Colorado Governors makes Executive Order to Protect Marijuana Users

The Governor of Colorado has issued an executive order that serves to protect the workers in the state from penalties arising as a result of cannabis related issues. The order is based largely on the fact that the state is facing a major issue of shortage in the workforce, thus it would not be beneficial to the state when persons are excluded from working because they engage in cannabis related activities, which are legal in Colorado but are illegal in other states.

The order has further provided, that the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Specialized Business Group should proffer programs and policies that would ensure that nobody is victimized or brought before a disciplinary panel or disqualified from any licensing procedure because of the provisions of the law of another state, regarding the use of marijuana, inasmuch as the actions which are illegal in other states are legal, and comply with the standards of care required in the state of Colorado.

In simple terms, a person who has been convicted of any marijuana related offense in another state, is not precluded from applying for a professional license in the state of Colorado in industries such as gambling, legal services, education and cannabis.

Furthermore, the law refuses the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division and Department of Regulatory Agencies from assisting or providing any help, in the form of information, facility, equipment and personnel, to any investigation initiated by another state with the aim of disciplining any person, impose sanctions on any person or on their license for the legal use of marijuana in the state of Colorado. The only exception however is where such investigations are ordered by a court.

This provision is one of the efforts of the Governor in providing reliefs to persons who make use of this substance by providing pardon to persons who have had prior marijuana conviction. It is on record that the state is one of the first states to allow cannabis for recreational purposes, and this has culminated in over 40,000 jobs in the state, as well as more than $2 million in tax revenue since 2014.

Earlier in the year, a bill that was meant to act as protection for workers in the state who make use of marijuana after work and also to allow patients who make use of medical cannabis to use their medicine at work was defeated at the committee stage. Despite the arguments that legalizing marijuana would result in more young persons using the substance, a biennial survey conducted by the state has shown that the use of the substance by adolescent in reduced greatly in the year 2021.

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