Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law Monday that allows him to mass-pardon Coloradans with minor marijuana possession convictions, although he has not said exactly how the process will work. Lawmakers passed House Bill 1424 on June 15, the last day of the 2020 legislative session. The bill aims to make the legal marijuana industry more accessible to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. It expands the social equity program for marijuana business licenses to Colorado residents who have been arrested or convicted on a marijuana offense, been subject to civil asset forfeiture from a marijuana offense, or lived in an area designated as high crime or economically disadvantaged. “For decades now, the Black community has b...
The governor would be able to mass-pardon marijuana convictions for possession of 2 ounces or less if he signs a bill that gives him that authority. It was the last amendment to the last bill considered Monday before Colorado’s General Assembly ended its work for the year. Lawmakers added the mass expungement option to House Bill 1424, which aims to open the marijuana industry to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. A spokesperson for Gov. Jared Polis didn’t directly answer whether he would sign it but sounded supportive Tuesday afternoon. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Colorado legislators decided Wednesday not to advance a bill that aimed to protect employees from being fired for using marijuana in their personal time. The 10 members of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted unanimously against the bill, HB 20-1089, after nearly three hours of testimony from people on each side. Though the bill would have done nothing to prohibit employers from administering drug tests, many committee members cited the lack of an adequate test to determine whether an employee is intoxicated in the moment — much like a breathalyzer does for alcohol — as a reason to table it. Others thought the proposed change to the law was too broad. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Published: Jan 14, 2020, 6:18 am • Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 6:19 am By Saja Hindi Two Colorado lawmakers want to pass a law to protect workers who use marijuana when they’re off the clock. House Rep. Jevon Melton, D-Aurora, has introduced a bill to prevent businesses from firing employees for partaking in legal activities on their own time — even if the activities are only legal under state and not federal law. To pass, though, the bill will likely require some compromise to address expected objections from the business community. Melton says the measure would correct an oversight in Colorado law. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
One key detail could determine whether an upcoming bill in Colorado’s statehouse stands to affect hundreds of thousands of people, or perhaps just a few hundred. State Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Democrat from Longmont, is vowing that “there will be a bill” introduced in 2020 to allow for statewide expungement of criminal records for all people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses in Colorado prior to legalization. The big question now: Should the bill require that the state automatically clear these convictions — including for now-legal activities like minor possession, use and possession of paraphernalia — or should it require that people apply for expungement? Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Law enforcement has gained a controversial new gun-seizure tool, transgender people can change their birth certificates more easily and the minimum wage rose in Denver as new laws took effect Wednesday in Colorado. More than a dozen new measures that impact workers, patients, gun owners, people awaiting release from jail and marijuana consumers became law Jan. 1. One new law concerns plumbing inspections, while another requires that landlords deal with reported bedbug infestations within four days. Most of the laws or legal changes were not controversial, although some spurred heated debates during last year’s legislative session. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.