A Decision on a Ban on Outdoor Medical Marijuana Ads in Denver, CO Will Have to Wait
A ban on outdoor medical marijuana advertising has been an issue in Denver for much of the spring, and now two competing ban proposals will have to come together before a city council vote in August.
Councilmember Debbie Ortega proposed a ban in May similar to one on tobacco ads, It would prevent ads from being 1,000 from schools, etc. But Medical Marijuana Industry Group director Michael Elliot says that sends a message that MMJ is something bad. The MMIG is actually pushing for a full, citywide ban.
"Such advertisements unite opposition to medical marijuana, undermine our support, and are largely responsible for the banning of MMJ businesses in Fort Collins and other jurisdictions," Elliott told Denver Westword. "As a community, we should decide whether these advertisements are doing more harm than good. Perhaps the best approach would be 'out of sight, out of mind.'"
Councilmember Christopher Herndon agrees, and will soon introduce a proposal for a full ban on outdoor ads. "I want to further legitimize the industry," he says. "And to do that, I think it's important for people to understand that this is for medical purposes -- and when you see the signage or the spinners, it gives the impression that it's more than medical."
But Councilman Charlie Brown opposes both bans, saying the only problem seems to be the “sign-twirlers” outside dispensaries, a problem that can be easily fixed.
Councilwoman Ortega will soon meet with Herndon to see if a compromise can be reached. "My hope is that we can sit down and walk through the ordinances and try and get to a place where we agree, or agree to disagree, on what a citywide ordinance would look like before [Herndon's proposal] is scheduled to go to committee on August 1," she said.
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