The news continues to be bad for Democrat incumbent Colorado Senator Mark Udall. While knowledge of his arrest for marijuana possession has long been in the public sphere, the few details offered by the embattled Senator have now been challenged by a look back at news reports from the incident.
As Senator Mark Udall tells it, he was just cruising around town back in the 70′s and got pulled over while having some pot on him. For this, again, as the Senator tells it, his father, Mo Udall, let him spend the night in the local jail.
Now, if this were the entire story it wouldn’t even make a ripple in the race for a senate seat in a state that just legalized the recreational use, and sale, of marijuana.
But then, the Senator’s tale isn’t the entire story. Colorado Peak Politics broke the news this afternoon:
Here’s the real story, as compiled by newspaper clips from 1973. Late on Saturday, February 17, 1973, Udall was driving a 1969 Datsun station wagon with Louisiana plates. He was pulled over. On the front seat, two highway patrolmen found three ounces of marijuana and (this is the part he left out) “dangerous drugs”, which were identified as amphetamines. The patrolmen seized Udall’s car for “transporting drugs”. He was charged with two felony drug counts. According to an article in the Arizona Daily Sun, “initial felony charges were reduced as requested by the County Attorney.”
The images that Peak Politics provides on its site of the original news articles of the arrest show that Senator Udall was in possession of 3 ounces of pot and a few amphetamine pills. Three ounces is a lot more weed than your average Colorado smoker would consume for personal use, and the cost would probably range between $1,000-$1,800 depending on the quality.
So it isn’t surprising that a young Mark Udall was initially charged with two felony counts. What is just as unsurprising is that the charges against Udall, whose father was Senator Mo Udall, were almost immediately reduced.
Senator Udall has claimed that his father had him spend the night in jail over this incident to teach him a lesson, but even that bit appears to be more fairy tale than fact.
Speaking of, what about his dad, Mo Udall “teaching him a lesson” by having him “spend a night in jail”? Well, that’s not true either. …read more