Residents of the Colorado ski town of Breckenridge overwhelmingly voted to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana Tuesday. The measure passed with 73% of the vote.
"This votes demonstrates that Breckenridge citizens overwhelmingly believe that adults should not be punished for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol," said Sean McAllister, Breckenridge attorney and chair of Sensible Breckenridge, a local project of the statewide marijuana law reform group Sensible Colorado.
"As state and national focus grows on this important issue, the popular ski town of Breckenridge has taken center stage on marijuana reform -- and not just for medical purposes," said Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado. "With this historic vote, Breckenridge has emerged as a national leader in sensible drug policy."
The campaign, which had no formal opposition, received a chorus of local support including endorsements from Breckenridge Town Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron, former Colorado State Representative and Breckenridge resident, Gary Lindstrom, and the Summit Daily News.
Measure 2F was placed on the ballot when over 1,400 local supporters signed a petition supporting the reform measure.
Under Colorado state law, possession of up to an ounce is decriminalized and punishable by a $100 fine. But Breckenridge police will "still have the ability to exercise discretion," said Chief Rick Holman. "It's never been something that we've spent a lot of time on, so I don't expect this to be a big change in how we really do business," he told the Summit Daily News.
Breckenridge residents had voted for Amendment 44, a statewide legalization initiative, by the same percentage in 2006. That initiative won only 41% of the vote statewide.
Denver became the first city to vote to legalize marijuana possession under municipal ordinance in 2005.