DENVER - The City of Denver has turned down a marijuana group seeking to hold an event to mark the start of retail sales Jan. 1.
In hindsight, Matt Brown, co-founder of My 4/20 Tours, said asking for permission to have a pot party celebrating the legalization of recreational marijuana was a mistake.
"The city hand-delivered a letter to the venue we had been working with and threatened, not only prosecution to the fullest extent of the law to any of us that put the event on, but anybody who attended the event as well," Brown said.
Brown knows smoking pot in public is illegal, but he was surprised his request for a private party at the Norad Dance Bar on New Year's Day was denied.
"How do law abiding adults consume cannabis together in a way that's private and not a problem to the rest of the public?" Brown remarked.
Norad is still considered a public place, according to the city. Brown said the letter only shows there are gray areas concerning enforcement that need to be addressed.
"What this has really shown us is there is no clarification," he said.
Recreational pot sales: What you need to know
The Denver Police Department's response was simple: officers will enforce the laws, but do not plan on seeking pot users out through special operations.
Betty Aldworth, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said there are bound to be gray areas.
"We're paving the way here," Aldworth said. "We're pulling an industry out of 70 years of prohibition, and we're just creating something brand new."
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