4-day trial ends in $50 fine for International Church of Cannabis founder convicted of public pot smoking

Concluding an unusually long municipal trial two years in the making, a Denver jury on Friday found the co-founder of the International Church of Cannabis guilty of public marijuana consumption and violating the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.

The six-person jury, after deliberating for more than two hours, convicted Steve Berke of both charges, which stemmed from an invite-only 4/20 celebration at the church in 2017. Undercover police officers cited Burke and the other two co-founders that day.

The case was the first to attempt to address a question Colorado pot smokers and industry experts have been asking since marijuana was legalized five years ago: What is the definition of “open and public” consumption or marijuana?

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