Breckenridge Marijuana Penalty Removal Initiative (2009)
Initiated by Sensible Breckenridge, a local reform group, the measure called for the removal of local penalties of private marijuana possession of up to one ounce. The penalties, which includes a $100 fine, would be removed for residents who are 21 and older. After submitting three times more than the required 500 petition signatures, the town clerk verified the validity of each one by July 27, 2009.
Members of the group claimed that criminalizing a substance that is "less intoxicating, less addictive and less dangerous" than that of alcohol is not sensible.
The measure was approved.
Although the legalization to carry marijuana passed in the town, state wide it is still illegal to be in possession of marijuana. Though many in the town see it is a step to the larger question of state wide legalization, others see it as a way to bring the wrong type of visitors to the resort town. It is still a family oriented ski resort and those that run the local businesses and hotels do not plan to change the way they operate, in many business owner's view nothing has really changed with the passing of this measure. The question of increased ski accidents was brought up as an argument against, but a local attorney who specialized in ski related accidents said alcohol is the major contributor to accidents and did not think this measure would change that.
- Glenwood Springs Post Independent, "Breckenridge marijuana petition scores nearly three times the amount of signatures required," July 16, 2009
- Summit County, "November 3, 2009 election results," accessed November 9, 2009
- Star Bulletin, "For marijuana, a move into the open in a ski town," November 16, 2009