October 11, 2013
Statement of ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein
“The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado strongly opposes Denver’s ill-advised, unnecessary, and unconstitutional proposed rules ‘concerning the possession and consumption of marijuana.’
“The ordinance, as proposed, is an irrational overreach that will inevitably result in unnecessary police-community confrontations. Voters made it clear last year that law enforcement time and resources should not be spent pursuing low-level marijuana arrests.
“Two out of three Denver voters agreed that marijuana should be legalized but regulated like alcohol. This proposed ordinance does not regulate marijuana like alcohol: no one risks a year in jail for drinking a beer in their fenced back yard, yet this ordinance would make criminals once again of persons who enjoy a legal joint on their back porch, if anyone can see or smell from a public area or a nearby property. The proposed ordinance also violates the Colorado Constitution by making it a crime to carry a legal product in your pocket if you are walking on the Sixteenth Street Mall.
“It’s hard to read this proposal and not wonder what they’ve been smoking up at City Hall.”