Number of citations issued for public marijuana use in Denver spikes in 2014

DENVER - Public use of marijuana is prohibited throughout Colorado. Now six months into legalization, 7NEWS has discovered a spike in the number of citations issued in Denver.

According to Denver police statistics, there were 181 citations issued in 2013.

That compares to 351 citations since the start of this year.

"People have to learn. So there's always that learning process," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "We have asked our officers and instructed them to be, to enforce the law. It's like being the RA on the dorm floor.  Early on you're very restrictive. You enforce those rules hard so everybody gets the message."

We do know at least 130 of the 351 citations were issued at this year's 4/20 rally in downtown Denver.

In 2013, only five citations were issued at the rally.

While those who lobbied against the legalization feel the problem is widespread, they along with marijuana supporters say they are glad the laws are being enforced appropriately.

"Clearly it's going on. And I'm just thankful at least the city is trying to enforce, because I think there's been kind of a gray area," said Gina Carbone, spokesperson for SMART Colorado, a group seeking to ensure Amendment 64's implementation does not compromise the health and safety of Colorado's kids.

"It could always go better. I think it's gone very well. Part of what we're doing is addressing problems as that come. Because we're really in uncharted territory," said Michael Elliott of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group.

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