Breckenridge, Colorado voters legalize marijuana, paraphernalia
Voters in the ski resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado legalized marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia by a nearly three-to-one margin on Tuesday.
It is the first municipality in the United States to allow paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs and bubblers.
“[The measure] passed 73 percent to 27 percent,” ABC 7 News in Denver reported.
“‘This votes demonstrates that Breckenridge citizens overwhelmingly believe that adults should not be punished for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol,’ said Sean McAllister, a Breckenridge attorney who proposed the ordinance,” ABC continued.
“Possession remains illegal under state law, but Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman said his department will ‘still have the ability to exercise discretion,'” Colorado’s Summit Daily News added.
“It’s never been something that we’ve spent a lot of time on, so I don’t expect this to be a big change in how we really do business,” he said, according to the Daily News.
“It will not make it more available to minors, won’t make it legal to smoke it on the street, won’t get you out of trouble if you’re stoned behind the wheel,” the Daily News opined in an editorial supporting the measure. “What it says is that if you, as an adult, choose to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, you won’t be busted for it. It’s still a much more stringent law than those that apply to alcohol — a substance you can own as much as you want of and consume in public.”
The paper added: “Eventually, it seems these small possession busts will be a thing of the past state-wide, which makes us conclude some kind of ‘nuisance pot smoke’ ordinance needs to take their place — roughly analogous to public intoxication statutes.”
In Breckenridge, which has about 3,300 registered voters, passage of the measure is not a surprise. While an effort to legalize marijuana state-wide failed during the 2006 elections, Breckenridge voters supported it by a margin of nearly 3-to-1. Additionally, the petition to levy a ballot measure that would legalize marijuana needed just under 500 signatures, but organizers collected over 1,400.