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Chief White, AG Suthers Say ‘Free Pot For Donations’ Is Illegal

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Inside the art gallery on Santa Fe (credit: CBS)

Inside the art gallery on Santa Fe (credit: CBS)

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Investigator Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Monday called offers of free marijuana in exchange for donations a scam.

Suthers told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger the so-called “free offers” are a clear violation of the letter and intent of Amendment 64 — the legalization of marijuana. CBS4 used a hidden camera to show how the offers work.

In Denver’s Art District along Santa Fe Boulevard one art gallery is making what can only be described as an interesting offer. The ads on Craigslist offer free marijuana in return for a suggested donation to their art gallery.

Wearing a wig and a hidden camera, Sallinger was allowed in to a room that displayed art on the walls.

“Do you have any Picassos?,” Sallinger jokingly asked. “No Picassos,” the man replied.

What they do have is marijuana.

“As a member of the Cannabis Club of Denver, you just follow Amendment 64,” the man told Sallinger.

The ads suggest $175 to $250 donations for an ounce of pot, with no medical marijuana card required.

“Do I need a red card?” Sallinger asked. “No sir, just over 21,” the man replied.

The gallery is far from alone. Sallinger went to a head shop also in Denver. It was advertising free marijuana, and in very small print it said “must purchase $30 or more to receive two free grams.” It is the ad a city council committee was talking about the other day with Denver Police Chief Robert White.

“It is illegal and we are investigating as we speak,” White told the council.

“We need to get the word out that that is illegal and they will face the consequences,” Councilman Charlie Brown said.

CBS4 stopped by on a later day and found the offer was still good at the head shop. They said it was all legitimate and were not aware of the discussion about their offer in city council.

Sallinger asked the Suthers for his opinion.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger talks with Colorado Attorney General John Suthers about the offers (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger talks with Colorado Attorney General John Suthers about the offers (credit: CBS)

“So the whole thing’s a scam and I think it’s indicative of some of the stuff that’s going on to work around the letter of the law,” Suthers said.

The owner of the head shop told Sallinger her attorneys told her the free marijuana offer was legal, and she just wanted to give away a little bit of happiness.

Those at the art gallery said they were compliant with the amendment to legalize marijuana.

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