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Newsbrief: Colorado Town Backs Away from Tougher Marijuana Penalties

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #474)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Last week, Drug War Chronicle reported on Judge Leonard Freiling's resignation from the municipal court bench to protest Lafayette, Colorado's move to enact a municipal ordinance increasing penalties for marijuana possession. The same day we went to press last week, the city council withdrew that proposed ordinance from consideration, saying that, "City staff and City Council have determined that more information and analysis are needed on this matter."

While the state of Colorado has decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, leaving offenders facing only a $100 fine, the Lafayette measure would have called for up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Thanks to the heat generated by Freiling's resignation, as well as a fast-acting grassroots campaign by activist groups including Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), the ACLU of Colorado, the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, and Sensible Colorado, the city council found itself forced to retreat. It has now scheduled a public hearing on the issue for April.

"We are very pleased that the Lafayette City Council has withdrawn this drastic and unnecessary measure," said SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert in a press release announcing the pull-back. "We appreciate their responsiveness to the concerns of Lafayette and Boulder County citizens, and we look forward to serving as a resource for accurate information on marijuana at the council's public workshop on this issue in April."

Score one for the good guys.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

I am heartened to learn that this City Council is taking up more study. It would be reasonable that their analysis leads to a decision to support the legalization of marijuana. A resolution to this effect, or a City ordinance that reduces enforcement priority would be in order. Perhaps they will even offer an apology to Judge Freiling. -DHHopkins

Fri, 02/23/2007 - 9:04am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Any and all public servants found guilty of violating any laws or civil liberties of US citizens will be executed. Do it for the children!

Fri, 02/23/2007 - 11:07am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Why do officials keep spending more money on more studies regarding the wisdom of marijuana prohibition? Look back on all previous federal studies, including the Shaefer Report, which uniformly find that the prosecution of marijuana offenses is many times more harmful than the affects of the weed itself. How many studies need to be conducted, at huge taxpayer expense, to try and find an excuse to continue this travesty of justice, freedom and economic reality?

Mon, 02/26/2007 - 1:45pm Permalink

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