Denver Marijuana-Use Tickets Skyrocket in 2014


Denver Police have issued 668 tickets since marijuana sales were made legal for adults 21 and up, an increase of 551 tickets from the same timeframe last year or 471 percent.
According to data pulled by Colorado Public Radio, the most tickets were written during the second quarter of 2014, with 330 issued. The last three months were the second busiest for pot cops in Denver, with 224 tickets written.

Public consumption of pot in Denver (and all of Colorado) is illegal. Cops say they’ve seen a huge increase, though it could also be that they’ve been directed to write more tickets for consumption in a town that had plenty of public consumption before public sales. It could also be that without the ability to write minor possession charges, police are looking for other ways to intimidate cannabis users.
Not that there aren’t plenty of people openly smoking pot in places where they probably shouldn’t be. But that brings up a larger issue in Denver: there is nowhere to consume cannabis but a private home or in a (increasingly harder to find) smoking-friendly hotel room. Pot clubs – public or private – haven’t been tolerated by local officials.
Colorado marijuana attorney Rob Corry, who was cited for marijuana use in public at a Rockies game in June of 2013, says the city is setting itself up to write these tickets so long as it prohibits smoking clubs. Some towns and cities have chosen to look the other way or outright allow the clubs to exist.
“We don’t have the bar/club side,” Corry told CPR, “Denver is going to continue to see public consumption of it, that will be inevitable, until Denver allows people a place to consume it.”
Cops say they are doing their job and that writing the tickets are the same as writing public consumption of alcohol tickets.
“We have to look out for the betterment of the whole city,” Christine Downs, DPD spokeswoman, told CPR.