Colorado Voters Legalize Marijuana, but State Legislature Bans Over-the-Counter Sale of Marijuana Magazines
Residents of Colorado decided last fall to legalize recreational marijuana, but state lawmakers are trying to restrict public information about the drug.
With the adoption of a statewide initiative favoring legalized marijuana, the Colorado legislature passed legislation to establish a regulatory framework for retail sales of pot. Tucked away within House Bill 13-1317 was a provision that prohibits marijuana-centric magazines from being sold, except from under the counter.
Publishers of three such publications have sued the state, claiming the new law treats their magazines the same as pornography.
“By imposing these content-based restraints on the speech by prohibiting plaintiffs’ from freely distributing and publicizing their message, defendants are depriving plaintiffs of their rights to free speech and the public’s right to hear a speaker, which are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and were protected under law until this statute went into effect,” the complaint states.
The plaintiffs from High Times Magazine, The Daily Doobie and The Hemp Connoisseur insist they “do not sell or promote obscenity,” and demand the court throw out HB 13-1317. They pointed out that alcohol is banned for Americans younger than 21, but that alcohol-related magazines are allowed to be sold openly.
To Learn More:
Colorado Legislature Must Have Been Smoking Something (by Sam Reynolds, Courthouse News Service)
Magazine Fights Colorado Limit On Pot Publication (by Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press)
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