Police chief asks downtown marijuana dispensaries not to sell single joints

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DENVER -- In an effort to curb violence and image issues on the 16th Street Mall, Denver police Chief Robert White proposed something that’s raising eyebrows for marijuana shop owners and employees along the popular strip.

At a news conference Monday aimed at improving 16th Street, White proposed asking dispensaries on the mall to stop selling a certain product.

“We’ll be reaching out to every last one of the dispensaries for the purpose of asking not to sell a single joint,” White said.

White said selling single joints can create challenges as it relates to individuals who make those purchases. He believes if dispensaries on 16th Street stopped selling single joints, it would result in fewer people on the mall smoking marijuana.

Many of those who purchase single joints are the same people causing issues on the mall, the out-of-state homeless people who are called "travelers" by the Denver Police Department.

“That seems kind of silly to take away a pre-rolled joint. Are they going to take away shooters from liquor stores? It’s kind of silly to say that’s going to solve an issue there,” said Kiefer Salazar, a supervisor at Euflora, a recreational dispensary on 16th Street.

Salazar said it’s ridiculous the chief would suggest asking the mall’s dispensaries not to sell single joints when people can easily buy cheaper pot products such as edibles, as well as cheap alcohol from liquor stores.

“I just don’t think that’s the problem,” Salazar said.

Instead, Salazar blamed the city.

“The problem is [the city] let [travelers] collect and gather and panhandle in one area,” he said.

White said it would be up to the dispensaries as to whether they would agree to the request.

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