A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Denver voters decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana

[JURIST] Denver voters have approved a measure that makes it the first large American city to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The measure, which passed with 54 percent of the vote [official results], allows adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana without penalty. A handful of other cities, including Seattle and Oakland, have laws saying that marijuana possession is a "low priority" for police and a dozen states have already decriminalized the possession of small amounts, although fines can still be issued. Still Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper [official website], who opposed the measure, said police will continue to arrest and charge people for marijuana because state law still makes possession illegal and a city may only enforce stricter laws, not weaker ones. USA Today has more; the Rocky Mountain News has local coverage.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.