Marijuana Publishers File First Amendment Lawsuit Against Colorado

New Colorado marijuana law treats Cannabis publications like pornography

Marijuana magazines are displayed at the Tattered Cover book store in Denver on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Marijuana magazines are under scrutiny in Colorado, where lawmakers might require stores to put them behind the counter.The unusual provision to treat pot magazines like pornography was considered Thursday in a Senate committee. If approved, the provision would make Colorado the first state to require stores that allow entry to shoppers under age 21 to place pot magazines behind the counter. [Credit: AP]

SOURCE: www.huffingtonpost.com

Three marijuana publications have filed suit to block a provision of Colorado's new Amendment 64 law that requires pot magazines to be treated like pornography.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court against the state on Wednesday after the signing of House Bill 13-1317, which mandates that marijuana publications be sold only behind a counter in public retail stores “where persons under twenty-one years of age are present.”

Governor John Hickenlooper signed several marijuana-related measures into law Tuesday establishing Colorado as the nation's first legal, taxed and regulated market for recreational marijuana. Those measures also came with several provisions designed to limit the exposure of children to marijuana advertising.

In the suit however, Denver free speech attorney David Lane argues that the provision specifically targets the publications' right to free speech and clashes with the primary idea behind Amendment 64 to “regulate marijuana like alcohol.”

“Amendment 64 was passed by Colorado voters who intended to ‘regulate marijuana like alcohol'… [but publications] ‘whose primary focus is alcohol or alcohol businesses' are not regulated or penalized the same way as Plaintiffs' marijuana-focused publications.”

Colorado is the first state to require pot magazines to be placed behind the counter in stores that grant entry to shoppers under the age of 21.

When the measure was being considered at the beginning of the month, a lawyer for High Times Magazine told The Associated Press that the magazine restriction “patently unconstitutional” and said there's no legal precedent for treating pictures of a drug as obscene.

 

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