Legislature has last minute fight over pot on your porch

A conference committee reached a compromise this afternoon between the House and Senate versions of this bill-- which would legally allow you to have up to five guests using marijuana on your front porch.

A last-minute fight over whether you can smoke pot on your porch kept Colorado lawmakers at the Capitol Wednesday night.

It was the last day the state legislature can meet, and lawmakers on both sides of the issue had hours left to work out a compromise.

The bill would have allowed a homeowner and five people who don’t live in the home to consume marijuana on the front porch. If a sixth non-resident joined the party, that would constitute a criminal violation.

The House ultimately decided to stick to its original position, which would’ve allowed people to smoke pot on their private property without the restrictions proposed in the amendments.

The argument was since pot is legalized the government shouldn’t restrict what people can do on their property.

The Senate also stuck to its original position, pushing for some restrictions on how many people can smoke in front of their homes.

Since the House and Senate couldn’t see eye to eye the bill died.

Supporters of legal pot were not happy about the bill.

“This will override Denver law,” marijuana lobbyist Christian Sederberg said.

The Denver City Council debated whether public consumption included a person’s porch back in 2014 and voted 10-3 to let people consume on their porches even if that meant they were in view of the public.

“We believe that we should not be making new crimes against people who want to lawfully consume in the only place they are currently allowed to consume in the state, which is their home,” Sederberg said.

He and other opponents of SB17-184 think this is a way for lawmakers who oppose marijuana consumption to further marginalize people who enjoy it.

But Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver), who came up with the “rule of five,” told the lawmakers working on a compromise that this is about second-hand smoke and nuisance issues.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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