Lafayette Pot Penalty Increase Goes Up in Smoke

June 4 2007, 10:24 AM

Remember a few months ago when the Lafayette City Council was considering a proposal to drastically increase fines for personal marijuana use? The Boulder Daily Camera reports the ordinance has gone up in smoke -- for now.

In February, the City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would repeal Lafayette's $100 fine for cannabis possession and increase the possible penalty to a maximum $1,000 fine and a year in jail. Controversy followed, with a backup municipal judge resigning over the matter and protests from the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.....A discussion on the matter that the council had scheduled for April was postponed, and city officials now say the matter is on the back burner indefinitely.

City officials say they don't want to have to invest the time in reading and responding to the flood of phone calls and e-mails they would receive over the bill. Nor do they want to hold extensive hearings. Why can't they just admit it was a stupid proposal that would be opposed by just about everyone. As City Councilman David Strungis says, the punishment should fit the crime.

"The fact that someone could spend up to a year in jail or pay a $1,000 fine for something that's a misdemeanor seems too far away from the crime for me."

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