DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – Denver City Council is considering a controversial marijuana proposal opponents say would undo parts of Amendment 64.
The measure is designed to define the line between public and private use and is getting much opposition.
Under Mayor Michael Hancock’s proposal, just the smell of burning marijuana could be grounds for arrest. It outlaws its use where the public can see or smell it. The authors of Amendment 64 are furious.
“This ordinance would make it so that if anyone sees you in your home with marijuana, or smells marijuana near your home, police can come in and arrest you,” pro-marijuana activist and attorney Mason Tvert said.
The mayor’s office says that’s not the intent of the law. It does try to define what is public and what is not, even outlawing smoking in a parked car.
Hancock released a statement saying the ordinance “respects the will of the voters, who last year approved Amendment 64 … it also ensures that our public spaces remain enjoyable for residents, families and tourists.”
Redundancies in the law prohibit smoking in public parks and the 16th Street Mall, which is already illegal. But it also outlaws the possession of marijuana in those areas. It also makes marijuana giveaways illegal.
“The voters demanded an end to marijuana arrests and he is trying to start them up again,” Tvert said.
Amendment 64 was billed as a way to regulate marijuana just like alcohol. Tvert now calls Hancock a hypocrite for promoting the city as a beer drinker’s haven but making voter-approved marijuana more difficult.
The ordinance will be discussed at a city council committee on Monday. Opponents say they’re already planning a legal challenge.