420 Magazine Background

Denver City Council Lets Pot Measure Move Toward Vote

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Denver City Council on Monday backed off from intervening in a ballot initiative that would make possession of a small amount of marijuana the lowest priority for police.

The council had considered passing the measure as an ordinance in hopes that the courts would quickly throw it out. Instead, council members unanimously opted to let voters decide in November.

"I don't think any of us wants to subvert the will of the voters," said council member Doug Linkhart. "I don't think it's the role of the city to tell police which laws to enforce."

The council will hold a public hearing on the measure at its meeting at 5:15 p.m. next Monday.

Proponents of the initiative say they will have a bevy of supporters there to counter what they expect to be a heavy anti-pot campaign by council members.

"There's no reason this city cannot stop arresting and prosecuting people for possession of marijuana," said Mason Tvert, executive director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation.

Tvert pointed out that since Denver voters in 2005 legalized possession of small amounts of pot, that city officials and police have avoided changing enforcement. Arrests for marijuana possession increased in Denver by 15 percent after voters passed the measure, he said.

"I'm certainly glad voters will have their say, even though they already had their say," Tvert said.

Tvert hopes to bring witnesses to testify at next week's hearing about their lives being disrupted because what he deems over-zealous enforcement.

Council members immediately started making known their positions known.

Council President Michael Hancock, prior to voting, said he believes marijuana is a gateway drug to heavier drugs and helps destroy communities. He urged anyone in support of the measure to spend time with children of drug-addicted parents before deciding the issue.

"It is my hope that the public does not enter into the realm of telling the police department how to do their jobs," Hancock said.

Marijuana proponents last year tried to repeal the state possession law, but Colorado voters rejected it.

The measure to make enforcement of possession the lowest priority was started when the group Citizens for a Safer Denver's gathered of almost 6,000 valid signatures for a citizens initiative.

The council was placed in the predicament of either voting in an identical ordinance that could be challenged in the courts, or voting against the measure and letting voters decide.

District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, who in the past asked the council to consider refusing to put it on the ballot altogether and letting Citizens for a Safer Denver take the issue to court, did not attend Monday's meeting.

News Hawk- User http://www.420Magazine.com
Source: Denver Post
Author: Manny Gonzales
Contact: mgonzales@denverpost.com
Copyright: The Denver Post
Website: The Denver Post - Council lets pot measure move toward vote
Last edited:

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
"It is my hope that the public does not enter into the realm of telling the police department how to do their jobs," Hancock said.
wouldn't that be the serve part of protect and serve?

they work for us!
Top Bottom