We recently discussed Colorado's Amendment 64, which proposed legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for people aged 21 or older. After its passage last week, lawmakers and enforcement agencies across the state and the nation are considering how to respond and Boulder County has taken one of the first steps.

Earlier this week, Boulder County's District Attorney Stan Garnett announced that his office will dismiss all pending criminal cases of possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. He is the first district attorney in the state to drop marijuana cases in light of Amendment 64's passage.

According to Garnett, the strong support for Amendment 64 means that it would be unlikely for juries to hand out guilty verdicts in small-scale possession cases. In the county, Amendment 64 passed by a margin greater than 2 to1.

Additionally, marijuana paraphernalia charges will also be dropped if it is clear that the items were only meant for marijuana use.

After his announcement, law enforcement agencies in the county will also stop issuing citations for possession of an ounce or less. This simply codifies their unofficial practice of not citing for those offenses after passage.

Amendment 64 will decriminalize several current drug offenses in Colorado but there are still lots of issues to be worked out regarding enforcement, current cases and conflicts between state and federal law. If you have been accused of a criminal offense involving marijuana or another controlled substance, it is essential to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and help you navigate complex state and federal drug laws.

Source: The Daily Camera, "Boulder DA dismissing small-scale marijuana possession cases in light of Amendment 64," Mitchell Byars, Oct. 14, 2012