Residents of the Town of Nederland voted to legalize marijuana yesterday.
The measure removes all criminal penalties in Nederland municipal code related to marijuana, its concentrates and paraphernalia for anyone who is at least 21 years old.
Voters in Breckenridge passed a similar measure last year.
“Turnout was high,” Town Clerk Christi Icenogle quipped when contacted by Boulder Weekly.
The vote was 259 in favor, 218 against.
The town’s Board of Trustees voted to put the measure on the ballot on Feb. 2, after citizens circulated a petition and gained enough signatures to submit the matter to the board. The board opted to send the issue to the voters instead of adopting an ordinance.
Town Administrator Jim Stevens told Boulder Weekly in February that while approval of the measure could send a message, it may actually “cost people more money,” because the municipal fine for marijuana possession is smaller than the state fine.
According to Stevens, the town’s law fines violators up to $100 for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, while the state law, which remains in effect even though the measure passed, calls for a fine of up to $500. Town police will still enforce the state law, even if the municipal one is changed, he says.
“Now, instead of going to court here in town, [violators] would go to Boulder [to District Court],” Stevens says. “The whole idea is for publicity, because Breckenridge did it. … Well, maybe we should do it, but it’s not going to help anybody. It makes a statement, but at some point, maybe reality will set in.”