Denver passes outdoor marijuana advertising ban unanimously

4/20 marijuana smokeout at Civic Center Park in Denver. April 20, 2012

A 4/20 marijuana smokeout at Civic Center Park in Denver. April 20, 2012

DENVER — The Denver City Council voted unanimously to ban outdoor advertising for medical marijuana Monday night.

The Denver ordinance passed with a 13-0 vote, and it will enforce a ban on billboard, bus-bench and sidewalk sign advertising. It will do nothing to curb print, radio and television advertising, though these ads will now have to include a disclaimer station the pedaled products are “for registered Colorado medical marijuana patients only.”

“I don’t appreciate folks that are out in front of a creepy old van slinging this dope, and they’re making this industry look bad,” Councilman Paul Lopez told the Associated Press. “I’m sick and tired of my neighborhood being overrun by folks who don’t respect it.”

There were even some medical marijuana advocates pushing for the ordinance. The the Medical Marijuana Industry Group was one, telling the Associated Press “unseemly ads give people a bad impression of the industry.”

Others were disappointed in the vote.

“We don’t necessarily need sign spinners on the side of the road. But we do need to opportunity to educate,” dispensary owner Cheri Hackett told the Associated Press.

Regulations on advertising vary in the 17 states where medical marijuana is legal.

Delaware, Montana and Vermont ban marijuana advertising, though Montana’s ban is under legal challenge. Washington state bans physicians from publicly recommending the drug. Medical marijuana dispensaries are still allowed to advertise freely in California, though a San Diego Attorney General has vowed to crack down on it.