Of the 500 or so bills that Governor Jared Polis signed in 2021, 14 will come into effect on New Year’s Day.
They affect a wide range of people and issues, from buying marijuana to driving rights for the poor to redress for victims of child sexual abuse.
Here’s a look at some of the most powerful new laws in Colorado starting January 1, 2022:
Driving license withdrawal
In July, Colorado became the 16th state to prohibit driver removal from driving anyone with outstanding court debt. The law, HB21-1314, is in part the result of reports from the Denver Post and means tens of thousands of Coloradans can regain their driving privileges. These are people who have been deprived of their driving rights not because of dangerous traffic offenses, but because they owe a court money for something that has nothing to do with driving.
Not being able to drive restricts the legal way to get to work or other important functions, something that has for years been a difficult choice for people with a revoked driver’s license: limit their social, family and employment prospects by never restricting them Driving a vehicle or taking a break is the law and driving anyway and risking further penalties. The Colorado State Patrol was among those pushing for the new bill, arguing that so many people choose the latter option that it is filling the state roads with uninsured, unauthorized motorists.
HB21-1317 represented Colorado’s most significant regulatory overhaul in the cannabis space since legalization nearly a decade ago.
Beginning January 1, the state will limit daily purchases to two ounces of flower and eight grams of concentrates like wax and splinters for medical marijuana patients. For medical patients between the ages of 18 and 20, the concentrate limit is lowered to two grams per day. The previous daily concentrate consumption limit for medical patients was 40 grams.
The law was worked on extensively during the last session, but in the end it was supported by almost the entire legislature. The bill largely resulted from advocacy from parents who claimed that their children had suffered – in some cases profoundly – from the abuse of highly potent concentrated marijuana products, which are growing in popularity. The changes introduced by this law primarily affect medical marijuana patients.
Exceptions to the new limits will only apply to patients whose doctor confirms in writing that the patient is in a physical or geographic emergency that should allow them to exceed daily shopping limits and that the patient has identified a store as their primary source of medicine .
Pharmacies must now also provide customers at the point of sale of a concentrate with a source of information in the form of an 8 x 11 inch paper brochure. This booklet must have a black dot, smaller than a fingernail, indicating the state recommended serving size for concentrates. It also includes advice on safe consumption and a list of the state declares negative conditions that can result from the use of marijuana concentrate
Child sexual abuse
Starting January 1, people who were sexually abused as children in Colorado can sue the institutions that hid the abuse or did nothing to stop it. That’s the result of SB21-88, which applies to people, not just those living in the state, who have been molested in government agencies, schools, and private facilities. The law limits how much victims can receive from the lawsuit to $ 1 million from private entities and $ 387,000 from government entities.
SB21-73 is an accompanying law that also comes into effect in the New Year and removes the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits, but does not apply retrospectively. Previously, survivors had only six years after they turned 18 to sue their perpetrators.
At the time the SB21-88 bill was signed, sponsor and State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, a Democrat and abuse survivor from Commerce City, said, “Obviously, you really can never stop sexual abuse that happened to you as a child.” – I think that stays with you. However, if we can give them their day in court, their time to find a solution, I think we are going to do something really important for the community of survivors. “
Solitary confinement in prisons
HB21-1211 aims to reduce so-called “restrictive placement” in prisons. This is another term for solitary confinement that Colorado’s former penitentiary chief – along with many other critics – called torture. Most of this bill will come into effect on July 1, 2022, but an important data collection provision will begin on January 1.
Each county jail must keep and keep records of every instance of someone being placed in solitary confinement. The recording must contain demographic data, including race and gender, as well as information on the inmate’s state of health, the length of stay in solitary confinement and the reason for the detention.
Then, in July, it will become illegal for any county jail with a capacity of 400 beds or more to hold someone against their will in solitary confinement if they have a list of pre-existing physical or mental illnesses. That will limit the number of people who are put into solitary confinement in Colorado prisons, but the law doesnât come close to the outright ban that many reform-minded proponents seek.
Let’s say you’ve just subscribed to an online service – a paid dating app or Hulu, for example – for a free trial or a cheap limited-time offer. You forget about the auto-renewal of every subscription you’ve just agreed to and find with distress that you’re paying $ 10 or $ 20 a month for something you never intended to commit to that way.
Colorado lawmakers created a new law that they hope will make it easier for people to avoid this scenario.
Under HB21-1239, paid online and personal dating services would have to offer members a three day cancellation window. Services with automatic renewal contracts would need to notify you before any renewal or price increase takes effect.
This law is also designed to protect individuals who do not want to actively cancel services that they do not need or cannot afford, but may have no idea that they are still being charged. Affected service providers cannot request payment for more than two years. So if you forget the fee for a Netflix subscription that you don’t use, at least pay for it for a limited time – assuming the new law works as intended.