Marijuana: Denver to Move to $1 Fine for Pot Possession?

Denver could soon see a maximum $1 fine -- the lowest in the country -- for simple marijuana possession. The city's Marijuana Policy Review Panel voted 6-2 Wednesday to recommend that the city do just that.
Denver skyline (from
The panel was created by Mayor John Hickenlooper in December 2007 to comply with the will of voters who had just passed an ordinance making adult marijuana possession offenses the lowest law enforcement priority. That vote came after a 2005 vote to legalize marijuana in the city, a vote that was ignored by local law enforcement and prosecutors, who instead charged offenders under state law.

In May 2008, the city attorney's office set the fine for possession at $50 and arranged for payment to be made by mail instead of at a court appearance. Now it will be up to the city's presiding judge to decide whether to go even further and set the fine at $1.

"By setting the fine at just $1, we are sending a message to Denver officials that the era of citing adults for using a less harmful drug than alcohol is over. It's simply not worth the city's time or resources," said panel member and SAFER executive director Mason Tvert, who coordinated the successful Denver marijuana initiatives.

A Denver Police Department representative on the panel unsurprisingly voted against the proposal. "There's no indication that there's a problem with the fine schedule," said Lt. Ernesto Martinez. "The panel is going outside the bounds of the language of the ordinance."

But, in a sign of the times, Martinez appears to be the one out of step with the panel and public opinion in the Mile High City.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Actually $111

TalkLeft has the actual letter from the panel, where they explain that those cited would be also subject to a $10 city "bureau fee" and a state-mandated $100 "drug offender surcharge," so this isn't so radical.

I knew there'd be some

I knew there'd be some catch--esp, since it'd cost them more than $1 to collect and process. It's all an EXTORTION RACKET no matter how you slice and dice it.

Anyone know the definition of 'simple marijuana possession'?

Sounds ok but does anyone know the definition of 'simple marijuana possession' in this case... I don't... need more data?

Is this legalization Or just going to create a larger demand for over-priced 1/8 sacks... feeding stereotypes & funneling folks into the black-market more? Make it much easier for the cowboys in blue to corral everyone & round-up when the winds change or they get bored? What about the suppliers... any thought go into the supply side of things... or is political expediency whats important again? Not good when law making resembles anxiously wiping ones plate clean inorder to put the bad taste of a bad meal behind us!

I have little faith in any 'Tax & Regulate' scheme that deliberataly WILL NOT be designed, therefore, unable to keep up with the increased demand as mmj & recreational use increases as de facto decrim. spreads. This is more appeasement then reform... certainly not revolutionary thinking, and only addresses half the problem... returning rights to a very few... while increasing risk to the vast majority?

Don't step in your own rabbit hole,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. I understand the value & convenience of mmj dispensories but who is gonna pay a $50+ an ounce sin tax (for something that's not sinful) when they could grow a couple bushes in their backyard that could yield pounds apiece?

I would rather pay a

I would rather pay a reasonable annual user fee, for the privilage to grow up to 5 plants a year for my own personnal recreational use. than to be degraded and humiliated by a law that requires me to accept alcohol as my only option to be a respectable citizen. But, as you know our elcted officials idea of reasonable is extremely different than the average person.
I have read reports estimating as high as 100,000 alcohol related deaths a year, but no one has been able to prove consuming marijuana resulted in any deaths, we have 1,000's of citizen who have been mentally and/or physically abused by some one under the influence of alcohol yet it has been proven that consuming marijuana has a calming effect on those who use it. With that being said if our government has a moral obligation to the people shouldn't they be held accountable for intentionally endangering the citizens.

I agree, but seriously doubt the 'Tax & Regulate' schemes.....

I agree, but seriously doubt the 'Tax & Regulate' schemes... for medicinal use will be geared towards allowing 'grows' for personal use.

Personally, I think your recommendation of 5 plants per year would be appeasement enough for most... but not ideal for some... or technically comply with the rule of law?

Consider the history of 'homebrewing' the drug alcohol. The 1st drug war, against alcohol, ended in 1933. Homebrewing for personal use didn't become legal until 1978... 45 years later. WTF! The law is liberal enough for me and allows 5 gal / per adult / per mo. / per household. Plenty for recreational use... if I don't have a BBQ... have the crew over for poker or whatever... etc. Point is the law will always fall short... and for the wrong reason. Simply put you can't have social events w/o buying overpriced alcohol from a commercial distributor... which drives and ensures sin taxes to the gov't.

So, the tiny minority of mmj folks get a 'stay out of jail' card while the overwhelming majority (the recreational users) have to wait another 4+ decades... for their rights to be partially privileged back to them?

No offense, but I'd have to say 'screw that'... that is not benefitting 99.99% of the movement that wants to end the prohibition of a plant & end injustice for all... not feed it from a safer distance... remember we've already endured 7+ decades of their crime spree!

Keep the Intercourse Coming!
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. The 'homebrewing law' places no restrictions on type or potentness. Any strength you want from a pale ale to a stout. Blueberriers are in season so this months 'brew' is gonna be a 'Berry Good' stout. Just find a good cherry ale recipe and exchange for blueberries. 2 Bros. Brewing, Co. (someday?)

And the Hits Just Keep On Comin'

My neighbor Ken Gorman got his "Fine" from the Peoples Republic of Denver. They're just going to railroad pot smokers in the kangaroo drug court and railroad them into community mental health for treatment (The Business) where some Fredo-Marxist social worker can insist that they are an asshole for being "nonconformist", or in 50 dollar psychobable, "antisocial"(which is a nazi concept).

Another good/bad example why we need to stop the Alcohol...

Another good/bad example why we need to stop the 'Alcohol is not a Drug" and the "Alcoholics are not Drug Addicts' theory that our western civilization falsely subscribes to.

When the authoritarians are ready to force 'joe six-pack' to rehab then I'll be ready to listen. Until then I would tell them what the late great comedic icon Bill Hicks would say: "Hummmm....shut the fuck up!"

Just more 'Killing & Incarcerating' if you ask me. Consider people that check-into a faith based rehab program (and 80% are) face a much higher risk of relapse & death... then those that don't! I'm not 'Killing the Buddha' here but the fact is common-sense & responsibility is more successful and saved lives... not gov't mandated rehab or the supernaturalism that goes with it!

Choose Legality,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. Ask your judge, prosecutor, and jury the following question:"What rights does 'Joe Six-Pack' have that 'Tony the Toker' doesn't". Reminding them that 'social acceptability' and 'what the bible or god thinks' are not rights... just opinions!

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