Backers of Denver initiative allowing marijuana in bars deliver petitions, await ballot certification
Whether Denver voters in November will face a choice about allowing patrons to use marijuana in bars and some other businesses wasn’t in dispute Monday, though ballot certification still could be weeks away.
Instead, the city attorney’s office and the initiative’s backers, who said they turned in more 10,700 petition signatures — more than twice as many as needed — continued to air a longstanding debate. It centers on state law’s prohibition on using marijuana “openly and publicly”and if that law would trump any local decision to allow vaping or edibles inside privately owned (but publicly accessible) bars or other establishments.
The adoption of the initiated ordinance in Denver will create a serious conflict with state law, and may prompt the General Assembly to address the subject of public consumption of marijuana on a statewide basis as early as the 2016 session,” assistant city attorney David Broadwell wrote in a new memo sent to the City Council on Monday.
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