Though we recently wrote about how one county intends to quit prosecuting a number of marijuana cases, not all counties in Colorado are on board with that idea. A prosecutor for Weld County, about 70 miles north of Denver, announced his intentions to continue prosecuting 120 individuals now facing charges for possession of relatively small amounts of marijuana.
Boulder and Denver counties have already announced plans to end the prosecution for low level drug possession cases involving marijuana. But the prosecuting attorney in Weld County was also apparently an outspoken opponent of Amendment 64 that allowed for legalization of possession of small amounts of the substance.
It is asserted that 90 of the 120 individuals charged would be facing other criminal charges as well. That may or may not be. However, many charged will likely be young adults and college students. Though some of the other criminal charges faced may involve assault, likely a number of these other criminal offenses are minor in nature.
Criminal defense attorneys will make certain that all of these matters are tried on a case by case basis. Often the argument will be that it is unfair that certain people be penalized more harshly than other individuals within the same state for essentially the same offense.
In light of an inconsistent policy across Colorado in the pursuit of these offenders, there is understandable concern. Obviously, the citizens of Colorado do not feel that possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a major offense as evidenced by the passing of Amendment 64.
Source: Huffington Post, “Ken Buck, Weld County DA, Will Not Stop Prosecuting Marijuana Possession Cases,” by Whitney Phillips, Nov. 30, 2012