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There’s always a certain schadenfreude to be enjoyed when lawmakers – even, or perhaps especially, with the best of intentions – fail to look ahead properly and so end up falling foul of the law themselves. The law, that is, of unintended consequences.

Take the curious case currently unfolding in the US state of Colorado, where a no-doubt well-meaning ballot measure enthusiastically taken up by voters just 18 months ago now has Assembly members tied up in a knot of their own making.