Marijuana and Cannabis News

Tiny Idaho Town Makes Marijuana Lowest Police Priority
By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Legislation, News
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 10:36 am
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Photo: city-data.com
Tiny Hailey, Idaho is Mayberry -- plus marijuana
​Could it be the Mayberry of marijuana? 
Pot smokers and civil libertarians won a victory in a small Idaho town Monday when the mayor announced that cannabis use on private property was officially the lowest police priority.

"This has not been easy, but I think that we have come up with something that works for those on both sides of this issue," said Hailey Mayor Rick Davis at a City Council meeting, reports Tony Evans of the Idaho Mountain Express.

"This means that Hailey police will not go out and actively look for people smoking pot on private property -- but they never have," Mayor Davis said afterward.

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Photo: Idaho Green Expo
Mayor Rick Davis: "Hailey police will not go out and actively look for people smoking pot on private property, but they never have"
​"The Hailey Police Department shall investigate and enforce misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses committed by adults on private property as the lowest police priority in the city of Hailey," the municipal code now reads.

But if a cop "has knowledge" of any other type of lawbreaking occurring on private property, he or she is entitled to enforce the marijuana laws there as well.

The policy does not affect public use of marijuana, pot use by minors, or getting high while driving.

Hailey's Marijuana Oversight Committee was formed last year after three controversial cannabis-related initiatives were passed -- twice -- by Hailey voters.

The initiatives proposed allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes; legalizing industrial hemp; and making enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest police priority.

Large portions of all three voter-approved ordinances were "redacted" by marijuana-hating Fifth District Judge Robert Elgee, who felt he "knew better" than the voters, thus rendering the ordinances ineffective.

But the oversight committee was formed to get information and make recommendations to the City Council on how Hailey should handle marijuana policy.

Other cities -- such as SeattleSan FranciscoOakland and Santa Barbara -- have passed lowest law enforcement priority initiatives for marijuana in the past few years, but most of those have been much larger than Hailey, which had a population of 6,200 in the 2000 census.

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