Denver asks Colorado Symphony to cancel pot concerts

KUSA- The city of Denver is urging the Colorado Symphony to cancel its upcoming Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series scheduled for this summer.

On Thursday the Department of Excise and Licenses delivered a letter to the symphony regarding the events set to take place at The Space Gallery.

Late last month, the Colorado Symphony announced plans to team up with the Cannabis industry for fundraisers. They're set to host three summer events at the Space Gallery. According to the Symphony the events are bring your own cannabis.

The Colorado Sympony believes it's all legal, since it is a private event, requiring a ticket.

However, the city disagreed in a letter to the symphony.

"If you go forward, we [the city] will exercise any and all options available to the City of Denver to halt the event and hold the business owners, event organizers responsible for any violations of law. We are also ready to hold individual attendees responsible for any violations of City ordinances or state law prohibiting public consumption of marijuana."

According to the letter, while Amendment 64 permits the personal use of marijuana for adults over 21, it does not extend to smoking "openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others." The City Attorney says a venue, like the Space Gallery, may be considered a public place under Colorado law. That means smoking or consuming edible marijuana at an event at there may be a violation of State laws prohibiting public consumption of marijuana. The city alleges the events could also violate tThe Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which imposes a criminal penalty on any person who "owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a premises" where unlawful smoking occurs.

The city also says the Colorado Symphony has a contract for the use of Boettcher Concert Hall. It requires compliance with all laws, including federal law. Since the consumption of marijuana is illegal under federal law the events constitute a breach of contract with the City.

Jerome H. Kern, the Colorado Symphony CEO/Co-Chair and Colorado Symphony Association Board of Trustees released the following statement Thursday night.

"As a responsible and civic-minded organization, the Colorado Symphony take the issues raised by the City of Denver very seriously. We're reviewing the issues with our legal team. When the Colorado Symphony accepted support from the legal cannabis industry -- as a means of supporting our financial operations and connecting with a culturally diverse audience -- we believed we did so in full compliance with the law. We're confident that any questions can be resolved quickly. We will issue a more detailed response after a thorough internal review."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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