It’s possible that come November, there will be no such thing as an arrest for recreational use of marijuana in Colorado Springs - or anywhere else in the state.
Colorado Springs drug defense lawyers are watching closely the ballot initiative, which voters are set to choose at the same time they choose their President.
Voters have already approved the use and sale of medicinal marijuana for patients who have a valid doctor prescription.
It’s been a little tricky, however, because of the issues regarding marijuana DUI, as well as the fact that both possession and use are illegal under federal law. While President Barack Obama has pledged not to interfere with marijuana dispensaries and clinics in states where medicinal use is approved, he hasn’t kept to that pledge (particularly in California) and has said publicly he doesn’t expect federal law will allow for medicinal or recreational use anytime soon.
So while Amendment 64 won’t entirely eliminate your legal issues if you’re caught with marijuana, its passage could mean that if your use is discrete – and you stay off the roadways – you’ll have a decent chance of avoiding criminal charges.
Specifically, the amendment would make it legal to possess up to one ounce of pot if you are at least 21 years of age or older. Additionally, it would allow individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. Only state-regulated stores would actually be allowed to sell the drug, but even then, local municipalities would have the option to ban those businesses.
For many years, proponents of marijuana legalization have argued that it is actually much safer than alcohol. The idea is that state-regulated sale of the drug will reduce the likelihood of underground markets reaping profit from its sale, as well as keeping it out of the hands of younger people.
As of right now, nearly 90,000 Coloradoans have medical marijuana cards.
Proponents of the amendment say that banning alcohol or failing to regulate it properly is bound to fail – the same way it did with alcohol during the Prohibition in the 1920s.
Taxpayer time and money, they say, could be much better spent.