Huffpost Denver

Boulder DA: No Charges Will Be Filed After Complaint Against Amendment 64 Campaign

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Betty Aldworth, center, a director of the Yes on 64 campaign responds to questions about the legalization of marijuana at a news conference at Civic Center Park in Denver on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Co-directors Brian Vicente, left, and Mason Tvert, right, listen. Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 on Tuesday legalizing marijuana in Colorado for recreational use. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) | AP

The Boulder County District Attorney's Office will not be filing criminal charges against the recently passed Amendment 64 campaign after an opponent of the measure filed a complaint in October.

Katlheen Chippi, a longtime marijuana activist from Nederland, filed the complaint on Oct. 15 alleging proponents of Amendment 64 -- which legalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in Colorado -- misrepresented the measure by saying it would treat marijuana "like alcohol."

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett sent a letter to Chippi Thursday stating his office would not be pursuing criminal charges against the campaign.

"My staff have carefully reviewed references to the Amendment in the media, statements made at hearings, the text of the Amendment, and voter materials with your concerns in mind," Garnett wrote. "We do not believe that a criminal proceeding is appropriate."

Garnett wrote that his office receives complaints against campaigns during every election, but that prosecution requires "factually false statements" be made. He said that charges against campaigns are rare.

"Differing interpretations of the legal significance of a proposed constitutional amendment are best resolved in free society through open and free debate and free elections," Garnett wrote. "One of the many benefits of our right to free speech under both the United States and the Colorado constitutions is that citizens are at liberty to vigorously debate the pros and cons of legislative matters, constitutional amendments and policy concerns. In all but the most egregious circumstances, they should be able to do so without the threat of criminal prosecution."

Chippi could not be reached for comment Monday morning. ___

(c)2012 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)

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