That in a brief statement today on Boulder County DA Stan Garnett’s Facebook page:
Amendment 64 passed in Boulder County, 66%-33%; accordingly, the 20th JD DA’s office will dismiss all pending possession of MJ less than an ounce, and MJ paraphenalia cases, for defendants over the age of 21. Cases of driving under the influence of MJ (or any other drug, including alcohol) remain a top priority.
It’s the first such move in Colorado, coming after a number of prosecutors in Washington state took similar action in the wake of that state’s passage of Initiative 502. In response to questions from John Schroyer of the Colorado Springs paper, Garnett says he’s not waiting:
Gazette John Schroyer: Does this mean you’re dismissing them starting now? Today? Or does “will dismiss” mean starting once Gov. Hickenlooper signs the amendment into the constitution?
Stan Garnett: Immediately, John. My senior staff and I have concluded that we have no reasonable likelihood of securing a unanimous jury verdict of guilty on such cases, which is the ethical standard that applies to commencing or maintaining a criminal prosecution in Colorado.
We expect Garnett’s action will not be the last, but it’s the first real action taken after passage of Amendment 64 we know of. Politically, it’s a bold move for Garnett to be the vanguard on this issue, but it could pay significant dividends. We recall Garnett’s run for Attorney General in 2010, and it’s a good bet he’ll endear himself to lots of statewide voters by being the first Colorado prosecutor to put Amendment 64 into practical effect–dropping marijuana possession charges on the grounds that convictions are no longer possible (or appropriate).
Perhaps it will incentivize Gov. John Hickenlooper to grow some spine of his own.