Pot Proponents Want To Bargain With Denver Government

Supporters of an initiative to make adult possession of marijuana the “lowest law enforcement priority” in the Mile High City say they’re willing to bargain with members of the Denver City Council and the Mayor.

Instead of putting the issue up for a vote–the course the measure is likely headed for now–proponents are willing to withdraw it as long as Denver officials put a stop to marijuana possession citations during the Democratic National Convention in 2008. But that’s not all.The campaign behind the initiative, Citizens for a Safer Denver, is also requesting that city representatives take a stand and examine their positions on marijuana.

From the press statement released today.

Citizens for a Safer Denver will withdraw the latest marijuana initiative from the ballot if the Denver City Council and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper agree to the following conditions:

1. The Denver City Council and Mayor shall formally recognize that adult marijuana use poses less harm to the user and to other Denver residents than adult alcohol use.

2. The Denver City Council and Mayor shall commit to exploring what marijuana policies the City can implement that reflect the fact that adult marijuana use poses less harm to the user and to the City than adult alcohol use.

3. The Denver City Council and Mayor shall enact a moratorium on citations for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older during the Democratic National Convention in August 2008.

If that city chooses not to abide by such terms, then it’s business as usual. Voters will presumably go on to decide the fate of the proposal in the next local election.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.