Denver Voters Approve Pot ‘Deprioritization’ Measure

Denver, CO: For the second time in three years, Denver voters have approved a municipal ordinance liberalizing local marijuana laws.

On Tuesday, 57 percent of Denver voters approved Question 100, which directs the Denver Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office to make activities related to the investigation, citation, and/or arrest of adult cannabis users their lowest law enforcement priority. The measure also appoints an eleven-member “Marijuana Policy Review Panel” to monitor all local police activity pertaining to cannabis law enforcement.

The initiative’s proponents, Citizens for a Safer Denver, proposed the measure after local law enforcement failed to abide by a 2005 voter initiative that sought to abolish civil and criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by citizens age 21 and older. Despite passage of the initiative, non-felony pot arrests rose from fewer than 2,200 in 2005 to approximately 2,500 in 2006.

Passage of the latest initiative “should change things in Denver,” SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert said. “If the city carries on with marijuana arrests, they are going to be breaking the law.”

Also on Tuesday, voters in Hailey, Idaho approved a similar ‘deprioritization’ ordinance. Hailey voters also endorsed two additional ballot questions authorizing the legal use of medical marijuana and industrial hemp. Details regarding the implementation of all three measures will be determined by a community oversight committee.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or visit: