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Denver council votes to allow pot smoking in public view

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DENVER — After a few hours of testimony from a passionate public, the Denver city council voted 10-3 Monday night to allow citizens to smoke marijuana on their front porches and on any private property even if it’s in view of the public.

It’s the final vote on one of several ordinances related to public consumption of recreational marijuana, which will become legal on Jan. 1, 2014.

Later Monday night, the council voted to limit Denver residents to grow 12 marijuana plants in their homes, the same zoning code currently applied to medical marijuana patients allowed to grow plants in their homes.

Earlier Monday, Mayor Michael Hancock’s office announced a new website,, to keep the public informed about new ordinances and regulations as they evolve.

“We promised the people of Denver that we would implement Amendment 64 in a responsible manner, protecting our neighborhoods, our children and our quality of life,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “We continue to work hard to balance the divergent needs and wants of many in the community.”

For months, the council has been grappling with the many questions that come with the legalization of marijuana, from taxation rates to permits, rules and regulations.

But the question of whether private citizens should be allowed to smoke marijuana on their own private property but within public view is one that divided council members, many of whom were conflicted on the issue and changed their position after hearing from constituents.

Last month, Denver council members initially voted to prohibit pot smoking in public view; but, after an outcry from the public, the council reversed course last week to throw out the proposed restriction.

“I just don’t think it should be wrong for someone to smoke on their own private property,” Councilman Paul D. Lopez said.

Other council members, like Debbie Ortega, refused to change their votes.

“It will be far easier to loosen things than to take those flood gates and try to close them at some point and time later,” Ortega said.

Ortega, Chris Herndon and Jeanne Faatz were the only council members who voted to restrict front porch pot smoking on Monday night.

But enough council members, including Albus Brooks and Robin Kneich, did reverse their votes, angering those like Gina Carbone with Smart Colorado.

“Kowtowing to the marijuana industry,” Carbone said. “That’s what it’s all about in Colorado, I guess.”

The issue likely won’t be completely resolved until someone challenges the statute in court.



  • Roy P.

    When the voters of Colorado legalized recreational use of cannabis,
    most of us never imagined having to hide like cockroaches in order to
    exercise the lawful privilege of taking a puff on their own premises. The
    sore losers are merely attempting an after-the-fact end-around in order to circumvent the newly enacted legislation. If these losers have a
    problem with the sight or aroma, let them stay-the-f**k inside their own
    premises or wear a blindfold and noseclip in public. Get over it, losers!!

  • Lt. Goldman

    Lawful, Roy? Isn’t it still a federal misdemeanor? Isn’t it still a felony to sell or deal? It matters not that the current administration has said they will not enforce these laws. Just because you don’t get a ticket speeding doesn’t mean you didn’t break the law. by attempting to pass the recreational use, you’re “merely attempting an after-the-fact end-around in order to circumvent the [previously] enacted legislation” Your words, my friend. You may be more convincing in the “benefits” of cannabis if you tried words you didn’t have to cover with symbols
    Now, please commence sending all sorts of hate comments and foul language to “prove” your point.

  • Alpha Omega

    Roy, I take it you’re going to be supporting Tom Tancredo in the upcoming election then, right? After all, he was the only candidate that openly campaigned FOR Amendment 64. Or, are you going to prove the stereotype that marijuana rots your brain, and vote for Hickenlooper?

  • George

    I see well balanced educated posts here just proves my case about the mentality of good pot users, sarcasm just in case you didn’t get it.

  • cosetta

    my neighbor’s step-mother makes $70 an hour on the internet. She has been out of work for 7 months but last month her pay check was $15895 just working on the internet for a few hours. this link……….

  • Amanda Rhodes

    Also if a neighbor lies, knowing you smoke and then is it they say, you say. Do you receive a ticket. What if they are looking through your windows, do you then have to sit in a closet with the lights off and the door closed. I think you should be able to smoke on your property, not that I want the trashy people who will sit on the grass near the sidewalk with bongs and be obnoxious about it, but I think that it encroaches on our freedom in our own private property which if it is going to be legal that should have never been in question. Public places of course people can’t. Privately, that is a given….

  • SloCatch

    After all, that is exactly what other 3rd world City’s do! Isn’t that correct Paul Lopez and John Hinkenlooper? Now do you both feel more comfortable? Do you honestly think the whole world appreciates your leadership as much as you do? What a pair of spoiled little boys.

  • Emily

    I don’t see how anyone could be against smoking pot on your own property, in public view, but be okay with drinking in public. I’m not a pot smoker, but have supported legalization since day one. At least Marijuana has a few upsides, unlike smoking cigarettes or drinking. Smoke on, friendly stoners!

  • Steve Toker

    As someone who knows a lot of Denver City employees, several city department Managers, Denver cops, and politicians I can say this vote was necessary to keep from arresting these folks. Had the city made this a crime, a lot of their public employees would’ve faced prosecution at some point in the future.

    Denver City & County employees are one tokin’ bunch, in general.

  • Leah Huffer Solomon

    @Steve Toker

    u got that right brutha. a lot of us city & county employees are breathing a sigh of relief today. in fact several are partying it up right now thankful for this vote.

    toke on.

  • Jeremy

    What a terrible system fox31, I spent an hour writing and researching a great, intelligible comment, and your system deleted it. What a waste. Go pot, down with bigots, was the gyst of it

  • Michael

    Jeremy, the “system” didn’t delete it. The staff of KDVR did. The people who can’t be seen on screen due to ugliness or speech impediments, take out their grudges by censoring anything that doesn’t support their conservative thoughts. This will be deleted too, I’m sure.

  • Ron Paulfan

    “Kowtowing to the marijuana industry,” Carbone said. “That’s what it’s all about in Colorado, I guess.”

    No, ‘Smart’Colorado. They are doing their jobs and adhering to the will of the voters.

    The City Council obviously didn’t buy into the lies that are pushed by ONDCP, SmartColorado and Kevin Sabet.

    We all know that the GAO gave Kevin’s organization permission to lie to the American public with regard to marijuana. Why would we expect them to be honest with us now?

  • mike

    Lt. Goldman….I’m assuming you earned that rank and didn’t just bestow it on yourself like some sort of Star Trek character. If so, any “real world” organization gave you that rank to perform one primary task……upholding the Constitution of the United STATES of America. That very Constitution, the one you may have even sworn by oath to uphold, says that states have the right to self govern within certain parameters. Those parameters were legally followed and the PEOPLE of Colorado made a decision to legalize. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant, you have taken an oath to uphold the law.

  • Marcus Giavanni

    Potheads RULE!!! But most people really don’t like potheads. Especially, those who are against it for all the right reasons. Don’t get me wrong this is what the people of Colorado wanted.

    One must still factor in the Federal Laws, though they say they are going to turn their eyes to the current federal laws. But rest assure when things go wrong??? With RICO laws our government stands to gain $$$.

    Our Mayor Hancock has felt the pressure from those who don’t believe in braking Federal Laws to gain access to more taxation. Mayor Hancock says when he out of state, people only ask him about two topics.

    Broncos and Marijuana they seem to go hand and hand with the way our state is being run.

    This is what happens when people who don’t smoke pot think they know how the pot industry works.

    I can tell you that the bad, very bad individuals and entities will be coming to Colorado to take over what the city and its people voted for.

    Oh…those who think POT is harmless never lived out side DENVER or COLORADO for that matter!!!

    Now with the free needles to drug addicts near schools this is the straw that will brake not only DENVER’S back but COLORADO too.

    There are many liabilities that corporations will not be allowed to except do to OSHA work related accidents and the plain fact it’s still against federal laws!!!

    Lets not forget Popo!!! They are now going to be able to DWI anyone they think has red eyes, so get your DUI attorneys ready….and don’t forget your tooth brushes!!!

    I predict that the fallout of loss revenue from people not coming to Colorado and companies who will change their minds on opening their businesses will be felt annually from here on out!!!

    The best thing is the power of the vote it worked and now we have to deal with it. But People who never smoked dope will never know what is like no matter how many books one reads or how many people try to tell you of the high!!!

    Oh…and the children??? Don’t think they are going to escape the clutches of pot or the pushers that will be coming into Colorado with their own weed!!! It will be cheaper to buy from them saving 45% added tax, and lets not forget the other drugs they will be pushing for those who want to catch a better high.

    Why do I know this…I will never tell just yet…pass me the pipe and lets celebrate the power of the VOTE!!!

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