GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado’s police chiefs are demanding more restrictions on marijuana in our state, and they say if they aren’t listened to they will take their concerns to the federal government.
The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police says a letter has been drafted and is ready to be sent to Attorney General Eric Holder if its demands about marijuana legalization — particularly those dealing with public safety — aren’t met.
After months of task force meetings and discussions, Colorado lawmakers are now faced with bills that will regulate Amendment 64, but there are still concerns the gears are moving too fast.
“To add new folks in the business until we have everything together that we need to have together we think would be a mistake,” said Ann Marie Jensen, a spokeswoman for the CACP during legislative testimony on Wednesday.
In testimony by Jensen and other CACP members, many brought up concerns they say lawmakers need to address, declaring public safety should be the top priority.
“I hope that they come to the right conclusion that public safety should override standard business practice in these scenarios,” said John Jackson, Greenwood Village’s police chief and the legislative chairman for the association.
Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat, agrees.
“Our biggest concern not the winners and losers in the business but the winners and losers in public,” he told CBS4.
One issue on the table includes a moratorium on new businesses until the regulatory framework is put in place and has a chance to take hold.
“We’re hoping for a minimum of a year,” Jackson said. “We’d like to see a year go by where we put in a little bit of data and we can understand what we’re dealing with.”
The association says its goal is to slow everything down and do things right before it’s too late.
“We don’t have any choice but to come up with some kind of rules that are going to govern how we implement this and if we do it wrong we will pay for years in to the future,” Jackson said.
The legislature reconvened Thursday to continue to working on the bills related to marijuana legalization. A sticking point in the deliberations will be an amendment dealing with penalties for driving while high.