In good news for those fighting to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use, Colorado doesn’t appear to be headed down the road to perdition predicted by some. In an interview over at Vox, Colorado’s director of enforcement for the state Department of Revenue gives a sunny report on his state’s transition from prohibition.
From little effect on crime rates (if anything, they’ve dropped a bit) to protecting the health and safety of children (strict regulations on packaging and marketing have been implemented), Ron Kammerzell seems pleased with the state of affairs: “[O]verall we’re pretty happy with the regulatory framework. We don’t see any significant areas of concern.”
In a lesson for other states looking to legalize the adult use of marijuana, and one that Oregon should take to heart, Mr. Kammerzell credits much of Colorado’s success to the inclusive process used to implement the new law:
“They brought in all these stakeholders to really created [sic] a roadmap for the General Assembly when they created the enabling legislation,” said Mr. Kammerzell. “Subsequent to that, we followed that same model for rule making and really tried to bring together all the stakeholders that had different perspectives on things, and really tried to address those as best we could in developing the rules. Because of that, we have a comprehensive set of rules that have performed pretty well thus far.”
Marijuana legalization can be done right, and that’s good news. Having watched Oregon develop dispensary regulations in a similar manner – with many different stakeholders having a voice at the table – we are optimistic that legalization will be thoughtfully introduced here as well when the time comes, most likely after November’s ballot vote.
– Raife Neuman