Health Committee’s Recommendations To Decriminalize Marijuana Scrapped After Political Backlash

Controversial proposals made by a state health-planning group to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and create needle-exchange programs as ways to “reduce costs associated with criminality and transmittable diseases associated with illicit drug use” have been abandoned because of the threat of political fallout.

The two recommendations were included in a report released by the Denver Human Services Planning Committee, a 32-member organization formed by the 1994 legislature to help improve the delivery of health services in Colorado.

The proposals came under fire in recent weeks after a news feature in the Rocky Mountain Times outlining the proposals incited a wave of controversy. Consequently, the committee voted to abrogate the recommendations late last month.

“We decided … that this is not worth the controversy,” said committee member Phil Hernandez.