COLORADO: At a Colorado Democratic caucus a few years ago, Scott Martinez hoisted his 4-year-old son onto his shoulders, stepped up to the microphone and spoke out in the party’s debate over the legalization of weed. He was staunchly against it, and as the debate grew hotter, his opponents accused him of using his kid as a prop to sway their vote. They were right, he admitted.
And he didn’t win. Soon enough, in fact, he would have to explain to his son that daddy’s new job would mean being the boss of the very same law they had tried to snuff out.
Welcome to the Mile High City, where the responsibility for rolling out legalized marijuana falls squarely on Martinez’s shoulders. Though just 36, he’s Denver’s city attorney — one of the youngest in the country — and was appointed to that position by the mayor. That means he’s lead counsel for all elected city officials and departments, including 11,000 employees, as well as chief counsel for Denver International Airport. All sorts of cases come across his desk, from those involving police brutality to racial discrimination and even inmate deaths. But one of his primary jobs these days is, well, pot management.