Out-of-state tourists wandering Denver’s 16th Street Mall wondering “Can I smoke a joint here” or “Can I take this Colorado weed home with me” will find answers to those questions and others on six signs posted along the popular pedestrian thoroughfare Tuesday.
The 15-by-23-inch aluminum signs are funded by the Downtown Denver Partnership as a part of the task force behind the city of Denver’s marijuanainfodenver.org website.
“They’re similar to the signs saying you can’t skateboard or bike on the mall,” said Jenny Starkey, Downtown Denver Partnership’s communications and media relations manager.
The signs share graphic elements and messaging with the city’s website.
“It is illegal to take marijuana out of the state … It is illegal to use, display or transfer marijuana on the 16th Street Mall … You must be 21 or older to have or use retail marijuana.”
Of the sign’s seven notes, five begin with, “It is illegal to.” But Starkey said the committee was careful with the wording.
“Everybody was considerate about the language use,” said Starkey. “They don’t say, ‘Do not,’ ‘Do not,’ ‘Do not.’ They say, ‘It’s illegal to.’ It’s just a reminder of what you can and cannot do while keeping it as appropriate and positive as possible.”
The Downtown Denver Partnership’s yellow-uniformed ambassadors who roam the mall will not be enforcing the marijuana laws.
“It’s their job to observe and report,” said Starkey. “They’re the eyes and ears for the Denver Police Department. They’ll be observing people’s behavior on the mall, they’ll be reporting it if necessary, if it’s a big issue, and they’ll be there to answer questions and refer people to the city’s new website.
“They will not be providing information for people on where to buy retail marijuana, but they’ll remain neutral in most of these issues.”