D.A. Dan May responds to Colorado legalizing marijuana
Colorado says "Yes" to Amendment 64
Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 Tuesday night, a measure that will allow the recreational use of marijuana for those over 21.
The measure allows users to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or six marijuana plants.
Although Colorado "legalized it," it will be several months, maybe even more than a year, before Colorado adults 21-and-over can enjoy the legal sale of marijuana. However, the parts of the amendment related to individual behavior will go into effect as soon as Governor Hickenlooper certifies the results of the vote. That must legally happen within 30 days.
"It's going to be very confusing for law enforcement and regulators," said 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May.
May said the recreational cannabis industry will have to abide by a different set of laws than the medical marijuana industry.
KRDO Newschannel 13 asked May if he thought this measure could prompt the federal government to step in and shut down all marijuana businesses in Colorado.
"The federal government, quite frankly, doesn't have the resources to do that," said May. "But it clearly violates federal law, so the federal government is going to choose where they draw the line."
May said that Amendment 64 allows for Colorado to sell marijuana worldwide in limited amounts.
"It will be interesting to see of the federal government will try to regulate that or if our own Legislature will do that," said May.
The first $40 million a year raised in sales tax through recreational marijuana will go to fund public schools.
Washington state passed a similar measure Tuesday.
Copyright 2012 KRDO. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.