2012 Colorado Ballot Issues

Amendment 64 – Use and Regulation of Marijuana
Amendment 65 – Colorado Congressional Delegation to Support Campaign Finance Limits
Amendment S – Colorado State Personnel System


Amendment 64 – Use and Regulation of Marijuana

Summary: Amendment 64 makes legal the recreational use of Marijuana in Colorado for persons age 21 and over (i.e., regulated ‘like alcohol’). Its provisions include the ability of local governments to prohibit cultivation, manufacturing, testing, and sales facilities in their local jurisdiction. It also requires the taxing of marijuana sales allocating the first $40 million in revenue to the public school capital construction fund.

Background:In 2006, Amendment 44, which would have made legal the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in Colorado, was defeated by a 20 point margin (60% in opposition to 40% in favor).

In 2000, Colorado voters made legal the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The federal government has taken steps to let states know that the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in their state may be in violation of federal law and recent state court rulings have supported this position. Additionally, a recent report from the Drug Enforcement Agency suggests that Colorado is at risk of becoming the marijuana provider to the nation. Some suggest that, at the very least, regulation of the medical marijuana industry in Colorado lacks adequate funding.

Official Ballot Title: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning marijuana, and, in connection therewith, providing for the regulation of marijuana; permitting a person twenty-one years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana; providing for the licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores; permitting local governments to regulate or prohibit such facilities; requiring the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund; and requiring the general assembly to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp?

Colorado ‘Blue Book’ description for Amendment 64.

Complete text of Amendment 64.


Amendment 65 – Colorado Congressional Delegation to Support Campaign Finance Limits

Summary: Amendment 65 instructs Colorado’s elected officials to propose and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to establish campaign spending limits.

Official Ballot Title: Shall there be amendments to the Colorado constitution and the Colorado revised statutes concerning support byColorado’s legislative representatives for a federal constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending, and, in connection therewith, instructing Colorado’s congressional delegation to propose and support, and the members of Colorado’s state legislature to ratify, an amendment to the United States constitution that allows congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending?

Colorado ‘Blue Book’ description for Amendment 65 (aka Initiative 82).

Complete text of Amendment 65 (aka Initiative 82).


Amendment S – Colorado State Personnel System

Summary: Amendment S grants the Governor more flexibility in staffing certain State government positions. Amendment S allows the State personnel director to make exempt up to one percent of persons (approximately 325 positions) from the State personnel system. Amendment S also makes changes to testing and hiring procedures to include both ‘numerical and nonnumerical methods’ for the ‘comparative analysis of candidates based on objective criteria.’ It also increases the number of persons that can be considered after the comparative analysis process from the top three to the top six candidates. It expands hiring preferences for veterans and adjusts the terms of service, duties, and standards for removal of members of the State Personnel Board.

Official Ballot Title: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the state personnel system, and, in connection therewith, expanding the veterans’ preference; increasing the number of candidates eligible to be appointed to a position; adjusting the duration of allowable temporary employment; allowing the flexibility to remove a limited number of positions from the system; modifying the residency requirement; adjusting the terms of service for members of the state personnel board; and requiring merit-based appointments to be made through a comparative analysis process?

Colorado ‘Blue Book’ description of Amendment S.

Complete text of Amendment S.