Breckenridge, Colorado, Legalizes Pot | Can They Do That?

Penalties for possession removed

No more doctors note needed in Breckenridge, Colorado.

No more doctor's note needed in Breckenridge, Colorado.

The federal government still states that possession of marijuana is illegal, as does the state of Colorado. However, in the city of Breckenridge, Colorado, people who possess less than an ounce of pot will not face any criminal or civil charges.

Yes, on election day 2009, Breckenridge, Colorado, voters made marijuana legal — to an extent. Basically, police who work for the City of Breckenridge can’t charge people with a crime for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana, though the police chief says they “still have the ability to exercise discretion.” Let’s pick this apart, shall we?

No state revenue

People often argue that pot should be legalized because it would bring in revenue through sales tax for states and perhaps provide some debt relief. However, Breckenridge, Colorado, has legalized only the possession of pot, not the sale of it. So the only people who benefit financially are still the dealers, who can still be busted if they’re found with more than an ounce.

Furthermore, anyone who gets caught by state police or federal agents can still be arrested for pot possession. So, really, the numerous publications that are saying the vote was “largely symbolic” are right on the money.

Do you have a doctor’s note?

Of course, medical marijuana is legal in the State of Colorado, and unfortunately for the voters of Breckenridge, Colorado, their symbolic vote might get the state some extra attention from the feds. In states such as California, where medical marijuana is illegal, federal agents are trying to shut down dispensaries.

This is, of course, because even medical marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Now that Breckenridge, Colorado, has established itself as a progressive player in the game of legalizing marijuana, the state might become more of a target for federal enforcement of pot laws. Then again, maybe they don’t care if a bunch of hippies in a ski town smoke a bowl. I guess we’ll see.

Other recent posts by bryanh