We found the source and it’s Chris Nevitt. Next he’ll be in our bedrooms. Forget parks and the 16th Street Mall, the problem is with rules that interfere with private property between adjacent homes. Citizens, not the government, can deal with private issues.
The following article By Jeremy Meyer was published in the Denver Post October 17, 2013:
Denver City Councilman Chris Nevitt has been the leading proponent for retail marijuana, helping shepherd through licensing and rules and even advocating for the city to start with no new taxes on retail pot to keep prices low and undercut the black market.
So when marijuana industry official Christian Sederberg heard about a proposed Denver law to make possession of marijuana illegal in parks and on the 16th Street Mall and prohibit smoking weed on front porches or in enclosed back yards, he called Nevitt.
“Have you heard about this new ordinance?” Sederberg asked Nevitt.
“Yes,” answered Nevitt. “I wrote it.”
Nevitt’s stance on the proposed possession and consumption law has shocked people in the marijuana industry, who have called the draft legislation unconstitutional and against the wishes of voters who approved Amendment 64.
Some have suggested Nevitt’s position is purely political in nature.
Nevitt will be running for city auditor in 2015 when Dennis Gallagher is term-limited.
Nevitt, who represents District 7 in Denver, strongly disagreed he is using the legislation for any political purpose, saying he wants the new marijuana industry to succeed and wrote legislation to force people to be discrete in their use.
“You all know me as somebody who has been an advocate for treating marijuana like any other business and imposing regulations on it like any other business,” Nevitt said in a committee meeting on Monday. “We also are faced with the fact that we are doing something new and out on a limb here. How fast do we go down that road? How quickly and thoroughly do we embrace the normalization of marijuana? We need to move with some care and caution so that we don’t spark a backlash.”
Later, Nevitt explained plenty of people will be looking for ways to discredit the industry and try to repeal the pot legalization. Critics will point to rallies where free pot has been handed out or to public use of marijuana on the 16th Street Mall. Some will wonder why it is legal for their neighbors to smoke like crazy in their back yards, with marijuana smoke billowing into adjacent homes.
Nevitt said he wanted a bill that would direct police to act when they see open marijuana smoking and protect people who don’t want to be subjected to excessive marijuana smoking. He said if the rules aren’t written, the industry could be short-lived in Denver.
“There is always the threat that citizen backlash could push Denver to opt out, which I think would be a terrible error,” Nevitt said. “We don’t know how this will turn out. We are all making guesses. I am just trying to make sure that as we take one further step into the normalization of marijuana that we don’t spark a backlash from people who want to turn back the clock.”
The council committee will meet again in the coming weeks to discuss what to do with legislation, which even Nevitt acknowledged will likely be scaled back. The full council won’t vote on the bill until it is passed through the committee.