In Response to Amendment 64, Boulder DA Dismisses Marijuana Cases

Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett

Even though last week the voters of Colorado overwhelmingly approved Amendment 64, it will be roughly a month before it is officially added to the state constitution and goes into effect. In the meantime adult marijuana possession is still technically a crime under state law. But already at least one district attorney is responding to the clear will of the electorate. In Boulder the DA is dismissing several pending minor marijuana cases. From the Boulder Daily Camera:

District Attorney Stan Garnett will dismiss all pending criminal cases of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, saying the overwhelming support for Amendment 64 in Boulder County makes it highly unlikely a jury would ever reach a guilty verdict in any of those cases.

“You’ve seen an end to mere possession cases in Boulder County under my office,” Garnett said Wednesday, becoming the first Colorado district attorney to drop pot cases because Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 earlier this month.

As a result of the announcement, police officials across Boulder County also stated they will no longer issue marijuana-possession citations in light of Amendment 64. The constitutional amendment will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in Colorado for those 21 or older.

Earlier this week a similar thing happened in Washington State, with two of the largest counties dismissing hundreds of pending marijuana cases as a result of the recently approved marijuana legalization initiative. Hopefully these actions will encourage other district attorneys in both states to follow suit. It is simply a waste of resources to prosecute individuals for something the electorate doesn’t think should be a crime and won’t be a crime by the beginning of next year.

Photo by Jeffrey Bealle under Creative Commons license.

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