Colorado 'Crackdown' on Home Cultivation Could Be Coming Down
Proposed pot laws would put the screws to cops to put the screws to weed growers.
Police in Colorado are having trouble discerning between legitimate, legal cannabis cultivators, and black market grow ops. Governor John Hickenlooper says state marijuana laws are to blame for the confusion, and is reportedly proposing a "crackdown," with the introduction of new weed legislation.
From the Associated Press:
"The goal is to cut down on complaints that Colorado's liberal allowances for growing pot without a license has created a thriving network of illegal growers. Colorado allows medical pot patients to grow up to 99 plants, far beyond other marijuana states, and it also allows recreational users to group their allotted six plants into massive co-ops, entire greenhouses of pot that aren't tracked or taxed. . . The governor's plans, outlined to lawmakers in advance of the 2017 legislative session, include a statewide 12-plant limit in private homes, which is still more generous than other marijuana states such as California (6 plants) and Washington (4 plants before having to register with the state)."
What is tricky for the governor, however, is that Colorado's cannabis laws are part of the state constitution; so Rocky Mountain State medical marijuana users actually have the right to grow these large amounts of weed. Denver and Colorado Springs, however, already enforce tighter limits, per local ordinances previously put in place.
Critics of Hickenlooper's proposed changes suggest he is motivated by a tax-incentive on behalf of the state, claiming the plant-count-limits would drive more consumers to purchase marijuana from retail outlets, and coughing up the required sales taxes, rather than growing their own.