Making it official
Though City Council's first chance to vote on new laws created in response to Amendment 64 will have happened after our print deadline, the changes looked likely as of the body's informal meeting on Monday.
The new statutes would do three things. First, they would prohibit consuming or displaying marijuana "in or upon any street, alley, avenue, or park, or upon any public stairway or hall, or in any other public place within the City." Secondly, they'd prohibit all of the above inside a vehicle. Third, they would clarify the existing ordinance to ensure that possession by anyone under 21, or possession of more than an ounce by anyone who's not a medical-marijuana patient, is illegal.
MMJ patients are guaranteed at least two ounces; local defense attorney Clifton Black even says he believes stacking it all, for a total of three, would be legal.
The laws were originally scheduled to be looked at a few weeks ago, but staff pulled them at the last minute so that they could review it all with the mayor. If a reading took place Tuesday, it would be followed by a second and final reading, likely March 26.
Additionally, City Attorney Chris Melcher says the city in mid-May will likely take up the debate on whether to opt out of recreational-marijuana stores. The ban, if implemented, would not affect individuals' personal right to possess pot.
Behind the scenes
The Colorado Springs Police Department has released more information on what led to the arrest of the men running free-marijuana-for-donations company Billygoatgreen MMJ, an outfit we first wrote about on Jan. 30, and has since drawn national attention. In a report composed by Sgt. Mickey Finn, police say they first called the company to secure 1.5 ounces of marijuana — half an ounce over the legal transfer limit. "Two suspects subsequently met with two undercover detectives at a pre-arranged location, and during the narcotics transaction, one suspect was observed passing a handgun to the other suspect in clear view of the detectives."
Then came a second call days later, where "two ounces of marijuana was requested, and again specific costs were quoted by BillyGoatGreen for quantity and strains requested, again indicating remuneration for services was required rather than donation," writes Finn. "... Following the transaction, the first suspect was taken into custody and he was found in possession of a handgun. The second and third suspects were subsequently contacted and detained following a traffic stop."
The three arrested were Shilo Campbell, Daniel Conticchio and owner/operator Pritchard Garrett. The 4th Judicial District Attorney's office says charges against Conticchio were dismissed; it declined to say why. Garrett's scheduled for court on March 14, and Campbell on March 21.