Author Michael Roberts

Yesterday, proponents of Initiated Ordinance 300 declared victory for the measure,  which will create a pilot program to allow adults to consume cannabis in permitted private establishments such as bars and restaurants.

But Rachel O’Bryan, who served as campaign manager for Protect Denver’s Atmosphere, the main organization opposing 300, is much less enthusiastic about the proposal’s belated win, which was finally announced a full week after election day. Indeed, she predicts a slew of problems when it comes to implementing the ordinance.

Update: The Yes on 300 campaign is claiming victory for Denver’s social marijuana ordinance, even though all the votes still haven’t been counted a full week after the November 8 election.

Monday evening, the campaign received what it describes as a “near-final tally” on the measure, which will create a pilot program to allow adults to consume cannabis in permitted private establishments such as bars and restaurants. Denver Elections currently shows 53.01 percent, or 151,049 votes, in favor of Initiated Ordinance 300, with 46.99 percent, or 133,876, against.

The election of Donald Trump has raised concerns on a seemingly endless number of fronts. Note that the day after he defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, immigrant children were in tears at schools across Denver out of fear that their undocumented parents would be deported before the final bell of the day.

Also anxious are members of the marijuana industry, who worry that Trump’s personal antipathy toward cannabis could inspire him to try to shut down recreational marijuana businesses in Colorado and other states where they’re legal — a roster that grew substantially on election day.

In late August, the Denver Responsible Use Initiative, a proposal intended to create venues for the social consumption of cannabis in the Mile High City, fell short of qualifying for the November ballot. Afterward, attorney Judd Golden of Denver NORML, which backed the measure, told us the organization had not yet decided whether it would support a rival initiative, the Neighborhood Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program, should its ballot petition pass muster.

Shortly thereafter, the pilot program achieved ballot qualification — and the campaign for what is now known as Initiative 300 is in full swing on the eve of election day. But Denver NORML isn’t part of the Yes on 300 campaign’s final push.

In an interview with Westword published yesterday, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, who wrote a letter of support for an anti-marijuana legalization measure up for vote in California next week, said he believes legal pot has contributed to a crime increase in Colorado, including more homicides. But he acknowledged that data to prove it is hard to come by.

He’s right about that. However, an analysis of homicides in Denver circa 2016 provides more information. Our look at the 44 homicides that have taken place in the city so far this year (including a shocking twelve last month) shows four with a marijuana connection — one death fewer than the number of people killed by Denver police officers this year to date.

Earlier this week, we reported about a letter written by three state legislators in which they asked Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, an organization opposing a measure there that would legalize limited recreational marijuana sales, to stop airing a commercial filled with alleged falsehoods about Colorado’s cannabis experience. The dubious information was shared in the spot by two former Colorado officials, ex-governor Bill Owens and onetime Denver mayor Wellington Webb.

In that post, we also noted that outgoing Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey had sent a letter to the No on 64 Campaign and SAM Action, organizations fighting against a similar recreational-marijuana-legalization measure up for vote in Colorado; its name, Proposition 64, echoes Colorado’s Amendment 64, passed in 2012. In the missive, on view below in its entirety, Morrissey writes that crime has gone up in the state since Amendment 64’s passage and law enforcers are busier than ever trying to deal with the measure’s repercussions.

Update: Last month, we highlighted complaints about an Arizona campaign commercial opposing Proposition 205, a measure that would legalize limited recreational marijuana sales in that state; see our coverage below. The spot features two prominent former Colorado officials, ex-governor Bill Owens and onetime Denver mayor Wellington Webb, delivering claims that vacillate between misleading and completely untrue according to Colorado-based cannabis reformer and Proposition 205 advocate Mason Tvert.

Now, three Colorado officials currently in office — Senator Pat Steadman and representatives Jonathan Singer and Millie Hamner — are echoing Tvert’s complaints in a letter that calls on Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the organization behind the commercial, to stop airing the falsehoods immediately.

It’s the sort of story that inspires locals to use the phrase “Only in Boulder:” Tyler Mason has been fired as a deputy and is facing multiple charges for allegedly trying to smuggle marijuana edibles and chewing tobacco into Boulder County Jail, where he worked.

On September 23, according to a Boulder County Sheriff’s Office release, an inmate at the facility told another staffer that a fellow jailee had arranged with a deputy to obtain the edibles and chaw.

The booking photo for Keith Hammock.

Update: Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has now formally filed charges against Keith Hammock, the man accused of shooting two teens on October 9. The teens were allegedly trying to steal marijuana plants from Hammock’s back yard on High Street.

One of the teens died, while the other was severely wounded.

Hammock is facing two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder, and one count each of manufacture and cultivation of marijuana. The filing also alleges that Hammock wounded a seventeen-year-old in September 2015 in a similar shooting incident.

“Don’t repeat our terrible mistake.”

These words are delivered in extremely dour fashion by former Denver mayor Wellington Webb in a new commercial opposing Proposition 205, an Arizona measure to legalize limited recreational marijuana sales in that state. The proposition is clearly modeled on Colorado’s Amendment 64, passed here in 2012; it even uses the slogan “Regulate marijuana like alcohol.” And Webb isn’t the only Colorado political noteworthy to speak out against it in the Arizona ad. Also talking about marijuana legalization using ultra-negative terms is onetime Colorado governor Bill Owens, whose image is juxtaposed with the shot above of marijuana edibles made to look like typical candy bars, presumably in an attempt to lure unsuspecting children into taking a bite.