Caiti Beckwith of Denver smokes a joint during the documentary "Reincarnated" at the Fillmore Auditorium in 2013. (Seth A. McConnell, Denver Post file)

New proposal: Allow more places for pot use in Denver

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The activists said many of their proposed regulations would operate with the same regulations placed upon the consumption of alcohol, such as allowing underaged patrons in a concert venue that serves liquor under certain regulations.

In a Wednesday meeting with Broadwell, Vicente noted that tourists encounter great difficulties finding locations to consume marijuana once they have legally purchased the substance in the state.

“We want to get people off the streets, out of parks to be able to consume marijuana in a designated space,” Vicente said.

Suggested rules

In the proposal, titled “The Limited Social Marijuana Consumption Initiative,” Tvert and Vicente, an attorney, spell out the suggested rules. Denver marijuana czar Ashley Kilroy said the city doesn’t regularly take a position on proposed ordinances but added that the issue of public consumption “has been on our agenda.”

“They raise the same types of questions we’ve been asking about this: Do the people of Denver want to consume marijuana in a commercial business? What issues would we be solving if we allowed this in some way? I think those questions have been out there, and we’ve been engaged in those conversations,” said Kilroy, Denver’s executive director of marijuana policy.

Vicente said Wednesday that their motivation for the proposal rested largely on the fact that “Denver was being inactive on the issue.”

Kilroy said she attends neighborhood meetings and other forums, where she has “heard comments that range the entire spectrum.”

Another question Kilroy has for the activists: Have they considered the conflicts with state laws?

The questions around state laws are contentious. Some in city government have said Colorado’s pot-legalizing Amendment 64 prohibits the public consumption of marijuana, but Tvert and his colleagues (who wrote the amendment) disagree.

Amendment 64

“As one of the people who conjured up Amendment 64 and was considered one of the two primary sponsors, I can attest to the fact that they’re wrong,” Tvert said. “Amendment 64 intentionally did not prohibit private businesses from allowing adults to responsibly consume marijuana on the premises. I don’t know where they would get that. (Amendment 64) said it would be illegal to consume openly and publicly, but it’s not open or public if it’s in a private business.”

Kilroy wasn’t prepared to comment on that point Wednesday.

“All of that gets into a lot of legal analysis, and I’m not ready to comment,” she said. “But there is that issue: If it is a private, commercial business that is open to the public, is it considered private?”

Kilroy deflected the question to Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell, who also had no comment on the issue of Amendment 64 prohibiting the public consumption of cannabis.

“They think there’s a need to do it, right? All we’re doing is making a technical review of their proposal,” he said.

Broadwell said he does wonder why proponents decided to word their proposal so broadly, rather than just allowing private cannabis clubs.

Tvert said the broad nature of the proposal is intentional.

“It’s really irrational to allow adults to consume this product but prohibit them from using it in private places that would allow it — especially with tourists,” Tvert said. “We allow adults to purchase limited amounts of marijuana, and they should be allowed to have a place where they can consume it legally.”

Denver Post Staff Writer Elizabeth Hernandez contributed to this report
Ricardo Baca: 303-954-1394, or