DENVER (CBS4)– Marijuana-themed concerts are at the center of a debate between the Colorado Symphony and the City of Denver.
The Colorado Symphony is organizing a “Classically Cannabis” concert series. Guests are invited to bring their own marijuana and consume it during the performances.
Now the City of Denver is asking the symphony to reconsider because consuming pot in public is illegal in Colorado even though those events will be at a privately-owned art gallery.
“It’s view able by the public, it’s open to the public and the public can buy tickets. So it meets the legal test of what a public event is,” said Denver City Attorney Scott Martinez. “We as a city have an obligation when we learn of this advertised public consumption of marijuana to let them know what the law is and help them come into compliance.”
The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses responded to Colorado Symphony Association President Jerry Kern with a letter that stated in part, “In consultation with the Denver City Attorney’s Office, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses and the Denver Police Department, we write to inform you that the event, as advertised, could violate both City and State law.”
Kern responded with this statement: “As a responsible and civic-minded organization, the Colorado Symphony take the issues raised by the City of Denver very seriously. We’re reviewing the issues with our legal team. When the Colorado Symphony accepted support from the legal cannabis industry — as a means of supporting our financial operations and connecting with a culturally diverse audience — we believed we did so in full compliance with the law. We’re confident that any questions can be resolved quickly. We will issue a more detailed response after a thorough internal review.”
The symphony plans to review the issues with its legal team.