Colorado state Rep. Jonathan Singer (D) told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that state health officials ultimately did the right thing by retreating from their initial call to ban almost all marijuana edible products because such a ban is "unconstitutional."
"The state Department Of Public Health took it one step too far," Singer said.
The state Health Department's recommendation for a near total ban of all retail marijuana-infused food products in the state was one of several from multiple lawmakers, state marijuana industry representatives and state officials who were taking part in a working group for Singer's bill on Monday. The Health Department's recommendation was the only one calling for a ban, which outraged marijuana industry members. The legality of such a ban was also called into question, since Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2012 legalizing marijuana in all forms.
The House bill's language requires that a working group be assembled before the bill's passage to discuss concerns, recommendations and requests regarding marijuana edibles in the state. The working group did not draft rules or conduct rule-making. Instead, a report will be produced that includes all recommendations and will then be provided to the state legislature so lawmakers can best understand the issues and range of available solutions.
As "one of only two state lawmakers that actually supported the legalization of marijuana," Singer feels strongly that he does his part to ensure it stays "outside the hands of kids."
"I want to be able to tell just by looking at at if I'm holding a Chips Ahoy cookie in my hand or a marijuana cookie in my hand," Singer told HuffPost Live.
However, he worried that a ban of marijuana edibles across the board will do more bad than good for Colorado's children, and deemed it "fortunate" that the state had "dialed back" their original legislation.
Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division -- a branch of the state's Department of Revenue, which oversees the state's burgeoning marijuana industry including the sales of edibles -- will make the final rules based on all of the opinions, both supportive and dissenting, from the working group and state lawmakers after the 2015 legislative session.
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