While Colorado was poised to become the first state in the nation to legalize Amsterdam-style coffee shops, the state’s legislative forces have decided to pull the plug on this idea for fear that it could invite Trump’s Justice Department to come marching in.
According to the Associated Press, Colorado lawmakers have backed off their plan to put a social use policy on the books that would allow people to consume marijuana in some public places.
The proposal, which was brought to the table with bipartisan support, would have allowed adults to bring their own weed into public establishments and consume it in designated areas.
Although the original language was strong enough to make its way through the Senate without any issue, some of the latest amendments turned the bill into a piece of junk legislation, ultimately creating a situation that is a far cry from the original concept -- treating marijuana no differently than alcohol.
It is for this reason the bill’s supporters say they really had no choice but to throw in the towel.
"I'd like to see (a club bill) that goes much further, and that does a lot more, but in a year with Jeff Sessions, a small first step is better than no step at all," Democratic Representative Jonathan Singer told the AP.
There was already speculation last month that Colorado’s push for public pot consumption was on its way down the proverbial crapper. Not only did Governor John Hickenlooper threaten to veto the measure if there was any mention of “smoking” weed indoors, he also suggested that, “given the uncertainty in Washington, this is not the time to be…trying to carve off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statement about marijuana.”
Some lawmakers feel Colorado is being weak by giving in, simply because it might make the Trump administration a little uneasy.
“It only makes sense to allow people to have a place to where they can (smoke marijuana) where it’s controlled and confined,” Republican Senator Tim Neville told the AP. “We have legalized marijuana. Where do we want people to use it if not at home? On the street?”
So far, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not given any solid indication that he will unleash the dogs on legal marijuana. But if he does decide to impose a federal crackdown, rest assured he was going to with or without policies that provide people with reasonable places to smoke pot.