Drug Policy

Denver Suburb Requires Pot Growers to Install Equipment While Forbidding Them to Bring It Home


Last week I noted that Greenwood Village, a Denver suburb, had passed an ordinance purporting to ban marijuana possession on city property, including streets and sidewalks, even though Amendment 64, the ballot initiative approved by Colorado voters in November, says possessing or transporting up to an ounce is "not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado law or the law of any locality." Reason Foundation research assistant Andrew Livingston points out that Ordinance 43-12, which bans public possession of "marijuana accessories" as well as marijuana, conflicts not only with Amendment 64 but also with another anti-pot ordinance that the Greenwood Village City Council is on the verge of passing.

Since December 10 it has been legal for Colorado residents 21 or older to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use or to share with friends. Alarmed at that prospect, the city plans to "restrict the indoor cultivation of marijuana to ensure the safety of Greenwood Village residents and mitigate negative impacts to neighbors and the surrounding community." Toward that end, Ordinance 1-13, which received preliminary approval on January 7, restricts the size and location of marijuana grows as well as the equipment used in them. It also requires "a ventilation and filtration system designed to ensure that odors from the cultivation are not detectable beyond the property line…and to prevent mold and moisture and otherwise protect the health and safety of persons residing in the residence."

But Ordinance 43-12  prohibits what Ordinance 1-13 requires, since it bans public possession of "marijuana accessories," defined to include "any equipment, products, or materials of any kind" used to grow cannabis. That means home growers cannot legally install the ventilation system the city says they must have, since doing so would require using Greenwood Village's streets to transport its components. The city's residents also cannot legally transport seeds or seedlings, soil, fertilizer, lights, or anything else they might need to cultivate the plants they are allowed to grow in their homes under Amendment 64.

It seems safe to say that Greenwood Village, which does not allow medical marijuana dispensaries and has pre-emptively banned the recreational cannabis stores that are supposed to start opening in Colorado next year, is not a very pot-friendly place. Leslie Schluter, the city council member who introduced the ban on public possession and the prohibitive restrictions on home cultivation, notes that most Greenwood Village voters opposed Amendment 64. But these two ordinances go beyond the local leeway allowed by Amendment 64, which says municipalities may ban marijuana sales within their borders, to attack personal possession and home cultivation, both of which are now explicitly protected by the state constitution.

Similarly, Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson, who serves on the criminal issues working group of the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, argues that home growers should be arrested if they possess more than an ounce of marijuana. But that is not what Amendment 64 says. In addition to removing penalties for possession of up to an ounce by anyone 21 or older, Amendment 64 allows home growers to possess "the marijuana produced by the [six] plants on the premises where the plants were grown." At a January 23 meeting of an Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force subgroup, Jackson rebelled at that notion, saying the implications are "appalling," "horrendous," and "ridiculous." He said he can't tell his officers to ignore what might be several ounces or even pounds of marijuana in someone's home because it comes from the six plants permitted by Amendment 64. He deemed that a "complete perversion" of the initiative's intent, even though that is what the amendment plainly says.

This sort of resistance against Amendment 64 may backfire for advocates of local control. The Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force is supposed to make its recommendations by the end of February, at which point the Colorado General Assembly will start considering what legislation is appropriate to make the initiative fully effective. While Amendment 64 allows local governments to ban pot stores, the question of exactly how much discretion they will have to regulate this new business and the behavior of pot growers and consumers is still up in the air. If legislators believe that city and county officials are trying to flout the will of the voters, they may be more inclined to constrain local authority and set policy at the state level.

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  1. I always enjoy how these proposals are couched in “we’re only thinking of the safety of those who grow and use marijuana” language. I’d enjoy a national day of truth serum where all politicians are dosed with it and then are required to hold a press conference.

    1. Hmm… Scopolamine in their water glasses you say?

      1. According to the FBI marijuana has been classified as a truth serum.

        1. so is enough scotch (or in my case the reasonable expectation of good SMW)…and chocolate chips cookies.

    2. I’ll volunteer my services to start IV thiopental drips on as many of them as I can.

  2. So people are actually telling their city government that they bought some grow lights? WTF?

    Dude! Do what you did back when it was illegal: Sneak it in the house! Once it’s inside it’s legal, and it up to them (if they ever find out) to prove it ever came near their precious city sidewalks.

  3. most Greenwood Village voters opposed Amendment 64.

    Yeah, if them damn hippies don’t like it, they can all move to Boulder.

    1. Damn, dirty hippies

    2. Boulder cops suck. Move to Nederland.

      1. Other than the eye-popping piles of hot girls walking around, Boulder pretty much sucks. It’s been run into the ground by authoritarian dickholes.

        1. Funny story. I was working as a cook in Boulder at one of the few voluntarily smoke free restaurants. They passed a city ordinance outlawing tobacco use in eating establishments. Within a month my employer closed down because the snobby patrons could now go anywhere, and being unable to pay my rent I was homeless for the next six months until I could scrape up first, last and deposit! Funny! Ha ha!

          I hate that city.

          1. I hear the white-hipster-proggies out there are pretty damn racist, too.

            Did you find that to be the case?

            1. People of color, with the exception of the Mexicans who did most of the work, were few and far between.
              I went to high school in Nederland (thirty minutes into the mountains from Boulder) and one year we had a token black guy. Everyone kept asking him “Can you play basketball? Are you good at basketball?” to the point where he began conversations with “No I don’t play basketball, please don’t ask.” He wasn’t there long.
              In Boulder there was this black barfly named George who always had a bottle of Bud in his hand. Nice guy. Then there was this young guy who went by Chocolate who hated himself for being black, and this other guy I can’t remember his name. No, there weren’t many blacks there. Oh, and this black guy John who ripped me off on a dope deal. Asshole.
              There weren’t many blacks. Whether or not that was due to racism is anyone’s guess.

          2. Not that it was your fault, but did the patrons go elsewhere because they were snobby, or because the food sucked?

            1. They went there when it was one of the only smoke free establishments because they were snobs, and they went elsewhere because the food wasn’t that great.

              1. Whose fault was that, cookie?

                1. The guy who wrote the menu, spade.

                  1. You know, that’s the thing. I have no reason to suspect you aren’t at least a passable cook, and yet you were in arguably the most important position regarding how the food turns out, and were probably still pretty much unable to do anything about it.

                    I was in a similar situation once. I was cooking at a place that was…we’ll say low end. I had a reputation among the folks, though for being the guy you want to see in the back, and still more or less got fired when I very loudly started complaining about how the fryer had not had the oil changed in …we’re gonna say nDays.

                    That was when I decided I would pretty much need to be my own boss.

  4. I really, truly cannot figure out just what these people are so afraid of.

    Of all the things you can get your knickers in a twist about, they pick weed?

    1. Once weed become legal, the word “legal” loses all meaning.

    2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..67629.html

      They pick whatever splinter issue they can get, and they pretend that it’s a gateway to heroin, LSD, prostitution, child pornography… and they keep going down the list until they find something that everyone is still afraid of. Their knickers are in a twist because they benefit massively from the status quo without having to actually do anything of value and they don’t want that to change.

      1. It’s a gateway to the black market. If it was legal then it would no longer be a gateway.

      2. I get that a lot of people profit from prohibitions, but there seems to be a contingent that just flat thinks the stuff is evil, or causes dogs to play with cats, or white women to sleep with negroes, or something…

        1. Which is still pretty silly. They want this thing illegal because they think it makes people do things that are not bad enough to be actually illegal themselves.

  5. I think I just got around it. Grow other plants. Telling people they can’t have the stuff to grow houseplants is absurd. Then, decide later to use your stuff for self-sustained bud-production.

    State agent of the day: “You brought and transported that stuff in to cultivate marijuana.”

    You: “No, I bought and transported that stuff to cultivate St. Paulia.”

    Let them prove otherwise.


    This presumes that the statute only stops people from transporting these items for the purpose of cultivating cannabis. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past some to try to ban all houseplants to prevent the devil weed from taking hold.

    What they don’t know is that the potheads are just…

    Sitting there smiling, sittin’ on their sacks of seeds.

    1. Not too long ago, last week maybe, there was a story of a guy who had a grow operation for legal plants that would make a marijuana grower proud.

      Cops still tried to bust him. They insisted he couldn’t have that sophisticated of an indoor operation without growing marijuana.

      1. I guess that’ll just help to prove my thesis that .gov agents generally lack the capacity for abstract thought.

      2. Sounds like my brother’s house. His Florida room is basically an herb garden, and he had a pretty large screened patio that he covered with plastic sheeting to turn it into a greenhouse. All legal plants.

    2. You: “No, I bought and transported that stuff to cultivate St. Paulia.”

      Build a record by posting a few pix to Facebook of your killer indoor St. Paulia op.

      1. Don’t laugh. That shit has taken over my grandmother’s house, and it is well on its way to doing so in my kitchen.

        I come from a long line of florists.

  6. If these mini-Leviathans were smarter then they’d strike out now for a few important issues just to set the precedent that they have control, but not make it so obvious that they want to smother the new rule in its infancy. They can better roll back freedom if they’re patient.

    They can put enough rules on it that it’s difficult to do it lawfully, and leave their arrest policy vague and unverifiable.

  7. Oh, y’all just thought this was a slam dunk.

    Never underestimate the government’s ability to ban or regulate something through sheer force of will.

  8. Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson

    Don’t blame me I voted for Jack Johnson.

    1. “Your 3% marijuana tax goes too far.”
      “Your 3% marijuana tax doesn’t go too far enough.”

  9. I am pleased this is happening. Especially in the Yuppie France of Colorado. To quote her royal (adopted evidently) highness the Princess Leia, “The tighter you squeeze your grip…the more the rebel alliance will slip through your fingers.”

    When you’ve lost Mike Rosen then you’ve lost the war. That asshat actually supported it before it passed and I almost drove off the road when he did (for those not living in the cool state of CO, he is a paleocon radio host, i know him, he knows me, words are never spoken).

    1. words are never spoken

      What, as soon as the door is closed you just tear each other’s clothes off?

      1. something like that.

  10. I think I just got around it. Grow other plants.

    You might want to google Ryan Frederick before you get too cocky.

    1. That was half-a-joke, my friend.

      I deal with statutes and regulations professionally, and it was more a statement about how these people are so out of touch with the reality of the implications of their policy that they could sweep up a person with a passion for african violets.

  11. I’m not much of a weed person . . . how long will an ounce last a typical smoker? How long for an enthusiastic smoker?

    1. That, my friend, depends upon many factors.

      Weed is not all created equal.

    2. Assuming (1) you don’t share it (2) you have some truly top-shelf groomed sensimilla buds, and (3) you don’t wake and bake every day, an ounce could last you several weeks or even a couple of months, at a guess.

      But, many, many variables. I propose a study, where we sample the average ounce duration for a large number of commenters and get and average. Who’s with me?

      1. Wow, that’s along time. Let me ask you this: how much is an ounce, by volume? Are we talking a Glad sandwich baggie?

        1. Are we talking a Glad sandwich baggie?


      2. Assuming . . . you have some truly top-shelf groomed sensimilla buds . . .

        I’ve smoked weed maybe two dozen times in my life, and it’s been over a decade since I last did it. Most of the time I did it was to be sociable, when someone else passed that shit, so to speak – kinda like a light drinker drinking a shot that’s thrust in has face at a party. Of all the times I smoked it, only once did I really and truly enjoy it. My guess is that it was due solely to quality of the weed in that instance. There was none of the dull, stupid, paranoid feelings I had every other time I smoked. I guess every other time I smoked, I’d been blazing up some serious ditch weed.

  12. Nowthere is a dude talking a LOT of smack!


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