Malted Beverages, Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

Initiatives are at this time being pushed to change the way Coloradans buy beer, liquor and marijuana.

Initiative 48, set to go before the Title Setting Board on April 7th this year would allow grocers and convenience stores to sell full strength beer – instead of the 3.2 beer currently allowed – wine and spirits. Initiative 48, backed by Colorado Legislative candidate and Denver Deputy District Attorney Blake Harrison, would also allow liquor stores to operate more than one location.

Initiative 47, backed by the group Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (“SAFER”) – based in Colorado – would look to legalize and regulate the taxation and sale of marijuana. The Colorado Constitution already legalizes marijuana to a limited extent, for medical use. The amendment which does so, however, does not prohibit such further legalization but there is no Constitutional guarantee of a right for a non-patient to buy, sell or possess the substance.

It will be interesting to see how far these initiatives go. An initiative similar to 47 failed in 2006, with a fairly substantial 58% of voters declining the measure. We are told that Initiative 47 is broader than the failed initiative so we will see how voters respond. A bill which would allow grocery stores to sell full-strength beer did not make it out of committee earlier this year.

~Eric Wessels

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