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Colorado Libertarians Message Board › Direct action in Longmont - Help Needed

Direct action in Longmont - Help Needed

A former member
Post #: 32
Sorry if I'm off topic. I'm a newbie here. I tend to doubt what I'll talk about as off topic. Let's give it a try.

First off we should understand that the Colorado Constitution permits medical use as a human right. Permits are not required, but MMJ users go that route rather than tangle with law enforcement (who haven't been following the law). While several courts (Summit County being the first), have recognized MMJ as a right declared by the state constitution, most folks are still being persecuted. That's because marijuana is prohibited.

In 2005 there was a proposal before the Boulder city council to reduce the fine of minor possession to $5. The primary proponent (which had to be a resident of Boulder) dropped out of supporting this cause and it failed.
The idea behind the action was not to simply legalize in Boulder, but to make an example of what could be done by ballot in a small city.
Making the fine $5 didn't make MJ legal, but it would make it so costly to prosecute that law enforcement would find interest elsewhere.
Boulder may not have been the best choice for the proposal, as it is well known as a odd pocket of liberal activism. Look at any state map and see that Boulder is tiny compared to the rest of the state.

The five dollar idea came to me after re-reading the adventures of Marvin Marvin in Ann Arbor Michigan in the 1970's. The slogan of that movement was, "Five Dollars is Fine with Me." It passed on a city ballot. When I went to Ann Arbor looking at colleges, I found people smoking marijuana on a city bus. And no one cared.

In 2006 SAFER presented an idea which we all know as Amendment 44. The fine was not reduced, but the age was changed to only affect those under the age of 21. While the ballot issue failed state wide, it passed in some counties. In Boulder County the issue passed by 55.5%.
The proponents of Amendment 44 (SAFER) hired paid activists to circulate petitions. I personally find this reprehensible. If there is such an interest in legalizing, then why would SAFER need to hire people to do the work? The leaders of SAFER contend that Amendment 44 would have never made it to the ballot without paid petitioners.
I've been involved in a number of successful ballot issues and none of them employed petitioners. In fact, I can't recall anything but volunteer labor from top to bottom.

Roll forward to now.
I live in Longmont, where our police chief has been repeating himself for years. He says, "Marijuana will be legal by the end of the decade. My officers have better things to do with their time." In the fourteen years that I've lived here, the only people who get ticketed are doing something rather outrageous and attractive to the police. Something besides inhaling. In short (and unlike Boulder), the Longmont police and courts are not all that interested in marijuana.
Last fall the police chief told me about the three newly established MMJ dispensaries in town. He wanted me to know that they were being protected in the same way that any other business would be. A city planner reminded me that as MMJ classifies as medicine that the city could not tax its sales.
So, I am establishing the fact that Longmont has little interest in minor possession or MMJ.

Earlier this year I joined with several other legalization proponents (some of whom are not users of marijuana) to propose that Longmont take the next step closer to legalization.
We proposed the following: (more details at­)

  • Define Adults and Children
  • Reduce the minor possession fine to five dollars for Adults
  • Allow the court to fine Children up to $100 for all infractions
  • Remove all jail sentences
  • Reduce the public display fine to $25 for Adults
  • Insure that the charge(s) are Civil Infractions without possibility of criminal records

We declared that 18 years of age is an adult, which appears to have been well received. We also knew that parents would want to be assured that children were excluded from the change in city code (law). Public display (puffing in public) isn't all that desirable and creates a lot of havoc for police, who have little choice but to respond. We're taking small steps toward legalization. A giant leap will fail, and we know that.

There have been articles in the Denver Post, Boulder Camera, Longmont Times-Call, and the Boulder Weekly (currently on the stands). As well as an interview on 7News.
In the Boulder Weekly article, the chief of detectives of Longmont PD stated that the police would follow the law within the city. As his boss has said. Unlike Denver, who's police are using state law for prosecutions, Longmont's police have stated that they would not do that and would follow the proposed law if passed by the voters.
In all of the articles we tried to be clear that if this were to pass at a local level in one place, then it has a good chance to pass elsewhere - like your town.

Now we are at the crux of this message:
Free Marijuana in Longmont needs petition circulators. We are not going to pay anyone. If MJ users want to take this step then they'll do it because they want to.
To be a petitioner you only need to be a US citizen and at least 18 years old. You don't have to be from Longmont. However, the people who sign petitions must be registered to vote in Longmont. So the work has to be done here.

That's the bottom line. We need volunteers to help get this issue to the ballot. We have 21 days in which to collect the signatures and we are going to start this coming week.

If you're interested in this action, please visit our web site:­ or call 720-323-0570
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