Denver pot-smoking tickets 19 times higher in 2013 than in 2012

Categories: Marijuana, News

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Amendment 64 legalized the possession and use of limited amounts of pot for adults 21 and over, but it didn't legalize public consumption of cannabis on streets, sidewalks, parks or any other public place, for that matter.

But apparently that message didn't quite reach Denver and Boulder residents, as public pot consumption tickets have skyrocketed in both cities since Amendment 64 passed.

In Denver, there were a total of eight tickets written for marijuana consumption in 2012, according to records from the Denver Police Department. So far in 2013, 155 tickets have been written, more than nineteen times the number the previous year.

And according to Boulder Police Department records, 113 people were cited for public marijuana use in 2013 in Boulder. That's a huge increase from the 29 tickets written in 2012.

Boulder police Chief Mark Becker told the Boulder Daily Camera, which broke the story, that the increase is due to larger numbers of people smoking in public and not due to police simply ramping up enforcement, despite Boulder enacting a municipal ban on marijuana use as recently as June.

"I don't know if people feel emboldened by the law or don't know that to display or consume marijuana in public is still illegal," he told the paper.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett says he's noticed the increase in citations on his end as well, and attributes a large number of those tickets to people who might have known that marijuana consumption wasn't legal but figured the cops wouldn't care about it since the laws were passed. Garnett says he isn't going to have any sympathy for them, or for people who simply don't understand that public marijuana use remains illegal.

"We've made it clear to police departments that we will prosecute consumption cases and distributing to minors, so they're looking for those because they know those are cases we will pursue," said Garnett.

Beckner says his department isn't going to be issuing warnings, either. He says the only way to get the message out is to enforce the laws uniformly.

Public consumption of cannabis in Boulder will get you a $500 fine for the first two times you're caught. A third time could result in 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

One of the 155 people busted in Denver was marijuana attorney Rob Corry, who will head to trial on January 15. Police busted him for allegedly smoking a joint at a Rockies game earlier this year; Corry reportedly berated the cops, arguing that possession was legal and therefore the police had no right to arrest him.


More from our marijuana news archive: "Cannabis Time Capsule, 1901: "Ganjah" upsetting banana and sugar plantations" ; "Medical marijuana dispensary review: Trenchtown MMC in Lakewood"



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89 comments
markhopkins435
markhopkins435

if you can smoke a cigg in public walking down a street then you can smoke a joint in the same fashion


Where's the crime in that??? Any place I can smoke a cigg I should be able to smoke a joint

Jam Es
Jam Es

<3 Happy New Year! We make history in the morning ;-)

Scott McMahon
Scott McMahon

No matter how you look at the different sides of the issue, law enforcement attracts those individuals that want to enforce the law...for whatever reasons their minds decide. You want to see a cop struggle with something, just tell them it's not illegal anymore. It kills them not to be able to arrest someone. Sad part is we are all on the same side

Jayne Doe
Jayne Doe

Waste of law enforcement. Go find the child molesters

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

People should REALLY understand the legislation they advocate and the laws currently in place.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

James, I hate to break it to you, but if you try to reason with someone who "consistently avoids reality," then you may as well bang your head repeatedly on the table. You'll still end up with the same result.

Jam Es
Jam Es

Hate to break this to you, but if it's a ticket-able offense, it's a crime. Simple logic haha And Happy New Year Sweetie ;-) One love

Karen Greenstein
Karen Greenstein

What. is. wrong. with you? get over yourself. Weed is NOT a crime, and should not be ticketed. The only one who is being cocky here is YOU. Happy New Year! :)

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

You have to be half a retard to get ticketed. Just like alcohol, it's not difficult to hide in public if you aren't being belligerent.

Brian Myers
Brian Myers

I am so tired of this subject. Please move on Westword.

Frank Wojcinski
Frank Wojcinski

what good is a law if you will not or can not enforce it. waste of tax money. BS

Don Gweedo
Don Gweedo

I think we need places to smoke/vaporize. Think of all the pot tourism and no where to consume. The person to solve this problem is gonna stop a lot of money spending consumers from sparking up in public. Treat it like alcohol everyone says....... Well where's the smoke bar.

Ryan Davis
Ryan Davis

I think the Denver police should focus on more important things. That's assuming they're caring and brave enough.

tony514
tony514

who cares anyways? i sure don't .smoke a rope and don't choke your self with it.just run to someones front lawn and smoke weed its legal to smoke on the front lawn now.

Jason DrSoul Lewis
Jason DrSoul Lewis

If you're walking around smoking in front of a cop..you deserve a ticket.

Paul Frye
Paul Frye

It's income. Of course they are gonna exploit it.

Nick Andalex
Nick Andalex

If the cops just happen to see people toking then yes, I agree. If you're stupid enough to be using where you know you shouldn't be, and trust me, they know, then you pay the price if you get busted. Common sense people.

Jam Es
Jam Es

"Give em an inch and they'll take a mile" You people don't seem to get it. If you come from a non legal non med state you appreciate what is being offered here. What the politicians and police are doing. It's pretty fucking awesome. I'm cool, give away more tickets, I won't get one. Because I'm thankful to live in a state where the authorities listened to what I wanted, so in return, I'll listen back. The rest of you just seem like cocky teenagers...

Devon Van Fleet
Devon Van Fleet

I don't agree with it, but it is a revenue generator for the city. Open container=openly smoking pot= ticket

Maat Human
Maat Human

whats a stoner gonna do in public? go to a restaurant? and that's illegal?

Samuel Walter
Samuel Walter

If you're going to be out and about, bring a vape pen loaded with premium oil. You can confidently go about your day without worrying about the offensive odor. I've never had any issues vapin' in public.

Charlie Whiskey
Charlie Whiskey

Just wait a year or two and the cops and city will chill out on it once they realize that it's not the big scary boogeyman they're making it out to be. In the meantime, just use discretion. Not that difficult.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Brian Myers ... not as long as they can squeeze a few more piasters from the Dispensary Cartel advertisers ... though the Denver Post has now jumped into the morass and will be siphoning what little pot revenue is left from Westweed's back pages.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Don Gweedo "I think we need places to smoke/vaporize"


INSIDE the privacy of your own stinky abode.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Paul Frye ... and Puerile Pot Punks will be dumb enough to get caught.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Nick Andalex  ... Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do !!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@James Hembree ... Puerile Pot Punks are as Puerile Pot Punks do!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Laffiu Lion ... do you have SEX in PUBLIC ??


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Samuel Walter ... while Vape pens may help you get away with public consumption due to their stealthy nature, it is still clearly ILLEGAL to use or consume in public, so you are still at risk of criminal prosecution ... thanks to that festering turd A64 which explicitly declared public use/consumption illegal.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Scott Adelmann ... something that Puerile Pot Punks aren't wont to do, hence civilized society's need for MASSIVE REGULATION to control their obnoxious infantile behavior.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Charlie Whiskey ... and in that "year or two" how many people's lives will be ruined by CRIMINAL marijuana prosecutions for simple possession and use in public?


A64 = a PROHIBITIONIST DREAM

tony514
tony514

@DonkeyHotay Ye and while I am at it ill look up harassment , invasion of privacy,Stalking,Belligerence and Ignorance for you, get a life you puny squirt! anyone caught naming them self after a donkey is a jackass get your facts straight.

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay <===== this Pathetic Pussy Prohibitionist ONDCP shill should know.

tony514
tony514

@DonkeyHotay all that typing you do, I figured you knew how to read, ha i guess the jokes on me then.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tony514 <== another pig-ignorant puerile pot punk


You, and clueless obnoxious fucktards like you, are the very reason why civilized society needs massive REGULATIONS, RESTRICTIONS and LAWS covering marijuana.


Reap what ye sow, punk.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 = language Fail! ... once again!


Tramps and hobos are commonly lumped together, but see themselves as sharply differentiated. 


A hobo or bo is simply a migratory laborer; he may take some longish holidays, but sooner or later he returns to work. 


A tramp never works if it can be avoided; he simply travels. 


Apart from either is the bum, who neither works nor travels, save when propelled to motion by the police.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 <== prohibitionist shitsucker



@stuka1 "ANYTHING is illegal under 21 with A64 for rec purposes"


@suka1 "The fact is, I'm fine with kids 18-21 not being able to buy it"

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 <== still sucking shit



@stuka1 "ANYTHING is illegal under 21 with A64 for rec purposes"


@suka1 "The fact is, I'm fine with kids 18-21 not being able to buy it"

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