Marijuana: Activist to file complaint against DA who won't prosecute Amendment 64 backers?
Update, 4:20 p.m. November 19:In recent weeks, we've followed the progress of a complaint about Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, filed with the Boulder District Attorney's Office by Kathleen Chippi, a pro-pot activist who opposed the measure; see our previous coverage below. Now, the DA's office has responded to Chippi with a letter announcing that it will take no action against the proposal, which voters have now approved. See it below.
As we reported, Chippi, who unsuccessfully pushed her own marijuana-related ballot measure, Initiative 70, detailed her problems with A64 in a long document shared below. Here's the gist of her conclusion:
I request immediate and continual press releases explaining that the language in A64 does not legalize marijuana in Colorado to every media outlet they have been interviewed in to make up for the year of lying with truth -- that A64 decriminalizes possession of one ounce or less, and clarify that only if the property owner or employer allows marijuana possession, use or cultivation will residents not be harmed through loss of employment (with no unemployment check) or loss of housing. Voters also need clarification that the language in A64 does not repeal the majority of jail-able offenses (felonies) and leaves marijuana in the definitions of the state Controlled Substances Act, which makes all cannabis users subject to lose: employment, unemployment benefits, housing, school grants, government aid, child custody, fire arms and occupational licenses (of which DORA says 75% of workers in Colorado have) and their freedom. The voters also deserve an apology.Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett's response to Chippi's allegations is much more succinct. In a single page, he describes why "we do not believe that a criminal proceeding" against the backers of the act "is appropriate." Here's an excerpt:
Though I understand your disagreements with the statements made by the proponents of Amendment 64, those statements do not warrant criminal prosecution. Rather, your concerns are more akin to good faith policy differences about the legal impact of Amendment 64, competing policy considerations about the wisdom of State legalization while marijuana remains illegal under Federal law and the impact on Colorado's TABOR Amendment.Garnett, by the way, was the first major district attorney in Colorado to announce that his office would drop pot and paraphernalia cases for infractions that will be legal under Amendment 64. Since he did so, a number of his colleagues, including Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, have followed suit. However, DAs such as Weld County's Ken Buck, who offered his help to the campaign that fought the measure, have said they will wait to take action until the measure is signed into law, likely by the first week in January.
Here's Garnett's letter to Chippi, followed by our previous coverage.
Continue to read our previous coverage of activist Kathleen Chippi's complaints about Amendment 64.