DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver City Council is set to decide where residents will be able to smoke pot outside when they are at their homes.
Marijuana advocates say a proposed ordinance under consideration that would ban outdoor pot smoking on private property is both hypocritical and unconstitutional.
Some city council members agree, while others say they are on the fence on whether or not the ordinance is a good idea.
Mason Tvert, a leader in the state’s marijuana legalization movement, held an unusual news conference on Monday at his apartment downtown to highlight where he stands on the issue. He stacked up 12 packs of beer and hard liquor bottles on a table on his porch.
He said that with the approval of Amendment 64 last year, voters were requesting that the state treat marijuana like alcohol. He says he’s allowed by law to drink alcohol on his porch, so why shouldn’t he be able to smoke marijuana there, too?
Part of the rationale behind the ordinance was that the odor of pot smoke wasn’t something neighbors should have to smell. Tvert said that cigarettes smell as well, but they aren’t banned on porches.
“If our building doesn’t want adults to use marijuana inside then where else are adults who are legally able to use it going to consume it?” Tvert said from his porch. “And for those adults who are parents who we would all say should not be using marijuana in front of their children, they should have the right to go outside — whether it’s their front porch or their balcony — and use it privately.
City Councilman Charlie Brown told CBS4 he’s torn on whether or not to support the ordinance.
“I didn’t vote for Amendment 64. I don’t like it. But at the same time it’s in our state constitution, and more importantly this is a private property (issue),” Brown said.
Brown said whether or not the City Council passes the ordinance, he says the council should work to stop people from having “pot parties on their front yard.”
A public hearing on the issue will take place during Monday night’s council meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m.