New laws in 2013 range from outdoor smoking ban in Boulder to proposed outdoor drinking zones Denver

DENVER - The new year brings an array of new local laws, from a proposal to allow people to drink alcohol on designated streets in downtown Denver to a ban on smoking on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

Lower Downtown Denver bars and restaurants have been meeting with city officials and the Downtown Denver Partnership to discuss creation of "common consumption districts," where patrons could drink alcohol outside in specially designated areas.

One likely area for the proposed entertainment districts is Larimer Square between 14th and 15th Streets.

Denver officials were inspired by the success Greeley had last year when it allowed common consumption in the enclosed area of the Ninth Street Plaza on Fridays and saw a big increase in business at local bars and restaurants.

Denver officials are still working on an application process for the entertainment district, but the Denver Partnership said strolling with a go-cup drink in hand could begin as early as this spring.

 "It sounds like a fun idea," said downtown visitor Caleb Gruber. "Larimer Square is already an open area, where it encourages people to intermingle."

In Boulder, a smoking ban on the Pearl Street Mall ban takes effect on Jan.18. Police will begin by giving warnings and then start ticketing people by March, city officials said.

The smoking ban has its supporters.

"It should be worldwide, really. It's toxic," a man strolling the mall told 7NEWS. Second-hand smoke "does affect the people…I mean we smelled it right now walking down the mall," the man added.

Local governments continue to wrestle with implementation of Amendment 64, the constitutional amendment legalizing recreational use of marijuana that Colorado voters passed in November.

 It allows adults over age 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, or six plants, and use the drug in private. The sale of marijuana for recreational use does not become legal until October 2013.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has created a 24-member task force to make recommendations on how to implement the pot law. They will consider what other state laws need to be changed, the need for security requirements at marijuana stores, labeling requirements for the drug, marijuana education and the impact on businesses in the state. Their recommendations are due to the governor by Feb. 28.

Meanwhile, Fort Collins has lifted its citywide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, while Broomfield is considering banning such dispensaries until the issue can be put to a vote of city residents later this year.

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