(Photo: CPR/Irvin Coffee)Colorado lawmakers wrestled with a series of marijuana-related bills on Tuesday, giving a final green light to a bill intended to help consumers of marijuana edibles know the potency of the product. They also voted to study if pot edibles should receive a stamped child warning.
"We need them to act on this and I believe that they will take this, move forward, and hopefully our kids will be safer because of it," Representative Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) says.
Still under consideration is another key bill that would let marijuana businesses form financial co-ops to handle banking, if federal authorities allow it. Also in the works, a proposal dealing with the spending of marijuana taxes on drug prevention and education.
With the hours winding down, Colorado lawmakers have a number of big-ticket items they need to pass before the final gavel of the session Wednesday, among them is education.
Colorado schools are getting a lot more money next year. But the education spending bills nearing completion in the state Legislature haven't been as popular as they might seem.
Lawmakers this term focused on a school overhaul that was both more popular and more problematic than reforms such as new teacher tenure guidelines. The bills give schools money to make the reforms and backfill years of recession-era cuts.
Two K-12 education bills and a higher-education spending plan put a cumulative $320 million toward education from preschool through college.
Officials from both parties say education spending is a top priority now that Colorado's revived economy has replenished tax coffers. But the education measures sparked days of intense negotiations over how and where to spend the money.
Lawmakers have already passed a $23 billion state budget, and it's been signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper. Other bills that lawmakers have include measures to finance an aerial firefighting fleet and overhaul decades-old telecommunications laws. They've also settled the nation's first statewide plan to regulate internet ridesharing companies like UberX and Lyft, which connect riders to drivers in their private cars through cellphone apps.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
You are one of the CPR readers who wants to know what is really going on these days. We can help you keep up - The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!