- Law would specifically ban marijuana from parks
- It also would prohibit smoking on private property if it is visible to the public
- No smoking even on your own front porch or in a car
- Penalty if the odor of pot can be detected from a neighboring property
The use of recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, but if a proposed ordinance becomes law in the state’s largest city, pot smokers could face jail time and fines if smoke wafts onto a neighbor’s property.
A measure under consideration by the Denver City Council would impose up to $999 in fines and a maximum one-year jail sentence for anyone caught smoking marijuana in city parks or other public venues.
But as written, the law would extend the same criminal sanctions to offenders on private property.
‘The term ‘openly’ means occurring in a manner that is unconcealed, undisguised, is obvious, and is observable, perceptible through sight or smell to the public, or to persons on neighboring properties,’ the draft ordinance reads.
Last fall, Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize the possession and use of small amounts of pot for recreational purposes.
Marijuana is classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law. But the U.S. Justice Department has said federal law enforcement will not target users in the two states if they are in compliance with their respective state’s laws.
Colorado lawmakers have crafted statewide rules governing the retail sales of cannabis, but the open use of marijuana is missing under the regulations, said Amber Miller, spokeswoman for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who supports the measure.