Education In Denver, a Ballot Fight Over Marijuana

Education In Denver, a Ballot Fight Over Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on November 06, 2007 at 05:18:32 PT
By Dan Frosch
Source: New York Times
Denver -- In 2005, voters here approved a measure making it legal for an adult to possess an ounce or less of marijuana. But arrests for misdemeanor marijuana possession have risen since then.Now, voters are to decide on a ballot measure that would make possession of small amounts of marijuana the lowest enforcement priority for the police.
“People didn’t want anyone arrested,” said Mason Tvert, executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, a pro-marijuana group that sponsored the 2005 measure and is sponsoring the latest one. “That’s what they voted on.”Proponents of the measure, which is similar to regulations in Seattle and Missoula County, Mont., contend that the police have more pressing matters to attend to and that the use of marijuana by adults is less harmful than alcohol. But, it is unclear how the authorities will react if the measure passes. The 2005 measure garnered 54 percent approval. But city officials have ignored it, choosing instead to keep enforcing superseding state laws, which stipulate that a marijuana offense of an ounce or less, considered a Class 2 petty offense in Colorado, is punishable by a $100 fine. Misdemeanor marijuana arrests for people over 21 have risen to 1,347 last year, from 1,168 in 2005.Sgt. Ernie Martinez of the Denver Police Department said that the police do not single out marijuana smokers and that such arrests often occur when officers respond to other crimes.Sergeant Martinez, the president of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association, said even if the latest ballot measure passes, he cannot envision ordering his officers to stop arresting people for marijuana. “They essentially want to promote self-indulgence of marijuana use at the risk of the public,” he said of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation. Mayor John Hickenlooper is against the initiative and says that marijuana enforcement is already a low priority for the police. “It is not something the police specifically target for enforcement, or to which they deploy a significant amount of resources,” said Sue Cobb, a spokeswoman for Mr. Hickenlooper. Local officials elsewhere have abided by similar ballot measures. Officials in Missoula County have heeded a 2006 decision by voters to make adult marijuana possession of any amount a low priority for the police. But the county commission, believing that such a sweeping measure was not actually the voters’ true intention, narrowed the scope of the law so to make only possession of small amounts of marijuana a low enforcement priority.In Seattle, misdemeanor marijuana citations have dropped off since voters approved a similar measure in 2003. In August, two Seattle city council members sent a letter to Denver officials praising the Seattle initiative, calling it a sensible drug policy. But even in that city, where an oversight panel will issue a report on the effects of the law, opinions are sharply divided. The Seattle city attorney, Thomas Carr, said the data on the ordinance was inconclusive and noted that arrests have dropped citywide, not just those for marijuana. He said voters in Denver should judge the measure for themselves rather than holding Seattle up as a model. “What I think bothers the police here is the message that marijuana smoking is O.K.,” he said. “And that bothers me as well.” Complete Title: Education In Denver, a Ballot Fight Over Marijuana Arrests Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Dan FroschPublished: November 5, 2007Copyright: 2007 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Safer Denver Could Shift Cops' Pot Priority Council Puts Pot Issue on Ballot 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #24 posted by RevRayGreen on November 06, 2007 at 18:30:26 PT
Results will update automatically. Checkmarks will appear beside declared winners.QUEST. 100: MARIJUANA POSSESSIONVotes Pct. 
Yes 34,186 55.3% 
No 27,667 44.7% 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #23 posted by mayan on November 06, 2007 at 18:08:24 PT
Dry Run?
Could Musharraf’s Actions Be a Dry Run for Bushco?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by mayan on November 06, 2007 at 16:22:55 PT
Another One
Kucinich not stopping with Cheney, plans Bush impeachment resolution too:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by mayan on November 06, 2007 at 16:17:39 PT
“They essentially want to promote self-indulgence of marijuana use at the risk of the public,” he said of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation.Is that right, Sergeant Martinez? It seems to me that THE PUBLIC HAS ALREADY SPOKEN!!!On a different note, I believe that we desperately need articles of impeachment before the neo-cons execute thier next terror attack. Let the coup begin...Kucinich conference call to detail 'why and how' of Cheney impeachment measure: former Illinois' Governor George Ryan? He vetoed two consecutive hemp-study bills. He begins serving his prison sentence tomorrow... Supreme Court justice denies Ryan’s plea: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Is This 20-Year CIA Vet Crazy For Saying 9/11 Is a Probable Inside Job? Family Member Patty Casazza: Government Knew Exact Date and Exact Targets:'s The Paper? Did The BBC And A Cambridge Don Commit Fraud To Cover Up Mass Murder? Biden Meets the Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth (video): Official Loose Change - Final Cut Trailer: WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by FoM on November 06, 2007 at 15:34:07 PT
I guess sometimes I'm so calm that I bore myself but that's how I think. It is ok to be upset. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by dongenero on November 06, 2007 at 15:22:41 PT
FoM you're right
about side tracking the country.  The Clinton impeachment certainly did that. Then I think, if there was ever a President and VP in my lifetime deserving of impeachment, it's this one.In the end it doesn't solve any of the myriad of problems this disastrous administration has caused. My God, how did we end up with 8 years of this! Oh yeah, first stolen by the Supreme Court and then likely voter fraud. Shame on the people that voted for this disaster for our country.I apologize for being so off topic.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by FoM on November 06, 2007 at 15:10:24 PT
I watched a little after I heard about it on MSNBC when I was making dinner and switched to C-Span. I don't have a strong opinion on this because it's so late in the game. Soon they will be out of power because it's only a year. I remember how Clinton's Impeachment side tracked us from issues of concern. I think it is an issue that at this point isn't a high priority for me personally but I understand why people care alot about this at the same time. I also figure history will not be kind to this administration like it wasn't to Nixon. They will leave a terrible legacy for the world to see and that is forever.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by dongenero on November 06, 2007 at 14:59:12 PT
Got this from AP
Does anyone know anything more? It sounds like a game of chicken and the Dems went wee wee wee all the way home.
WTF, lay it down and go for impeachment on war crimes. Maybe it would restore some global faith in our government as a constitutional democracy.updated 30 minutes agoWASHINGTON - House Democrats on Tuesday narrowly managed to avert a bruising debate on a proposal to impeach Dick Cheney after Republicans, in a surprise maneuver, voted in favor of taking up the measure.Republicans, changing course midway through a vote, tried to force Democrats into a debate on the resolution sponsored by longshot presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by nuevo mexican on November 06, 2007 at 13:35:45 PT
I meant 'watch' not what....
Glad your watching it, history is in the making!Steny Hoyer was not happy when his motion to block the proposal failed, and that means Nancy is upset, and so is Harry!There is no Democratic Leadership, only Dennis and Al!Listen to Randy Rhodes at for great commentary, live now
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by nuevo mexican on November 06, 2007 at 13:32:06 PT
It's for real!
218-194, the motion is adopted!WOW!(the Dems like Cheney and bush, they think it'll be easy to get Hillary Bush/Clinton elected, not gonna happen.....Dennis is our hero, now if the Demthugs could be like Dennis and Al, NOT GONNA HAPPEN!Gore/Kucinich 2008(what the media make fun of Dennis and his lovely wife now, they're the new Joe Wilson and Valerie Plames)!Toke!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by FoM on November 06, 2007 at 13:24:45 PT
nuevo mexican 
I'm watching it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by nuevo mexican on November 06, 2007 at 13:18:51 PT
Kucinich gets his Impeachment of Cheney!
Good news FOM and all~!and with more support from the Repugs than the Demthugs!Lots of Dems changed votes at the last minute, but not nearly enough, and now we have Impeachment on the table, Nancy Pelosi bug off!Harry Reid, you're fired!Even John Conyers was against it!Should be on the news later, but who knows, it's REAL news!
Here's my take: the Repugs KNOW the DEMS will ALWAYS CAVE, we have lots of proof, and now, the Dems look as lame as they really are, and we get impeachment NOT because of our supposed representatives, but because of the 'gaming' of the system, let's just say it backfired!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Dankhank on November 06, 2007 at 12:59:07 PT
strawbs ...
great link, I've been sampling, like a kid in a candy store...thanx ...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Hope on November 06, 2007 at 12:55:56 PT
"Strawberry Fields Forever!"
Wow! That's very interesting.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by Mike on November 06, 2007 at 11:48:46 PT
Yes, I see this family is quite diverse indeed. Very interesting!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by whig on November 06, 2007 at 11:44:05 PT
That's fascinating. Thanks for letting me know about the new research. I'll have to read about it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Mike on November 06, 2007 at 11:41:47 PT
That is a common misconception. The closest genetic living relative to cannabis is indeed the strawberry. Prior to DNA sequencing, hops was more of an estimated guess (albeit a good one; hops is in the same family.) The more research that is allowed to be done on this wonderful plant, the more mysteries become solved. I'll need to find the link. It was AOL. The research was done in Europe since such research is apparently not allowed here yet (I'm guessing).
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by nuevo mexican on November 06, 2007 at 11:22:39 PT
Tonight on PBS...Extraordinary Rendition
Frontline presents:Now that Mukasey is in, and torture basically 'legalized', this documentary shows what America does to everybody else in the world, and as soon as Blackwater is ready, we will get 'Pakistaned'. Just think of all the people who suffer for lack of Cannabis, or for using cannabis, and then think of why this may be the case:Our government (or former 'shadow' government, in power since the coup of 2000) is behind the most insidious torture practices in the world, and ask yourself what make us think we, as Americans, are exempt or immune.Here's the link!
frontlineworldbrextraordinaryrendition_2007-11-06And some, like Bill Maher, would argue that our government couldn't have had any thing to do with 911, yet they carry out torture like it's a routine for them thats' as old as the hills.Cannabis should be included in all rescue kits for those currently being tortured in our name, throughout the world, on ghost planes in the sky above us, in gulags and airports worldwide, and it has become a billion dollar industry for these guys, just ask Blackwater.
Billions!And that is why Cannabis clubs must be shut down, pain and suffering are profitable, relieving pain and suffering is just so 'old hat' isn't it. Good news in Guatamala though, they've elected a peoples candidate, even though the media and the city slickers wanted to re-elect another well known torturer.www.democracynow.orgWatch Pakistan, the ISI appears to have been in on 911 with bush, and the Saudis, and if they two 'forces' split up, more 911 truth will mysteriously appear.Doesn't look good for bush in the short or long run, the world is done with the fake war on terror, the expanded version of the war on drugs.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by whig on November 06, 2007 at 09:26:42 PT
Cannabis' closest living relative is actually hops. Strawberries are members of the same family with cannabis and hops and roses.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by afterburner on November 06, 2007 at 07:40:37 PT
Partially OT: Oh to Stumble Upon a Field of Dreams
CN NS: OPED: Oh, to Stumble Upon a Field of Dreams ..., Truro Daily News, (03 Nov 2007)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Mike on November 06, 2007 at 07:21:38 PT
Enter the War on Sea Urchins elsewhere I read this (searching for the missing link) -Eventually scientists will be able to insert the THC producing genes into many other plants, beginning with cannabis' closest genetic relative, the strawberry. Imagine the possibilities!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 06, 2007 at 07:09:03 PT
You have such a kind spirit about you. The winds are gusting here and we are maybe going to get snow flurries soon.Don't get blown away! LOL!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 06, 2007 at 07:01:55 PT:
Way to go Denver
Year after year Denver and Colorado have proved to be one of the biggest battle grounds for marijuana reform in the U.S. I applaud their constant effort to end this war. I'm pretty sure once again they will be successful.If all goes as planned, next november Michigan could be the 13th State to legalize the medical use of our beloved plant. These next two weeks are very critical for MCCC. Today should be a good day for signature gathering as we already know where all the registered voters will be (at the polls of course). I hope the weather holds up though. The high temp here in Michigan is only going to reach 40 today with winds gusting 50 miles per hour at times. Not a good day to have my cardboard standup medical cannabis sign next to me huh :P Old man winter is definitely knockin' on the door.Well good luck to all those marijuana initiatives out there.Hopefully you have some good news to post tomorrow FOM :)Hope everyone has a wonderful day. And let nothing but love and positive energy pass through your protective bubbles on this election day.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by potpal on November 06, 2007 at 06:50:02 PT
police and pot
Maybe if every cop was made to sit down and smoke a fattie, at least the ones that haven't already,...retell some of their cocktail hour jokes and laugh like it was the first time they heard them, they'd have a better perspective on the matter. Smoking pot is OK, OKer more than drinking alcohol or smoking fags. Get over it. It's an herb. Go after the bad guys, stop wasting our resources hassling decent people who enjoy cannabis.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment