Grand Junction moves to lessen punishment for marijuana possession by minors |

Grand Junction moves to lessen punishment for marijuana possession by minors

Caitlin Row

To maintain consistency in rules and regulations regarding marijuana consumption and possession by minors (under age 21), the City of Grand Junction is working on an ordinance that would change the criminal penalty from a misdemeanor to petty offense. A first reading of the ordinance was introduced and moved forward at the Wednesday, Aug. 7, regular city council meeting.

A second reading of the ordinance, with a public hearing, is scheduled for Aug. 21, City of GJ Spokeswoman Sam Rainguet said.

According to City of GJ City Council agenda documents, “In November 2012, the people of Colorado approved Amendment 64 to the State Constitution. The state legislator then reconsidered the statutes concerning the possession and use of marijuana and made changes concerning the criminal penalties. The penalty for a minor, a person under the age of 21 years, possessing and/or using marijuana was reduced to a petty offense from a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is a fine of $100. If the possession and/or use is displayed publicly then the penalty may include the maximum fine of $100 and 24 hours of community service. The proposed changes reflect these penalties.”

It is still against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, consume (unless it’s medical) or sell two ounces or less of marijuana.

City officials expect this change in regulation to reduce both administrative costs and fines collected for underage marijuana possession.

“This just makes our ordinance consistent with what the state has in effect,” Rainguet said.

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