Denver city council committee delays vote on bill to ban to 'public' marijuana use, possession

Proposal would ban use on 16th St. Mall, parks

DENVER - Facing strong opposition from marijuana advocates, a Denver city council committee postponed a Monday vote on a bill to ban use or possession of pot in city parks, mountain parks, recreational facilities and the 16th Street Mall.

Council President Mary Beth Susman told 7NEWS council members are taking additional time to look at the ordinance line-by-line and make detailed specifications about which Denver properties are deemed public and which are private.

Susman said she expects the council to vote on a measure by late October or early November.

Amendment 64, passed by Colorado voters in 2012, makes it legal under state law for adults age 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, or grow up to six plants, and to privately use the drug.

But the battle over using marijuana in public is far from over.

On Monday, Denver City Council's Amendment 64 Committee introduced the bill to further limit where marijuana smokers can light up.

The Denver proposal comes after marijuana advocates held free joint giveaways at the city's Civic Center Park and the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

The proposed bill states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to openly and publicly display or consume one (1) ounce or less of marijuana."

The term "openly" means occurring or existing in a manner that is unconcealed, undisguised, or obvious and it observable or perceptible through sight or smell to the public or to persons on neighboring property, according to the bill.

The bill does not specifically list the punishment for those infractions.

Marijuana advocates call the proposal blatantly unconstitutional.