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CannaBiz: Possible fallout from 64

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More on amending

The Denver Post has rolled out a series of stories looking at what waves Amendment 64 might make if it passes on Tuesday. Amid the issues discussed:

• Employees partaking of cannabis after work. "If it passes, I can foresee it being more difficult to terminate an employee for off-duty usage," reporter Steve Raabe quotes Curtis Graves, a staff attorney with the Mountain States Employers Council, as saying.

• Options medical-marijuana centers would have. "People who hold a medical-marijuana-dispensary license are given preferential status and an application fee capped at $500 — as opposed to $5,000 — when seeking to open a recreational-marijuana business," writes John Ingold.

• How much we'd really see of the $60 million per year in tax revenue and criminal-justice savings the Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimates the amendment would generate. "Proponents have grossly overestimated the marijuana tax's potential by downplaying, or simply ignoring, the complexities of enforcing it," opined Vanderbilt University law professor Robert Mikos to Ingold.

Arrested arithmetic

With the election next week, it's no surprise that there's been a glut of numbers released relating to issues dealt with in Amendment 64. At least two studies cite data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

First, the Marijuana Arrest Research Project (marijuana-arrests.com) issued a report showing that between 1986 and 2010, some 210,000 arrests were made in Colorado for some level of marijuana possession, with more than half coming in the past 10 years.

"The study reports that nearly everybody arrested was young," reads the press release. "In the last ten years, 86 percent of the people arrested were 34 years or younger. In the last decade, Colorado arrested Latinos for marijuana possession at 1.5 times the rate of whites, and arrested blacks at 3.1 times the rate of whites. But young blacks and Latinos use marijuana at lower rates than young whites."

Next, the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (leap.cc) trumpeted numbers that show somebody is arrested in the United States for marijuana possession every 42 seconds, and that 87 percent of those are solely for possession (as opposed to cultivation or distribution).

Cannabis carving

Though you'll have to act fast to get in on this, Amendment 20 Caregivers (2727 Palmer Park Blvd., amendment20cos.com) is hosting a pumpkin-carving contest that ends Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 6 p.m. At that time, patients will vote on the best pumpkin; the winner will receive $25 in store credit.

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