Aurora forgoes prosecuting small scale pot possession
POSTED: 11/26/2012 01:05:29 PM MST
UPDATED: 11/26/2012 01:36:27 PM MSTBy Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post
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Aurora police have decided they will no longer target people for small-scale marijuana offenses and will dismiss all pending prosecutions of such offenses, as municipalities all across Colorado continue to react to the passage of Amendment 64.
In a statement from Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, he notes that a "municipal prosecutor is not likely to be able to obtain convictions for activity which will become lawful as early as December, when the Governor certifies the election."
The measure is set to go into effect 30 days after votes are certified following the Nov. 6 election.
Still, in Arapahoe County — where much of Aurora is located — the 18th Judicial District is still prosecuting such offenses until the new law goes into effect.
"We have traffic, petty offenses, misdemeanor and felony marijuana-related cases. Our senior attorneys have been discussing the implications of Amendment 64, but we will not make any policy changes," Casimir Spencer, a spokeswoman for the office, said in a statement.
Spencer added that the 18th District, which is the largest district in Colorado, continues having ongoing conversations with multiple agencies in the district.
"We just want to get a complete overview of what agencies want prior to making a policy decision," Spencer said.
Amendment 64 passed with about 53 percent public support in Arapahoe County.
Meanwhile, in the 17th Judicial District, which includes Broomfield and Adams counties, officials are dealing with possession cases on a case-by-case basis.
Oates adds that in Aurora any of his officers who "encounter the scent of marijuana " are still considering it to be an indicator of potential criminal activity as it's still illegal to possess outside the Amendment 64 guidelines.
Two weeks ago, officials in Denver and Boulder announced they would no longer charge those over the age of 21 for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
Under Amendment 64 — which passed with more than 54 percent support statewide — adults can lawfully possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to at least six plants.
Kurtis Lee: 303-954-1655, firstname.lastname@example.org
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