ROBERT ALLEN and CODY OLIVAS
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Breckenridge, Colorado

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July 26, 2009
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Breckenridge marijuana petition likely headed to ballot

BRECKENRIDGE - Breckenridge voters may decide in November whether to decriminalize marijuana after a successful petition for the initiative was certified Friday.

Reform group Sensible Breckenridge needed 500 signatures for the petition, and nearly 700 were accepted out of about 1,400.

"Obviously it's very satisfying to have large numbers of Breckenridge residents asking the town to change this law," said Breckenridge attorney Sean McAllister, chairman of Sensible Breckenridge.

Following the petition's certification, Breckenridge Town Council has an opportunity to enact the law at its Aug. 11 meeting, or the decision will go to the voters on a Nov. 3 ballot.

The initiative proposes decriminalization of less than one ounce of marijuana for adults over 21.

If approved, the legislation would still contradict state and federal laws - and enforcement would be at the discretion of Breckenridge Police Department, according to a previous report.

Summit County Sheriff's Office would not be affected.

"The opportunity Breckenridge voters will have in the fall is to tell their elected officials and state of Colorado they believe marijuana is safer than alcohol and that it should be treated the same," McAllister said.

Town Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said that regardless of how people feel about the issue, "I'm encouraged that young people are so committed to a political cause."

"The (Sensible Breckenridge) people really kind of displayed their commitment and certainly their work ethic because they really hit the streets and got the signatures," he said.

The reform group plans to campaign in the fall, possibly suggesting a public forum on the issue and having volunteers go door-to-door.

In 2006, 72 percent of Breckenridge voters supported the unsuccessful Amendment 44, which had language similar to the Breckenridge initiative but applied to the entire state.


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The Summit Daily Updated Jul 27, 2009 03:25PM Published Jul 26, 2009 06:12PM Copyright 2009 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.