Some on Denver City Council concerned about proposal regulating public marijuana use
DENVER — The Denver City Council introduced a new ordinance Monday to regulate the open consumption and possession of marijuana.
Just being able to see a person consume marijuana or even smell it in a public place could be illegal in Denver under the proposed ordinance. But some members of City Council expressed concern about the broad wording on first reading.
Some critics say it’s an attempt to nullify the passage of Amendment 64 in Denver. Getting the language right for the bill is apparently still a long way from happening.
The new rules would ban pot from all parks and the 16th Street Mall. It would also prohibit marijuana giveaways at city parks.
It’s a measure many believe is a direct violation of the Colorado State Constitution.
“I really had to wonder like who wrote this and what are they smoking over there?” said Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU.
“We are calling on the city council to drop this proposal immediately because we want this system to work,” said Mason Tvert, an Amendment 64 proponent.
Mayor Michael Hancock released a statement stating he believes this ordinance will help keep public space enjoyable.
Cori Dugan agrees. She relishes the time she and her 2-year-old daughter Emma have at Washington Park and believes public use of marijuana could ruin that.
“I would not want that around my child while they are playing in the park or for it to be distributed anywhere nearby and I have a lot of friends that would agree with that as well,” she said.
Many believe the city will also have a difficult time monitoring these new rules especially when it comes to the smell of marijuana.
“You can’t regulate, you know 20 feet, 30 feet down wind, up wind. It’s ridiculous!” Michael Burnham, a Denver resident said.
City Council says it has no pressing deadline to pass this ordinance.