Boulder DA dismissing small-scale marijuana possession cases in light of Amendment 64
Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 14th 2012 by THCFinder
District Attorney Stan Garnett today announced that his office will dismiss all pending cases of marijuana possession under one ounce, saying the overwhelming support for Amendment 64 in Boulder County would make 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.
Garnett said his office will also not prosecute any marijuana paraphernalia charges in light of Amendment 64 passing statewide earlier this month. Amendment 64 will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in Colorado for those over the age of 21.
"It was an ethical decision," Garnett said. "The standard for beginning or continuing criminal prosecution is whether a prosecutor has reasonable belief 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."
While Amendment 64 will not go into effect until 30 days after the vote is approved -- most likely sometime in January -- Garnett said the voting numbers for Boulder County convinced him to begin dropping the cases now.
Gregoire asks Justice Department about marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, November, 14th 2012 by THCFinder
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has met with James Cole, deputy U.S. attorney general, to discuss the decriminalization of marijuana under Initiative 502. The initiative was passed by voters Nov. 6, and is to be certified Dec. 6 and go into effect Dec. 9. On its face the decriminalization here and in Colorado conflicts with federal law, specifically the posting of marijuana under Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
Gregoire, a former state attorney general, has been a cautious supporter of marijuana liberalization. She was for medical marijuana, but she vetoed much of the medical marijuana bill of 2011, sponsored by Sen Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, out of worry that federal agents would arrest state employees. In 2011 she petitioned the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify cannabis as a Schedule II drug, which would allow doctors to prescribe it as medicine and pharmacists to sell it.
She didn’t support 502 but the voters did, and she has a duty to go to bat for them. And she has.
Her spokesman, Cory Curtis, said she told Cole the state of Washington is going ahead with Initiative 502, first working with Washington State Patrol on enforcement of the driving under the influence law, for which 502 set a new standard. That is the smaller effort; the big one is the work by the Washington State Liquor Control Board to decide how to license and regulate cannabis growers, processors and retailers. This is to be done by December 2013 and is estimated to cost the state $17 million.
Her question was the attitude of the Justice Department toward all this. “There was nothing definitive from them,” Curtis said.
He said Gregoire told Cole she hoped the federal government would come up with some decision on state marijuana legalization sooner rather than later, before the state of Washington spent the full year, and the $17 million.
One of the things the federal government could do is act on her petition to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. But to satisfy Initiative 502, the rescheduling would have to be much more thorough than merely to post it under Schedule II, which includes such drugs as cocaine, opium, methadone, oxycodone, morphine and dexedrine. Under Initiative 502, which turns cannabis into an over-the-counter commercial product available to anyone over 21, marijuana should probably be delisted entirely.
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