So, 2012 has rolled around and it's time for this Colorado Springs Criminal Defense and DUI Defense Attorney to clean out his in-box of the interesting stuff I never got around to writing about last year.
2011 was a big year for marijuana in Colorado, in both criminal and driving under the influence of drug (DUID) cases. A number of cops, DA's, "get tough on crime" legislators, and Department of Health folks pushed for a "legal limit" of THC to be set for blood. Actual scientists pushed back, rightfully claiming that the proposed limits could sweep up non-impaired, innocent drivers. The proposed legislation was tabled. Here's a good overview from the Denver Post.
Even though he wasn't driving stoned, this NASCAR driver found out that you can legally use marijuana and still be fired (or suspended) by your employers. The state will continue to push for limits in 2012 and the tension between medicinal pot use and employment policies isn't going to go away, so keep your eyes open. I believe, however, that the pendulum is swinging towards more expansive marijuana laws. And the reason is--not your civil rights. You guessed it. It's the other green stuff--MONEY.
The City of Colorado Springs was poised to take in an estimated $745,000 in application and licensing fees from pot shops last year. That doesn't even include sales tax. Question: Would you rather have a medicinally useful legal substance sold in a safe, regulated, tax generating establishment or by a bunch of thugs on a corner? That's what I thought.
In fact, in 2012, it looks like the pendulum will swing even closer towards complete legalization of marijuana possession with a recent poll indicating 49% of Coloradans support legalization, with only 40% opposing. See this Denver Post article. The legalization question looks headed to the ballot, and even the Colorado Attorney General thinks it will pass.
If you've read my blog before, you know how much I hate DUI checkpoints. They have minimal impact (the officers could be better utilized actually looking for erratic, unsafe driving) and are Constitutionally suspect. Well, the City of Colorado Springs agreed. I rarely agree with the Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board, but on the DUI Check point question, they got it right. After they printed this editorial, the outrage in the comments section caused the City to cease its participation in DUI Checkpoints. Don't get too giddy though, the State Patrol indicated they'll pick up where the city left off.
In more news, I've heard through the grapevine that the Colorado Legislature may be allowing common sense to enter into domestic violence prosecutions and give the cops, DAs and courts back some discretion to handle those situations on a case by case basis. I'll let you know if and when that becomes law.
Well, my e-mail is now empty. If you've been charged with a Colorado Springs DUI, Colorado Springs Criminal, or Colorado Springs Domestic Violence case, give me a call to see how to make the best of a bad situation.