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  1. chillinwill
    On Tuesday, Breckenridge, Colorado could become the latest American city to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults.

    The legalization measure, placed on the ballot after campaigners turned in a petition with almost three-times the number of signatures required, would also permit adults to posses bongs, pipes, bubblers and other so-called marijuana paraphernalia.

    Allowing paraphernalia would be a first for U.S. voters, according to Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken, who spoke with the Associated Press. "I don't think there's anywhere else in the country that has legalized paraphernalia," he said.

    In Colorado, the current penalty for being caught with marijuana paraphernalia is $100.

    According to Colorado's Summit Daily News, the Breckenridge petition needed 500 signatures, but over 1,400 were collected. If the measure passes, the town will remove all penalties for adults found in possession of up to one ounce.

    "It will not make it more available to minors, won't make it legal to smoke it on the street, won't get you out of trouble if you're stoned behind the wheel," the Daily News opined in an editorial supporting the measure. "What it says is that if you, as an adult, choose to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, you won't be busted for it. It's still a much more stringent law than those that apply to alcohol — a substance you can own as much as you want of and consume in public."

    The paper added: "Eventually, it seems these small possession busts will be a thing of the past state-wide, which makes us conclude some kind of 'nuisance pot smoke' ordinance needs to take their place — roughly analogous to public intoxication statutes."

    "'We don't want to spend our tax dollars prosecuting this, so we're saying, let's just stop it,' said Sean McAllister, a Breckenridge attorney who proposed the ordinance," according to ABC 7 News in Denver.

    The town's police chief has said he opposes the measure because it places Breckenridge at odds with state law. Should the town legalize marijuana, municipal police officers who choose to make an arrest would be required to transport their prisoners to the Summit County Sheriff's Department, AP noted.

    However, the measure would not truly pose much of an inconvenience for officers, as the county's sheriff is located mere moments away from the town's police department.

    The odds that this measure will pass appear to be quite strong. While an effort to legalize marijuana state-wide failed during the 2006 elections, Breckenridge voters supported it by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, ABC noted.

    Breckenridge, a famous winter get-away for skiing enthusiasts, has roughly 3,300 registered voters.

    By Stephen C. Webster
    October 31, 2009
    The Raw Story
    http://rawstory.com/2009/10/breckenridge-colorado-voters-legalize-pot-paraphernalia/

Comments

  1. YeaXTC
    Great article, swim is very so hoping this does pass as he lives in Colorado, and with the passing in Breckenridge, maybe it will spread like wildfire to surrounding cities and finally throughout Colorado. Ahh, swim looks forward to the day he can go to the market, and pick up a G of some nice weed (or a pack of cigga-weed!) Heh, one day soon here, he hopes!!:D
  2. chillinwill
    Colorado Ski Town Could Push Marijuana Legalization

    Voters in this Rocky Mountain resort town will decide next week whether to legalize pot for all adults at a time when the movement to allow medical marijuana is gaining steam around the country
    .

    A measure before Breckenridge voters in Tuesday's municipal election would legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana along with bongs, pipes and other pot paraphernalia. Supporters of the measure say it would inch the whole state closer to full legalization.

    Other cities around the country have taken similar action in recent years, including a measure in Denver that decriminalized possession.

    Local ordinances to allow some recreational marijuana use have passed in Seattle, San Francisco and other cities, though in all those places the law is considered symbolic because it conflicts with state and federal laws. Alaska allows possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana in one's home, and advocates in California want to ask voters in next year's election to legalize pot.

    Advocates say the Breckenridge proposal goes further than others because it allows paraphernalia as well. "I don't think there's anywhere else in the country that has legalized paraphernalia," said Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project.

    As in most states, drug paraphernalia possession in Colorado is considered a petty offense. Though "head shops" selling bongs and pipes are common in Colorado, the wares are ostensibly for smoking tobacco. Paraphernalia charges are usually only filed along with possession charges. Both are misdemeanors punishable by a $100 fine and court fees.

    The penalties aren't serious, but about 100 people a year in Breckenridge are cited for possession of either marijuana or paraphernalia, often both. Supporters of the effort say it's not right to leave small-time pot smokers with a criminal record.

    "We don't want to spend our tax dollars prosecuting this, so we're saying, let's just stop it," said Sean McAllister, a Breckenridge attorney who proposed the ordinance. Supporters include a member of the town council and the Summit Daily News, which printed an editorial backing the idea.

    Its prospects are strong. In 2006, a statewide ballot measure to make marijuana possession legal failed 59 percent to 41 percent. But among Breckenridge voters it won almost 3-to-1.

    McAllister's attempt to put the legalization measure on ballots needed 495 signatures. He collected more than 1,500.

    Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman has opposed the idea, saying the measure just sets up a conflict between town and state law. Pot possession would still be a state crime, but Breckenridge police officers would have to take users to the Summit County Sheriff's Department to be cited if the measure passes.

    Critics also point out that Colorado already allows marijuana for medicinal use - though debate rages because pot shops aren't regulated by the state and are proliferating.

    More than 10,000 people in Colorado are cleared to use medical marijuana, and more than 100 dispensaries have opened.

    This week, Summit County imposed a 120-day moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas so it can figure out how to regulate them. Six other Colorado counties and towns are considering or have moratoriums for that reason.

    The debate is playing out around the country as states struggle to figure out how to regulate and enforce medical marijuana laws. The federal government complicated matters earlier this month when the Justice Department told federal prosecutors that targeting medical marijuana users who comply with state laws was not a good use of their time.

    Several Breckenridge residents heartily backed the local marijuana effort.

    "People think it's a waste of time for the police to be prosecuting these people," said Elisabeth Lawrence, 30. Smoking pot, she said, is "not the worst thing in the world to be doing."

    Nancy Skaj, a clerk at a Breckenridge grocery store, said the measure could be a boon for ski tourists who don't have clearance for medical marijuana. "With all the injuries people get skiing up here, instead of popping pills, they should just be doing this. It's a lot more natural," she said.

    Backers have one main worry - the measure's timing.

    Turnout for off-year municipal elections is often extremely light among Breckenridge's 3,300 or so voters. Election Day falls during the quiet weeks before the ski business picks up.

    McAllister, who has two interns waving signs and passing out flyers in support of the measure, says he's confident the effort will send at least a message about what he calls the public's changing attitude toward marijuana.

    "Prohibition ended by localities and states saying they didn't want it anymore. And that's exactly how marijuana prohibition is going to end - - from the ground up," he said.

    Kristen Wyatt
    October 30, 2009
    Ledger-Enquirer
    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/photos/story/891660.html
  3. Milk man
    Swim has read lots of news articles about people getting possession citations at ski towns in colorado like Breckridge and Arapahoe Basin.

    Woah, 1,400 signatures collected and Breckridge has 3,300 voters. Nice :-D
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    Colorado ski town legalizes pot

    DENVER — The Colorado ski town of Breckenridge has voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana.

    Early returns Tuesday night showed the proposal winning with 72 percent of the vote. The measure would allow adults over 21 to have up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

    The measure is largely symbolic because pot possession remains a state crime for people without medical clearance. But supporters said they wanted to send a message to local law enforcement to stop busting small-time pot smokers.

    The vote comes as communities nationwide are struggling with how to enforce pot laws at a time when medical marijuana has surged in popularity.


    Associated Press (AP)

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h6W7KC63V4xxIsSnUT7zLcWc6upwD9BOGD0O0
  5. chillinwill
    Breckenridge Colorado Voters Legalize Marijuana and Paraphernalia

    Voters in the ski resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado legalized marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia by a nearly three-to-one margin on Tuesday.
    [IMGL="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=11410&stc=1&d=1257362842[/IMGL]
    It is the first municipality in the United States to allow paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs and bubblers.

    "[The measure] passed 73 percent to 27 percent," ABC 7 News in Denver reported.

    "'This votes demonstrates that Breckenridge citizens overwhelmingly believe that adults should not be punished for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol,' said Sean McAllister, a Breckenridge attorney who proposed the ordinance," ABC continued.

    "Possession remains illegal under state law, but Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman said his department will 'still have the ability to exercise discretion,'" Colorado's Summit Daily News added.
    Story continues below...

    “It's never been something that we've spent a lot of time on, so I don't expect this to be a big change in how we really do business,” he said, according to the Daily News.

    "It will not make it more available to minors, won't make it legal to smoke it on the street, won't get you out of trouble if you're stoned behind the wheel," the Daily News opined in an editorial supporting the measure. "What it says is that if you, as an adult, choose to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, you won't be busted for it. It's still a much more stringent law than those that apply to alcohol — a substance you can own as much as you want of and consume in public."

    The paper added: "Eventually, it seems these small possession busts will be a thing of the past state-wide, which makes us conclude some kind of 'nuisance pot smoke' ordinance needs to take their place — roughly analogous to public intoxication statutes."

    In Breckenridge, which has about 3,300 registered voters, passage of the measure is not a surprise. While an effort to legalize marijuana state-wide failed during the 2006 elections, Breckenridge voters supported it by a margin of nearly 3-to-1. Additionally, the petition to levy a ballot measure that would legalize marijuana needed just under 500 signatures, but organizers collected over 1,400.

    By Stephen C. Webster
    November 3, 2009
    The Raw Story
    http://rawstory.com/2009/11/breckenridge-colorado-voters-legalize-marijuana-paraphernalia/
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