Western Slope Law Enforcement Begins Directing Officers on How to Handle Amendment 64
With Amendment 64 becoming part of the Colorado Constitution in the first days of December 2012 Grand Junction police officers have been told to stop arresting those who are in compliance with the forthcoming law.
Friday November 9, 2012 the Grand Junction police were told to stop arresting and charging adults 21 or older for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana and up to six plants as soon allowed by law. Police administration and the city attorney fired that memo off to officers last Friday with the police chief speaking on the matter yesterday.
Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper said,
"Therefore and effective immediately it is the policy of the GJPD not to cite persons age 21 or older that possess and/or consume 1 ounce or less of marijuana and/or cultivate and possess 6 or less plants as allowed by the amendment. With a supervisor's approval GJPD officers may, in their discretion, write an offense report and forward the same to the U.S. Attorney. Although it is unlikely that the U.S. Attorney may change and/or prosecute federal marijuana offenses officers may submit the reports/requests for prosecution."
Police Chief Camper thinks Amendment 64 is a "crappy" law, but issued the directive to make the best use of officers time. Palisade Police Chief Mike Nordine has instructed his officers in a similar manner.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Department has not yet issued a directive to their deputies. Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said, "Whether we go earlier or later we're all going along with the intent of coming into compliance when the law becomes law." Mesa County D.A. Pete Hautzinger has said he will continue to prosecute marijuana possession cases "Until the law is officially changed."
The votes making Amendment 64 legal and part of the Colorado Constitution by the will of the people must be certified by the Colorado Secretary of State no later than December 6, 2012. Although December 3rd has been thrown out as a possible date for the election results to become official.