Last night, Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks succeeded in getting a majority of his colleagues to support a bill decriminalizing possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for those under age 21.
Brooks stresses that the measure shouldn’t be interpreted as a sanction for young people to smoke weed — a position with which anti-pot activists can be expected to take issue prior to next Monday’s final vote. In the meantime, though, one reformer is happily surprised at the passage.
“This is an issue they didn’t have to take up at this time, but they chose to anyway,” says marijuana attorney Warren Edson. “And it could have a positive effect on kids in this situation in the future, because it will minimize the impact on their lives due to a possession-of-marijuana charge.”
Brooks made a similar point in a statement shared on his Facebook page following the council meeting. “Tonight was an important night for leveling the playing field for youth in Denver, although it in no way makes it legal for them to possess or consume marijuana,” he wrote, adding, “It’s important that we work hard to create systems that allow for justice and reconciliation. Tonight’s vote made sure that youth aren’t forced to live into adulthood with the mistakes they made as youth.”
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