the America to allow the controlled use of Marijuana.

The amendment is called Colorado Amendment 64 and was marked as "an electoral first not only for America but for the world. " 

It was enacted as the Article 18, section 16 of the state constitution, and allows the personal use and regulation of marijuana for adults 21 and over, as well as commercial cultivation, manufacture, and selling; regulating marijuana in a similar manner to Alcohol, for recreational use. 

Since January 1, 2014, the commercial sale of marijuana started for the general public available at dispensaries and shops regulated under the state law.

By 2016, 62 cities out of 271 in Colorado had adopted some kind of regulations too for recreational marijuana consumption. 


For past many years, a small group of people was consistently leading a movement for the legalization of marijuana consumption. They were arguing that if marijuana is legalized then all the illegal activities like drug trafficking, selling, black marketing and bribing would stop and the crime rate will also go down. 

There was the largest survey of people regarding the amendment conducted on October 13, 2012, indicated that 53% of the voters were in support of legalizing marijuana and only 46% were completely opposed to it. Later after the passing of amendment 64, another survey by Public Policy Polling showed the still 53% of voters were in favor of marijuana's legalization and only 38% were opposed to it. 

Since the amendment has passed there is constant concern over its clash with federal substance prohibition laws. But the outcome is given a major boost to its supporters and after just one week of passing the amendment in U.S., some senators in Mexico proposed a similar petition asking the government to legalize the Marijuana in the country.

Voting summary


There are total 3,647, 082 registered voters in whole Colorado out of which approximately 69% used their voting power for Amendment 64. Out of which 1,383,139 voted in the favor of legalization of Marijuana which is 55.32% of total votes. This result paved the way for establishing a law in the favor of Marijuana cultivation, selling, and consumption.

Now marijuana was available to a normal person in two ways-

1. Personal use


Adults who are 21 or older can grow up to three immature or mature marijuana plants at a private place. They are the legal owner of al the marijuana grown from it. They can carry up to 1 ounce of it while traveling and also give to another person of 21 years or older. Its consumption limit is similar to alcohol that it has same charges applicable for driving under the influence.

Such limit is not applicable for medicinal marijuana.

 2. commercial use


The commercial legislation defines that industrial hemp as any part of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, with a detla-9-THC concentration that does not exceed it's 0.3% on a dry weight basis. The amendment clearly states that the industrial hemp should be sold separately from marijuana with higher THC concentrations. The amendment provides a license for cultivation businesses, management facilities, testing facilities, and dispensaries. Local governing bodies can allow and disallow such facilities. The amendment also allows the I.T. department to enact an excise tax on the wholesale retailers selling marijuana.

Support and Opposition-




 The general support for marijuana legalization has traditionally been associated with democratic and liberal voices, but after amendment 64 several prominent and high-profile people openly supported it. One most notable face is the 2008 republican presidential candidate Mr. Tom Tancredo, who said,"throughout my life, I have fought against eliminating wasteful and ineffective government programs. There is no government policy or programs which have been failed in such a unique way as marijuana problem.

 other reasons given by different supporters are - it will increase the state's revenue ( to fund primary education), black marketing which further expands into several crimes, and it will also save the time and energy our cops, attorneys in Colorado and courtroom officials etc spend for regulating the marijuana prohibition.

One interesting point given in the support of Amendment 64 is that legalization marijuana will its use among teens. According to the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the organization behind campaigning maximum support for Amendment 64, teens would be demotivated to use marijuana as the legal age to consume it would be 21 years or older. The organization also preach that those teenagers who go to the black marketers to purchase Marijuana could expose the kids to more serious substances like cocaine, heroin or meth. 


An organization named "No to 64" had objected the Amendment 64 quite harshly by telling that amendment would cause as a catalyst to encourage people to use marijuana regularly and it will attract youth also and particularly young kids would be exposed to the Marijuana by seeing their elders and it permanently affects the brain growth and suppress the learning ability.