Pot Vote Prompts Worldwide Attention

Pot Vote Prompts Worldwide Attention
Posted by CN Staff on November 04, 2005 at 08:14:37 PT
By Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News
Source: Rocky Mountain News
Denver, Colorado -- Denver voters may have legalized adult marijuana possession Tuesday, but the political fuming, fighting and "Mile High" fun-poking is just firing up. Passage of Initiative 100 by 53 percent of voters ostensibly changed city law to legalize private adult possession of 1 ounce or less of pot. But city law enforcement and political leaders say the vote was merely symbolic, because state law trumps local ordinances. Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and police officials warn that pot possession will continue to be prosecuted under state law as a petty offense punishable by a maximum $100 fine.
Now, Denver officials are feeling heat and heckling, both from residents outraged that leaders are ignoring the will of the voters and citizens worried the city is going to pot. Jay Leno unleashed his first Mile High zinger on Wednesday's Tonight Show. "Fifty-three percent of the people approve of having marijuana in Denver, how about that?" Leno said. "How does that make Bush feel? He's 14 percent behind pot now." Then there are headlines from Moscow to London toasting Denver as the new U.S. pot capital. "For the national, and, indeed, the international media, this initiative is a hell of a lot more important than (Referendums) C and D. It's unbelievable," said City Councilman Charlie Brown, an outspoken foe of the marijuana measure, who'd just completed his umpteenth debate with pro-pot point man Mason Tvert, on the MSNBC cable network Thursday. Brown had already taped a Madison, Wis., talk-radio show and is booked for a national FOX News TV show and a Florida talk-radio fest this weekend. The councilman slams Tvert for using "Make Denver SAFER" campaign signs and billboards calling for reduced domestic violence. He said voters were flim-flammed into thinking I-100 was about highly publicized concerns about Denver's rising crime and the need for more police. Tvert counters that Brown and other elected leaders are hypocrites for condemning pot while condoning alcohol use, despite studies showing that alcohol fuels deadly violence, car wrecks and abuse. Brown said his office has been scorched by profanity-laced e-mails and phone calls - both local and out-of-state - from marijuana backers demanding: "How can you turn down what the voters have commanded?" "But we've also had calls on the other side from people who are concerned about what this law means for our city and children of Denver. "Candidly, it is an awkward position to be in, because when the voters speak, they speak," Brown said. But, he said, the state attorney general, Denver district attorney and city attorney have said the city cannot flout state law. Said Councilman Michael Hancock: "I think the message is horrendous in this day and age when we're trying to deal with the growth of drug use, particularly by our young people. Once I came out publicly against it, I got quite a few e-mails from across the nation from folks who said: 'Thank you for standing up for our communities on this issue.' " On TV, Brown said he's trying to defend "Denver's side of the story." "I think (I-100's passage) was a protest vote by a lot of people who don't think the federal war on drugs is working," the councilman said. "Absolutely, we need a discussion on this stuff . . . But let's not maintain that by passing this, spousal abuse will decline or that this is going to make Denver safer." Tvert counters that city officials are hiding behind the state law issue, fearful if they enforce I-100 they'll face a law-and-order backlash at the ballot box. "The city attorney and the police and the City Council and the mayor are capable of implementing this," he said. "It's a question of whether they will." Mayor John Hickenlooper's office has received a couple of dozen calls and e-mails running the spectrum of opinion, said spokeswoman Lindy Eichenbaum Lent. So far, police spokesman Detective John White said he's received no reports of anyone being arrested for pot possession since the measure passed. But it's only a matter of time, given officers' ticket forms only bear a checkbox for the state marijuana possession violation. Pinched for Pot Possession:  City citations for pot possession have dropped from 3,701 cases in 1996 to 2,072 cases in 2004. Percentages are of total arrests and citations. Year Cases Percentage: 1996 3,701 3.6% 1997 3,331 3.3% 1998 3,500 3.4% 1999 3,354 3.4% 2000 3,193 3.4% 2001 2,979 3.4% 2002 2,776 3.4% 2003 2,489 3.5% 2004 2,072 3.2% Source: Denver Police Department Note: Denver officials say prohibition still law.Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)Author:  Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain NewsPublished: November 4, 2005Copyright: 2005 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Is First City To Legalize Pot Voters, Issue was Freedom of Choice Issue Gives New Meaning To Mile High City 
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on November 06, 2005 at 07:41:28 PT
John Tyler 
I like that name and it's so darn true! LOL!
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Comment #23 posted by John Tyler on November 06, 2005 at 07:12:58 PT
Coffee shop names
How about 'The Brew Ha Ha'. It makes me laugh when I say it.
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Comment #22 posted by John Tyler on November 06, 2005 at 07:04:20 PT
Voters have spoken
The voters have spoken. They voted for change. They want things to change. They are more knowledgable and ahead of the politicians on this issue. Hint to political guys...if you don't follow the will of the voters, you may need to look for other employment.  
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Comment #21 posted by Toker00 on November 05, 2005 at 02:53:04 PT
That's funny! And crazy! Applies to the Bush Administration, too! lol!Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #20 posted by Dave Anna on November 04, 2005 at 21:36:27 PT:
under fire
lets put that nazi Bush under fire everybody must get stoned.wear hemp colthes and shoes.
after all Jefferson grew hemp.
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Comment #19 posted by Dankhank on November 04, 2005 at 18:18:46 PT
that's crazy ...........
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Comment #18 posted by runderwo on November 04, 2005 at 17:35:34 PT
hi :)
How's this article as a metaphor for cannabis prohibition?
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Comment #17 posted by runruff on November 04, 2005 at 11:22:47 PT:
I like.......
"Colorado Me High"
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Comment #16 posted by trekkie on November 04, 2005 at 11:17:42 PT
Shop name
I always thought that when it was legal, I'd open up a coffee shop and specialize in high quality edibles (along with the coffe and smoke).I'd call it "The Bake-ry."
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Comment #15 posted by Dave Anna on November 04, 2005 at 11:14:32 PT:
 I love you sweetleaf
nip it in the bud make it legal all over the world 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on November 04, 2005 at 11:12:50 PT
Just Dreaming
Seriously though it would really make Denver even a more popular tourist destination if they allowed capitalism to take root. I bet many people who aren't really into skiing and lots of drinking would visit. I've been thru Colorado and it is a beautiful state. Instead of shunning this new law they should run with it and make it an example that it can be done.
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Comment #13 posted by Dankhank on November 04, 2005 at 11:11:29 PT
or this ...
An old Army Buddy always said he wanted to open a shop when the green was legal.He favored ...The Universal Joint.
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Comment #12 posted by Dankhank on November 04, 2005 at 11:09:36 PT
from the Byrds
ARTIST: The ByrdsTITLE: Eight Miles HighLyrics and ChordsEight miles high, and when you touch downYou'll find that it's stranger than knownSigns in the street that say where you're goingAre somewhere, just being their ownNowhere is there warmth to be foundAmong those afraid of losing their groundRain gray town, known for its soundIn places, small faces unboundRound the squares, huddled in stormsSome laughing, some just shapeless formsSidewalk scenes and black limousinesSome living, some standing aloneWhat a great name for a coffeeshop...Peace to all and happy B day FoM
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Comment #11 posted by siege on November 04, 2005 at 11:03:54 PT
coffee Shops
 Gods Emporium 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on November 04, 2005 at 11:01:17 PT
How About
Pass The Pipe Around Coffee Shop? I got that from a John Denver song that popped into my head.
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Comment #9 posted by Dave Anna on November 04, 2005 at 10:59:13 PT:
call it rocky mountainhigh cannabis coffee shoppe
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on November 04, 2005 at 10:57:47 PT:
Coffee shop names?
How about the "Cannabis Cup"? oR "cOLORADO mE sTONED"?
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Comment #7 posted by Dave Anna on November 04, 2005 at 10:54:30 PT:
lets smoke
pot should be legal allover alcohol kills pot don't
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 04, 2005 at 10:46:57 PT
What Would Be a Good Name for a Denver Coffee Shop
I wonder if a coffee shop would be allowed the more I think of it. Maybe 10 Mile High Coffee Shop. I don't really know but it could happen maybe.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 04, 2005 at 10:28:47 PT
Denver Should Open Coffee Shops!
Belgians Main Customers of Border Coffee Shops *** 
 November 4, 2005BRUSSELS  The two 'coffee shops' that sell marijuana on the Belgian-Dutch border in Terneuzen are almost exclusively visited by Belgian and French nationals. Ghent University research has revealed that two-thirds of customers are Belgian and a small minority of customers is Dutch.Based on police figures, just 6 percent of customers at the Terneuzen coffee shops are Dutch, while customer surveys indicate 12 percent are Dutch."Dutch people are under represented in the police figures because they also walk and ride to the shops, meaning they have less chance of being intercepted," academic Tim Surmont said.The criminal law and criminology professor surveyed 
415 customers and examined 1,175 Terneuzen police reports to reach his findings, Flemish daily newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Friday."The customers are on average 27 years old. The majority work and about half of the visitors come weekly. From 6pm, the number of visitors starts to increase. During the weekend, the number of visitors is more even."Local police generally target 24 year olds and have recently intensified patrols. Consequently, one in five people have altered the route they take to the coffee shops.Terneuzen is the only municipality in the Dutch region south of the Schelde river with a soft drugs toleration policy. After a crackdown on the illegal trade of marijuana, only two premises are allowed to sell soft drugs.Customers said the quality of Dutch cannabis is the main reason why they travel to Terneuzen.Coffee shops were set up partly to avoid the need for people to walk around with drugs and street disturbances are minimal because the coffee shops are located on the city's edge. However, there is an economic downside for Belgium. Drug tourists spend on average EUR 20 outside the coffee shops while still in the Netherlands. They buy clothes, fuel and food.Ghent University's Professor Brice De Ruyver said drugs tourism demanded international agreements, urging for cross-border policies to be set up. De Ruyver said the Dutch are not expected to close their coffee shops, but if just 6 percent of customers come from the Netherlands, it is time to look beyond simply a national-based toleration of policy.The provinces of East and West Flanders in Belgium will now meet with Zeeland authorities in the Netherlands and provinces in the north of France to co-ordinate their drugs policies.Copyright Expatica News 2005
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 04, 2005 at 10:21:07 PT
Snipped Source: Police Likely to Ignore Pot Vote
Officials say most marijuana arrests are made under a state law, not an existing ordinance, so cops will arrest users just as they did before Initiative 100 was approved.By Christopher N. Osher, Denver Post Staff Writer  
 November 3, 2005As Denver officials react to Tuesday's vote to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, they can look to two West Coast cities where similar initiatives won approval. Voters in Oakland, Calif., and Seattle told police to make possession of small amounts of marijuana the lowest priority, but each city responded differently. In Seattle, the number of people prosecuted for pot possession has plummeted since voters approved an initiative in September 2003. In 2003, Seattle prosecuted 178 people for possession of marijuana; in 2004, the prosecutions plunged to 59. "I think someone, somewhere along the chain of command got the message (in Seattle)," said Andy Ko, 
director of the drug policy referendum project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. One outspoken opponent of the pro-marijuana initiative in Seattle, City Attorney Tom Carr, said his fears that marijuana usage would spike dramatically haven't materialized. "We've had some silliness," he said. "One man was arrested for trying to sell brownies to a police officer, and someone wanted to host a smoke-in in a park, but for the most part, I haven't seen a drastic increase." 
Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on November 04, 2005 at 10:03:57 PT:
Oh please osifer......
......don't slap me with that 100 dollar fine. Do they use this as a revenue gathering tool or a means to discourge users? It sure wouldn't discourge anybody from getting high.
A small fine aside from not needing to be there is hardly a detourent. So you've charged me a $100.00 tax for using pot. I guess that means I can only buy 2/3s of an ounce the next time. Guess I'll have to smoke out with my friends for a while. Oh shucks! 
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Comment #2 posted by cloud7 on November 04, 2005 at 09:42:28 PT
"If you don't like the laws, change them"
But we do and they don't care."The city attorney and the police and the City Council and the mayor are capable of implementing this," he said. "It's a question of whether they will."Exactly.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on November 04, 2005 at 09:27:05 PT:
Oregon 1973, remember.
And the feds went ballistic. Yes the whole state went legal
on cannabis. In Alaska the state went legal and the feds went ballistic. Gee you'd almost think the feds had some stake in prohibition. Oh right, they do.The voters were flim-flamed. Boy, now that is rich when considered the lies and "phalse" propaganda that got us into this mess in the first place. And the children. Always the children. Why don't these pandering polk-a-nicks feed the
children first protect them from abuse then we can talk about what kind of message to send them. Maybe we as a nation could send them the message that it is ok to lie and kill for profit. That It is ok to cheat the American people out of a legally elected president. Maybe we could teach them that it is ok to feed them any poison in the form of food or medicine so long as it is government approved for profit. Maybe we can teach them that it is ok to rob the educational system to feed the personal agendas of the white house and congress.
Or. Maybe we could end prohibition and return to sanity.
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