Drug Policy

No Pot Arrests in Denver During the Convention?

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In 2005 Denver voters approved an initiative that repealed local penalties for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. But police ignored the initiative, continuing to arrest pot smokers for violating state law. In November voters approved another initiative, instructing city officials to make minor pot possession cases their "lowest law enforcement priority." Not surprisingly, it looks like police are ignoring the will of the people again. Yesterday drug policy reformer Mason Tvert, who led the campaigns for both initiatives, told a panel charged with implementing the new law that marijuana arrests in Denver, which totaled 1,600 last year, are on pace to hit 1,900 this year, without taking into account a surge that's likely to accompany the Democratic National Convention, which begins on Monday. "After the Democratic National Convention ends, there will be hundreds of marijuana cases all showing up at the same time," Tvert said. That's if police ignore a resolution, approved by the panel yesterday, urging them to refrain from arresting or citing pot smokers during the convention. According to A.P., "city officials say the resolution is not binding."