Denver setting up panel to review marijuana cases
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DENVER — An 11-member review panel will be set up to monitor marijuana possession cases under a ballot measure approved by city voters.
Initiated Question 100 passed with 57 percent support on Tuesday. It directs law enforcement to make marijuana possession the “lowest law enforcement priority”.
The measure requires that the panel meet quarterly and report on marijuana arrests and prosecutions. Mayor John Hickenlooper has said he will comply with the measure but hasn’t decided who will be appointed.
The group must include a member of the City Council and a representative each from the police department and the city attorney’s office. Criminal defense lawyers and residents must also serve on the panel.
The initiative was backed by Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, which sponsored a 2005 ballot proposal legalizing possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for adults over 21. Denver voters passed that too but the move failed to blunt arrests because authorities continued to enforce state laws against possession.