COLORADO: Denver City Council members Monday night vented over a lack of enforcement earlier in the day when police officers ignored public pot smoking during a tax protest event in Civic Center.
“Public consumption of marijuana is against the law,” said Councilman Charlie Brown. “We should enforce that law. I don’t believe we can pick and choose what part of the city we can enforce the law.”
Hundreds of people lined up in Civic Center on Monday morning for free marijuana cigarettes being given away by opponents to a taxation question on November’s ballot.
Proposition AA will ask Colorado voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax and up to 15 percent sales tax on retail marijuana sales. Denver will also ask for up to a 15 percent sales tax, which would be imposed in addition to existing sales taxes.
The group behind the giveaway, led by attorney Rob Corry, said the taxes are too high and will force people back to the black market. More than 600 cigarettes were handed out, which was legal under the state’s new marijuana laws. But public smoking is not legal. Denver police were observing the event but no arrests or citations were made.
Brown and Councilwoman Jeanne Robb were upset about the inaction, voicing their opinions during the full council meeting in which the body gave initial approval to a set of marijuana regulations. The final vote on those regulations will be Monday.