Magazine fights Colorado limit on pot publication
DENVER — A day after Colorado enacted a law taking marijuana magazines off store racks, three publications sued to block the provision.
High Times magazine and two other publications asked a judge Wednesday to prevent enactment of a law that requires stores to place marijuana-themed magazines behind the counter if they allow patrons under 21.
The requirement was added to a larger marijuana regulation signed into law Tuesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The law takes effect in July.
The magazine restriction was added to the marijuana measure after some parents complained about the magazines being visible to children. The provision doesn’t ban underage sales of the magazines, just requires that they be kept behind the counter in stores that allow shoppers under 21.
The publishers say the restriction goes too far and that the drug should not be treated like pornography. The magazines “do not sell or promote obscenity,” the complaint argues.
The complaint also says the magazines are “largely and often political, focusing on new and changing marijuana legalization and legislation.” The publishers pointed out that alcohol is likewise banned for people under 21, but magazines about beer and wine aren’t kept off store racks in stores where minors are allowed.
Colorado became the first state Tuesday to finalize laws to regulate how recreational pot should be grown and sold.
The measure includes not just the magazine limit but several other measures to prevent pot marketing to children. The law bans certain types of advertising and prohibits the use of cartoon characters or other images that could be seen as appealing to kids.
Washington state, the only other state to flout federal drug law and deem pot legal for adults without a doctor’s recommendation, is still working on its regulations for widespread pot sales. That state is not considering a similar magazine limit.
The Colorado lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver. The other publications suing are called The Daily Doobie and The Hemp Connoisseur.