By Rick Sallinger
DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police cited 30 passengers for public consumption of marijuana and arrested a marijuana tour bus driver on Friday.
Undercover officers raided two companies’ tours of dispensaries, grow houses, and other marijuana related locations. Such buses have been operation for years in the city.
On one unidentified marijuana bus tour posted on YouTube the tour leader announced to the riders, “We are going to crank up the music and pass out some joints.”
That was followed by a loud cheer from the passengers.
The use of marijuana on board the moving vehicle is now at issue by the City of Denver.
It’s being considered public rather than private consumption of pot.
“It is against the law in City of Denver to allow public consumption of marijuana on a tour bus,” Eric Escudero, a spokesman for the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, said.
In a promotional video for 4/20 tours, passengers can be seen using what is believed to be marijuana.
Last Friday, undercover officers boarded one of its tours and observed similar scenes. The passengers, on Friday’s tour, were then cited for illegal public consumption, a petty offense. The driver was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of drugs.
Daniel Schaefer is the founder of 4/20 Tours. CBS4 reached him by FaceTime while he was out of the country.
“We’re continuing to operate. We are very comfortable with our legal position in this matter,” he told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger.
The other company impacted is Colorado Cannabis Tours founded by Michael Eymer.
Marijuana attorney Rob Corry, who is not representing any of the parties currently, calls it “A victimless crime, if even a crime.” He added, “Every single person on the limo wants to be there. Every person pays to be there. This is a positive thing for tourists.”
He adds alcohol is used on limos. Why not marijuana?
The City of Denver has invited the marijuana tour companies to apply for licenses at what are called Designated Consumption Areas. Those are fixed licensed locations.
Schaefer says it would not work for his company. He said he is going to keep operating and has consulted legal counsel.