Smart Colorado is the only non-profit organization focused on protecting the health, safety and well-being of Colorado youth as marijuana becomes increasingly available and commercialized.

Smart Colorado formed after the 2012 passage of Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution, which legalized the sale and possession of recreational marijuana. We believe Colorado’s top priority around marijuana policy and education should be protecting our youth. Marijuana is illegal for those under 21 and a threat to their health and futures. Research is clear that marijuana is harmful to the adolescent developing brain as well as tied to psychosis, schizophrenia, drug addiction and lower IQ. Colorado’s youth are serving as guinea pigs in the state’s commercialization experiment.

Smart Colorado is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.

HISTORY

The founding members of Smart CO came together to protect the youth of Colorado following the passage of Amendment 64. This unprecedented and historical Amendment legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado. Many of our founding members were on Governor Hickenlooper's Task Force for A64 recommendations and saw firsthand how the rights and protections of our children were being overlooked. This inspired our leadership team to come together to be the voice for Colorado’s youth. We are involved with the State legislature, Department of Revenue rule-making procedures, educational panels, and grassroots outreach.


Amendment 64 became law on December 10, 2012 as Article XVIII, Section 16 of the Colorado Constitution. It gave Colorado citizens an immediate ability to possess one ounce or less of marijuana (including concentrates like hash oil), consume marijuana and grow 6 plants. As of January 1, 2014, the sale and production of marijuana was commercialized through the licensing of recreational marijuana stores, grow facilities, testing facilities and product manufacturing facilities.



While recreational marijuana is treated differently for tax and regulatory purposes, the regulatory framework for recreational marijuana mirrors the framework established for the licensing of medical marijuana commercialized products. The licensing and regulatory requirements for “commercialized” medical marijuana can be found in the Medical Marijuana Code, which was created via HB 10-1284 and was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on June 7, 2010.



Colorado's medical marijuana market developed for years without regulatory oversight. By the time the State scrambled to license and regulate medical marijuana there were already hundreds of shops in operation. Unfortunately, the regulations put in place with HB 10-1284, and the state infrastructure needed to enforce them, were woefully underfunded (March 2013 Audit and June 2013 Audit ). Amendment 64 passed because voters were led to believe the State would FINALLY begin to strictly regulate the sale and production of marijuana. Anxious to ensure robust regulation, several of us that would go on to form Smart Colorado served on the Governor’s Task Force to implement Amendment 64.



Our founding members began to meet and share their concerns as they watched powerful and well-financed representatives of the marijuana industry dominate the policy making process on the Task Force. After the “heath, safety, and well-being of Colorado children” was ranked last in priorities by the Task Force and no other groups or organizations spoke up on behalf of protecting Colorado youth, the founding members of Smart knew something had to be done.



Smart Colorado was formed in 2013 and has been the voice for children at the State and local legislative and policy levels ever since.


Recent News

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March Newsletter

Parents who shared low-potency joints when they were in school are often surprised to learn about the new forms of ultra-potent marijuana concentrates. One increasingly popular way to use extremely potent marijuana is dabbing, which as been described as m

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All About Vaping: What Parents & Teens Need to Know

Vaping – the act of inhaling a vaporized liquid from an electronic device – is the latest trend, and it’s alarmingly prevalent among today’s teens. Vaping is skyrocketing among teens Nearly half of Colorado’s high school and middle school studen

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Welcome to 2018

January 8, 2018 Dear Smart Colorado Supporter: Happy New Year. Thanks to you, we met our challenge goal for year end 2017! We are deeply grateful for your support, both financially and your willingness to stay engaged in this important effort to protect

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October Newsletter

Thanks to your support we continue to do BIG and IMPORTANT things!  Together, with your incredible support, we have brought protecting kids to the forefront when it comes to marijuana policy and education. Our recent parent targeted education campaigns

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Dispelling confusion about today’s pot

Thanks to your support, the initial launch of our most recent parent-targeted education campaign, “Not What You Remember”, has been a huge success. As part of the campaign, co-founder Diane Carlson shares her family’s personal experience when her yo

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Marijuana Health & Safety Line Now Available

 Smart Colorado applauds the Denver Health’s Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center and Denver Environmental Health for the launch of the new 24/7 Marijuana Healthy & Safety Line to help address questions from public health professionals, marijuan

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2017 Legislative Update

When the Colorado Legislature is in session, Smart Colorado is in the halls of the state capitol working to protect kids from marijuana. Smart Colorado is the only non-profit organization focused on protecting the health, safety and well-being of Colorado

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Federal Law & Pot

What does the White House marijuana stance mean for Colorado kids? You probably heard: White House spokesman Sean Spicer recently said to expect “greater enforcement” of federal drug laws, which list marijuana as an illegal substance. He added: T

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March 2017 Newsletter

What does the White House marijuana stance mean for Colorado kids? You probably heard: White House spokesman Sean Spicer recently said to expect “greater enforcement” of federal drug laws, which list marijuana as an illegal substance. He added: &