Marijuana activists decry "sniff test" proposal, possible year in jail for home pot smoking

Categories: Marijuana

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Photos and more below.
Today at 2 p.m., marijuana activists Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente will hold a press conference decrying a new proposal that would potentially criminalize marijuana smoking in one's own home if its odor can be smelled outside it.

In a press release announcing the event (see it below), Tvert and Vicente denounce the concept as unconstitutional and charge Mayor Michael Hancock, who backs the policy, of hypocrisy by announcing it during this week's Great American Beer Festival.

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Photo by Sam Levin
Mason Tvert at a press event earlier this year.
According to the Denver Post, the ordinance, which is expected to be presented at Monday's Denver City Council meeting, "would prohibit smoking on private property if it is visible to the public, such as on a front porch or in a car, or if the odor of pot could be detected from a neighboring property."

Those who violate this edict would face a fine of up to $999 and up to a year in jail.

Speaking in support of the measure, Mayor Hancock told the Post, "Your activities should not pervade others' peace and ability to enjoy. Marijuana is one of those elements that can be quite pervasive and invasive. I shouldn't have to smell your activities from your backyard."

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Brian Vicente celebrating Amendment 64's passage this past November.
Vicente rejects these assertions. In a statement, he says, "If this ordinance is adopted, the Denver city marijuana tax will pay for police to look in people's windows and snoop around their homes sniffing for a reason to put them in jail for up to a year for doing something legal under the state constitution."

Here's the release about this afternoon's press event:

Mayor Hancock and Denver City Council Allies Float Blatantly Unconstitutional Measure to Criminalize Marijuana Use on Private Property

Proposed ordinance would impose a penalty of up to one year in jail if police see -- or smell -- Denver residents using marijuana in their homes

Amendment 64 proponents will hold news conference TODAY at 2 p.m. MT in front of the Denver City-County Building

DENVER -- Mayor Michael Hancock and his allies on the Denver City Council are proposing a blatantly unconstitutional measure that would criminalize adult marijuana use on private property.

Proponents of Amendment 64 will hold a news conference TODAY at 2 p.m. MT in front of the Denver City-County Building (1437 Bannock St.), where they will explain why the measure is a direct violation of the Colorado State Constitution. They will also discuss the hypocrisy of city officials who are floating this measure, yet publicly consume a more harmful substance -- alcohol -- and promote its use in public. The nation's biggest celebration of beer, the Great American Beer Festival, is taking place in Denver this weekend.

"The hypocrisy of this proposal is astounding," said Mason Tvert, a proponent of Amendment 64 and co-director of the Yes on 64 campaign. "As Denver wraps up Beer Week with the nation's largest beer celebration, city officials are proposing a crackdown on adults' legal, private use of a far less harmful substance. Mayor Hancock should explain why he thinks it is okay for him to publicly consume and even serve alcohol, but feels it should be a criminal offense for adults to use marijuana in their own homes."

Amendment 64 proponents plan to tie this proposed ordinance to a measure on the ballot in Denver next month to impose a city sales tax on marijuana.

"If this ordinance is adopted, the Denver city marijuana tax will pay for police to look in people's windows and snoop around their homes sniffing for a reason to put them in jail for up to a year for doing something legal under the state constitution," said Brian Vicente, a proponent of Amendment 64 and co-director of the Yes on 64 campaign. "City officials would not just be squandering these much-needed tax dollars. They would be putting the city at risk of a costly lawsuit that it is sure to lose.

"Denver voters have repeatedly called for an end to arrests for private adult marijuana possession," Vicente said. "Should voters really have to cover the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees the city will spend to defy them?"

WHAT: News conference to address the blatantly unconstitutional measure proposed by Mayor Hancock and City Council members that would criminalize adult use of marijuana on private property

WHEN: TODAY, Friday, October 11, 2 p.m. MT

WHERE: In front of the Denver City-County Building, 1437 Bannock St.

WHO: Mason Tvert, Amendment 64 proponent and campaign co-director
Brian Vicente, Amendment 64 proponent and campaign co-director

More from our Marijuana archive: "U.S. Attorney John Walsh declines to take position on pot-tax measure."


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134 comments
for_the_punx415
for_the_punx415

has anyone made a comment about how $999 is 666 upside down? fines for satan

sucka1
sucka1

Hooray, we did it! We legalized marijuana!  Yay!

getsmart
getsmart

I'm just going to blame it on my pet skunk in the backyard.......Sounds like DPD should focus on the light rail and not neighborhood smells

sheaestes
sheaestes

What if I don't like the smell of fish, and my neighbor is outside grilling some salmon... can I have them arrested? This is complete bs! This is 100% just a way to keep cash coming in!

StockholmSyndrome
StockholmSyndrome

Law enforcement needs a way to continue locking up law abiding citizens after their cash cow got busted with the passage of A64. Pretty sad that citizens are viewed as revenue for the state.

Mary Shelton
Mary Shelton

people who are offended by the smell of weed do not live in denver. we already have enough petty pointless laws that take up the majority of law enforcement's time, let's not add another.

stuka1
stuka1

Time for some recalls in Denver government.

Rob Dixon
Rob Dixon

Idiotic I agree. The problem is the idiots we elect that think up stupid things like this. Stop electing idiots.

Ted Peterson
Ted Peterson

It's only right if you can no longer consume tobacco on your own property.

rirving1
rirving1

I have lived next to people who cook offensive smelling food, should we also throw people in jail for that? I am also allergic to many flowers, should we ban gardens next?

Amanda Tully
Amanda Tully

fresh marijuana plants will put off a much stronger smell than smoke will. are we to assume that any smell, even if not smoke, would break this law? how are we to protect our civil liberties that we have fought so long for if ideas as ridiculous as this keep pushing against the rights that we have clearly won?

Dan Jones
Dan Jones

When I smell pot around someone I have hope for humanity, when I smell alcohol I worry

cydonia777
cydonia777

You stupid idiots in Denver are borderline insane.  You legalize it, then want to make it illegal if someone smells it? 

Samuel Walter
Samuel Walter

This isn't going anywhere. The proposed ordinance is a knee-jerk reaction by Hancock and the City Council to the group who passed out free joints in the park a few weeks ago. The DPD made the right call not to arrest anyone for smoking. It could have turned into a riot where someone got hurt, and for what? A few citations and fines?

Bernie Weber
Bernie Weber

This guy thinks he has too much power. This ridiculous suggestion would mean you couldn't do anything at all in your yard.

George Lunbeck
George Lunbeck

Yeah it's bullshit, read about it earlier today.

Phil Smith
Phil Smith

Wtf. this shit is counterfucking productiveh

Alyssa Phelps
Alyssa Phelps

Well, please start throwing the drunks in jail when they come out reeking of frikking booze, because that smell offends me makes me what to vomit all over... idiots..

instntkrma
instntkrma

Hancock is a bad man. Coloradoans do NOT want people going to jail for smoking pot. Especially on their own property. When are politicians going to learn the pot issue is a LOSER and will cost you big in Colorado!

tony514
tony514

Ok fair deal now lets also fine people who bbq stuff i dont like cause it affends me to smell certain crap foods being cooked.i also hate smelling sage burning incents jasmine flowers lavender flowers pine trees ,i also dont like spray paint smells gear oil leaks ,trash cans and dumpsters smell terrable burgerking flame broil can be smelled 5 blocks away and the dog food company can be smelled for miles along with commerce city and the oil refinery im sure i can think of alot of things that smell like shit that people should go to jail for a year for makeing me smell everyday. what a dam joke weeds majorly legal get over it or move the fuck out apperently youre not colorado as much as you thought you were i hear utah is full of up tights maybe try that out .

Steve Bauer
Steve Bauer

Treat MJ like alcohol was the name of the act that was passed so...... treat it that way idiots!!!

Jenn Litalien Schuchman
Jenn Litalien Schuchman

That I understand, Douglas. My point is that if a private venue wishes to enforce a non-smoking (of whatever) policy, that is their choice and it is a private matter. I was responding to a commenter saying they would like to see live shows without smelling like a dispensary.

Kris Custer
Kris Custer

But I thought it was legalized..... Way to go on fooling the public Mason Tvert

Douglas Evans
Douglas Evans

I can smell the Purina factory when the wind blows right....should we put them in jail? I think we should just ban all smells and arrest everyone.

McShyster
McShyster

@sucka1 

Strict Regulation = Total Government Control

What IDIOTS would have voted for that???

stupidstuka
stupidstuka

Fisherman aren't stupid enough to write a constitutional amendment that explicitly makes open and public use of fish illegal, like the fucking stoner retards did with marijuana in A64.

McShyster
McShyster

@Rob Dixon 

Democracies deserve the politicians they elect.


stuka1
stuka1

@cydonia777 That would be our stupid idiot city council members and mayor, who want to push their prohibitionist agenda on the people who voted overwhelmingly to legalize. This is the very definition of tyranny.

tony514
tony514

@Jenn Litalien Schuchman music is about getting high just like the artist performing if youre into lighter stuff try opera and symphony im pretty sure thats the crowed for sober listening.dont change everyone else just change what you like.

stuka1
stuka1

@Douglas Evans I can smell the Holy Trinity of the refinery, the dump and the water treatment plant from my work.  And on some days the asphalt plant puts out shit that makes me absolutely retch. Why are these not treated the same way?

StockholmSyndrome
StockholmSyndrome

@McShyster @StockholmSyndrome I knew you bronze age prohibitionists were stupid but I didn't realize you were illiterate as well. The voters have spoken and determined that criminalizing the consumption of a harmless plant is as dumb as the folks trying to enforce this law. Your side LOST scumbag. Get over it.

McShyster
McShyster

@stuka1

@stuka1  "I have better things to do than respond to your inane babblings [sic]."

.

stuka1
stuka1

@McShyster  

Telling yourself that people won't catch on that you have changed over to a new set of sock puppets is a symptom of complete idiocy.

stupidstuka
stupidstuka

Get REGULATED BITCH!

You voted for it.

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