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Pot Vote May Get Backing


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The idea was floated Monday by one of Mayor John Hickenlooper's panelists, attorney Frank Moya. He said the panel would fulfill its job to ensure last year's marijuana ordinance is implemented to the "greatest extent possible" as required by the initiative.

More than 57 percent of Denver voters approved Initiative 100, an ordinance making private adult marijuana possession of less than an ounce the city's lowest law enforcement priority. As part of the initiative the mayor was required to appoint an 11-member Marijuana Policy Review Panel, which met for the first time Monday.

"Absent compelling reasons placed on record in open court, the Denver city attorney will not seek convictions in city prosecutions for petty offenses of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana," Moya said of his proposed recommendation.

Philip A. Cherner, another panel member and attorney, said he liked Moya's idea, which the entire panel may consider voting on at its next meeting. Cherner said the panel would simply be adhering to the wishes of Denver voters.

"Politicians and law enforcement need to catch up to the public," said Cherner, who favored last year's initiative.

However, Vincent A. DiCroce, an assistant city attorney and another panel member, said he felt that it may be too early for the panel to vote on such a recommendation. DiCroce said he also wanted to see whether the group had any authority to impose what types of prosecutions his office should engage in.

Lawyer and panel member Brian Vicente said the group eventually will prepare a report to the Denver City Council, which would include the public safety, administrative and fiscal effects of the ordinance.

Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver CO)
Copyright: 2008 Denver Publishing
Contact: letters@rockymountainnews.com
Website: Rocky Mountain News : Denver News, Business, Homes, Jobs, Cars, & Information
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