Listen to Turk's Interview with Widespread Panic's Jojo Hermann 11-16-2010
The same power that Governor John Hickenlooper used to ban the use of fireworks in Colorado could have been extended to ban the sale of fireworks as well.
Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order banning open burning and the private use of fireworks throughout Colorado in response to very dry conditions and the wildfires that have happened as a result.
"I would think that a complete ban on the sale and use of fireworks would be upheld against a constitutional challenge. That constitutional challenge would be, 'I have the right to be able to do what I want with my property under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution,'" Jan Laitos, a law professor at the University of Denver said. "The power that the state is using in this situation and the counties and cities have as well too is this enormous power called, the Police Power. It is given to us in the Constitution, all states have it by statute and it allows the states and the government to basically stop human beings from doing things that are going to harm another human being - like fireworks in a dry year."
A statement released by Governor Hickenlooper's office said, "In general our legal council agrees that we generally have that Police Power, but we take exercising it over the top of local control very seriously. This isn't an option we're considering now."
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