Marijuana: Denver SAFER Initiative Headed for November Ballot 8/5/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/398/saferinit.shtml

A voter initiative that would make Denver the first large city in the country to legalize marijuana possession is headed for the November ballot after the Denver City Council Safety Committee Wednesday gave its okay. That action came after initiative organizers submitted petitions containing the signatures of more than 10% of registered Denver voters. The 12,500 signatures submitted were twice the amount needed to make the ballot.

The initiative is organized by Safer Alternatives For Alternative Recreation, the group that won initiative votes at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University urging university administration's to equalize the campus punishments for alcohol and tobacco. The measure would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by people 21 or over under the Denver municipal code.

But Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell told the council committee Wednesday Denver police would arrest marijuana possessors under state law. Under Colorado law, marijuana possession up to an ounce is a Class 2 petty offense, punishable by a $100 fine. The city has successfully challenged the preeminence of state over municipal law in the past, particularly over a pit-bull ordinance tougher than state law, but Broadwell said the city would not challenge state authority on the marijuana law.

City officials were equally unenthusiastic about the measure. They could have adopted it themselves, but instead opted to take it to the voters. "I don't feel comfortable enacting it," said Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann. "I just don't support it personally."
Denver Police Division Chief Dave Fisher worried the city would become a mecca for those pot-smokers fleeing Boulder or Colorado Springs because of the $100 fine. If the measure passed, he told the council, more people will come to Denver to score. "We already have a problem with drug users coming from the suburbs to purchase drugs in Denver, and it's ruining the fabric of our neighborhoods," the officer said.

But Mason Tyvert, executive director of SAFER, said the city should listen to voters. "We would hope the city of Denver will respect the will of the city," Tvert said. "Does it mean they will? I don't know. I have a strong feeling that it would improve the quality of life for the city."

In the meantime, local media are all over the story, Tyvert told DRCNet. "It is already generating quite a stir. We had four local TV news stories, and I appeared on today's edition of Good Day Colorado on Fox News along with a DEA agent. The DEA and government are already playing the "it won't make a difference" card -- the typical response when they fear the winds of change -- in order to break support for the initiative," Tyvert noted. The story also got play in Denver's two major newspapers, the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News.

Meanwhile, in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Telluride, the city council Tuesday passed a measure making marijuana offenses the "lowest law enforcement priority." It joins cities such as Ann Arbor, Oakland, and Columbia, Missouri, in having done so.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #398 -- 8/5/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Feature: Marc Emery Busted -- Canada's Leading Marijuana Activist Facing Life in American Prison Over Seed Sales | Feature: The Methamphetamine Epidemic -- Less Than Meets the Eye | Feature: Prison Protest Aiming for DC in Eight Days | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Patriot Act: House Reauthorization Includes New "Narcoterrorism" Offense | Patriot Act: Sold as Fighting Terrorists, Act is Used in Marijuana-Smuggling Investigation | Search and Seizure: New Jersey Police Looking for Marijuana Growers Must Have Warrant to See Utility Records, Appeals Court Holds | Treatment: Congress Lifts 30-Patient Limit for Buprenorphine Treatment | Marijuana: Denver SAFER Initiative Headed for November Ballot | New Zealand: Parliament Reclassifies Speed and Ecstasy, Stiffer Penalties Coming | Treatment: New Web Site Provides Resources on Opiate Agonist Therapy | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Opportunity: Prevention Point Pittsburgh | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]