Amendment 64 proponent says Denver sniff test might give him no legal place to smoke pot
Might Denver City Council's proposed sniff test, which would outlaw residents' use of marijuana on their porches and balconies if others could see or smell it, give one of Amendment 64's main proponents nowhere in his hometown to legally smoke? That's among the contentions of Mason Tvert, and to dramatize his concerns, he's holding a press event on the balcony this morning, in advance of the council once again discussing the proposal at a meeting this evening. Get details and see the latest draft of the measure below.
The backlash against the sniff test concept from critics such as council member Susan Shepherd led to some tweaking of the ordinance. However, the latest draft included on the Denver City Council website page devoted to this evening's session (see it below) still states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to openly and publicly display or consume one (1) ounce or less of marijuana."
Moreover, the terms "openly" and "publicly" are defined, respectively, as "occurring or existing in a manner that is unconcealed, undisguised or obvious" and "occurring or existing in a public place; or occurring or existing in any outdoor location where the consumption of marijuana is clearly observable from a public place," with the latter including but not limited to "streets and highways, transportation facilities, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds and the common areas of public and private buildings or facilities."
Tvert's take, particularly as it applies to pot use on porches and balconies, where it might be seen or smelled by passersby?
"The biggest issue is that they are still trying to prohibit the use of marijuana by adults on private property," he says. "It's currently legal for adults to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes on their porches or balconies, so we fail to understand why it should be illegal to use a far less harmful substance there."
As for the reason he's holding his press conference on the first-floor balcony of his home, on the 1400 block of Humboldt Street, he notes that "I don't have a private backyard; the backyard is a common area. And if my building were to decide people can't use marijuana inside their units, for whatever reason, I wouldn't have anywhere I could legally use marijuana as an adult."
Moreover, he continues, "the voters made it clear they think marijuana should be treated like alcohol, and adults should be able to use it responsibly. And there's no compelling reason to prohibit adults from using marijuana outside on their own private balconies and porches."
Continue for more of our interview with Mason Tvert, including the latest draft of the so-called sniff test ordinance.