Thursday, November 15, 2012

Marijuana: Reductions in prosecutions coming; more called for

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

District Attorney Dan May may be looking at marijuana differently.
  • District Attorney Dan May may be looking at marijuana differently.

Yesterday the folks behind Amendment 64, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, issued a press release "calling on Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and other Colorado prosecutors to follow the will of the voters by no longer filing cases of adult marijuana possession and dismissing all pending cases in which the sole charge is possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by an adult 21 or older."

The campaign's call is inspired by actions out of Washington, where voters passed a similar measure and King and Pierce county prosecutors are dismissing over 220 marijuana-related cases.

Here's the Seattle Times: "In King County, 175 cases are being dismissed involving people 21 and older and possession of one ounce or less. I-502 makes one ounce of marijuana legal on Dec. 6, but King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided to apply I-502 retroactively."

Of course, similar moves in the Centennial State are already afoot. Yesterday on his Facebook page, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett wrote, "Amendment 64 passed in Boulder County, 66%-33%; accordingly, the 20th JD DA's office will dismiss all pending possession of MJ less than an ounce, and MJ paraphenalia cases, for defendants over the age of 21. Cases of driving under the influence of MJ (or any other drug, including alcohol) remain a top priority."

And despite his reputation as the face of anti-marijuana in El Paso County, District Attorney Dan May has something similar in mind, as we reported in this week's CannaBiz.

Lee Richards, spokeswoman with the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office, says a similar move is afoot locally, though specifics are scarce.

"It's not like they keep track of just marijuana cases, so I have no idea how many marijuana cases there are," she says. But "is Dan going to re-evaluate and look at some of the cases? He is. He will be."

Asked for more details, Richards says there hasn't been an official statement from the district attorney, just more of an unofficial shift in priorities: "I can't say for sure that there's been a meeting. I just know anecdotally that he's made this clear around the office: that we're not gonna waste time and resources going after [low-level marijuana cases]."

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