As Colorado makes progress toward the legal retail sale of marijuana, Denver city officials are considering an ordinance that would make smoking the drug illegal if it can be seen or even smelled by others.
The text of the proposed ordinance says, "It shall be unlawful for any person to openly and publicly display or consume one (1) ounce or less of marijuana."
It goes on to define "openly" as being "perceptible through sight or smell to the public."
"Your activities should not pervade others' peace and ability to enjoy," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock told the Denver Post. "Marijuana is one of those elements that can be quite pervasive and invasive. I shouldn't have to smell your activities from your backyard."
Colorado voters approved a first-of-its-kind recreational marijuana industry last November. Next month voters will be asked to decide on a statewide sales tax on marijuana. And last month Colorado became the first state in the country to adopt rules governing legal marijuana businesses.
The Denver ordinance would also specifically prohibit the possession, use and sale of marijuana on the 16th Street Mall, downtown Denver's tree-lined pedestrian promenade that's lined with outdoor cafes and renovated historic buildings. Exceptions to this rule would be possession of medical marijuana or any that is purchased from retail marijuana stores that could be located along the mall in the future.
Another section of the ordinance creates limitations on where alcohol can be carried within parks or other recreational areas.
Violations of the proposed rules would carry fines up to $999 or a year in jail.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com.)