Denver mayor, 4 council members admit to pot use |

Denver mayor, 4 council members admit to pot use

DENVER ” Heading into a meeting to discuss whether marijuana should be the lowest priority for police, Mayor John Hickenlooper and four City Council told a newspaper they had smoked pot.

But the city leaders, who are debating whether to put the marijuana initiative before the voters, said their experiences have nothing to do with public policy.

The Denver Daily News surveyed the mayor and 13-member council on marijuana use and published the results Monday. Six members refused to answer. Three said no.

“I had a brownie once, there may have even been a bowl going with it,” Councilwoman Marcia Johnson told the newspaper. “I got a good taste and even a case of the giggles, but I voted against (the marijuana measure) because I’m thinking of the message to little children.”

Hickenlooper had previously admitted smoking marijuana.

“As I’ve already been open about in the past ” and as I assume many would expect ” I made personal choices when I was younger that I neither support nor condone for others and certainly wouldn’t encourage through public policy,” Hickenlooper said.

The other members who admitted to using marijuana were Rick Garcia, Carla Madison and Jeanne Robb.

In 2005, Denver residents passed an initiative making possession of small amounts of marijuana legal. Police said they would continue prosecuting people under state law, which marijuana proponents tried but failed to change through a vote last year.

Mason Tvert of Citizens for a Safer Denver, which is leading the marijuana decriminalization effort, said the group has enough petition signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that would direct police to make marijuana their lowest priority.

Denver’s charter requires the City Council to review initiative and either enact it or send it to voters, mayor spokeswoman Lindy Eichenbaum Lent said.

“Proceduraly they’re bound (obligated) to do it,” she said. “Sending it to voters doesn’t imply that they endorse it.”

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