Denver lawmakers rewrite marijuana smell ordinance, allow for backyard toking


A proposal that would have outlawed Denver residents from smoking cannabis in their own backyards has been snubbed out.
According to a draft of the newly-rewritten proposal, cannabis consumption in your home would remain legal. That includes your backyard. The new proposal also scales back proposed punishments for public consumption from $999 or a year in jail to a $100 fine or 24 hours of community service. The new language still makes it illegal to openly display or distribute cannabis in public.

The law, originally proposed a couple of weeks ago, would have made smoking cannabis in a backyard punishable by up to a year in jail if neighbors complained. The move drew criticism from several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union who vowed to fight the law if passed. They pointed out that Colorado voters approved cannabis consumption as a legal act with the passage of Amendment 64 and criminalizing people for using cannabis in their homes goes against the very intent of the bill.
The bill changes haven’t completely pacified the ACLU, who say that people should have the right to display their cannabis in public.
Councilman Chris Nevitt, who helped write the laws that Denver didn’t need in the first place, touted his new compromise.
“We want to minimize the degree to which Denver citizens on the streets of our city are subjected to the obvious presence of marijuana,” Nevitt told the Denver Post. “That is why it is written: If you are visible from a public space, we would just assume that you would not consume your marijuana in an open fashion.”