DA drops all “mere marijuana possession charges” in Boulder

Posted at 6:34 AM, Nov 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-15 06:34:06-05

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR/by Eli Stokols and Will C. Holden)— If you were charged with a crime for the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in one of the state’s most liberal cities, you’ve got reason to celebrate Wednesday.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, District Attorney Stan Garnett will be dismissing all such possession cases in Boulder County due to the overwhelming support voters showed for Amendment 64 at his county’s polls earlier this month.

“You’ve seen an end to mere possession cases in Boulder County under my office,” Garnett told the newspaper.

Garnett called the decision an “ethical” one, saying the choice to pursue or continue criminal prosecution is driven by whether or not prosecutors have “a reasonable belief that they can get a unanimous conviction by a jury.”

“Given Amendment 64 passed by a more than 2-to-1 margin (in Boulder County), we concluded that it would be inappropriate for us to continue to prosecute simple possession of marijuana less than an ounce and paraphernalia for those over 21,” Garnett continued.

According to the Camera, 66 percent of Boulder County voted in favor of the measure. Amendment 64 will go into effect statewide 30 days after the vote is approved. According to political reporter Eli Stokols, that will likely happen in January.

DeGette pushing ahead with Amendment 64 fix

In Washington, Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette plans to introduce legislation this week that would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt states that legalize marijuana on their own.

“It’s an elegant fix,” DeGette said, borrowing an adjective from a Denver Post editorial praising her idea and urging lawmakers to get on board.

“We can simply exempt states laws respecting marijuana only from the Controlled Substances Act. So I’m introducing that legislation this week and I’m hoping we’ll have bipartisan support.”

Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, has indicated his willingness to co-sponsor the legislation, according to DeGette.

“It’s really a state’s rights issue, too,” she said.

KHOW AM630 host David Sirota is pushing for the White House to clarify its own stance on DeGette’s legislation.

On Monday, he posted a petition on the White House website, needing 25,000 signatures over 30 days to merit a response from the president.

Two days later, he’s already above 26,000 signatures.

“I hope President Obama remembers that in a swing state that he needed to win that amendment 64 got more votes than he did,” Sirota said.