A proposed Denver city ordinance geared towards recreational marijuana could affect medical marijuana patients who are medicating in the privacy of their own homes. The ordinance is being introduced at a committee meeting tomorrow. The ordinance could end up prohibiting smoking on private property if the odor from consumption could be detected from a neighboring property. I understand that people want to ban public use, but anything done with marijuana in the privacy of one's home should be perfectly legal (especially consumption).
Creating such a ban would give so much power to marijuana opponents that it would be a disaster for patients and recreational users alike. At any time all a marijuana opponent would have to do is say that they could smell marijuana and call the cops. Enforcement would be a nightmare. How much smell would be too much? What if law enforcement showed up due to a complaint, and the smell was gone, would they still bust the marijuana user? How do you prove that a smell existed in the first place, and for that matter, that it was a smell so strong that it was offensive?
It seems like every scenario would be a judgement call which would create such a headache for everyone involved. I certainly know if I was consuming marijuana in the privacy of my own home, or cultivating in the privacy of my own home, and I was busted for a 'smell' I would fight it in court with everything I had. I would demand to know how they would prove I was in the wrong, and how it created a measurable harm to the person complaining.
Why is the ordinance being created to target just marijuana? My friends grew up next to a mushroom plant which stunk up the whole neighborhood like no one could ever imagine. Other friends grew up by an Oregon dairy which stunk to the point it almost made me sick when I would visit. Will we see ordinances pop up banning certain farming and industry activities such as these? How is it any different than a ban on marijuana odor?
"Your activities should not pervade others' peace and ability to enjoy," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock according to the Denver Post. "Marijuana is one of those elements that can be quite pervasive and invasive. I shouldn't have to smell your activities from your backyard."
Really Mayor Hancock? What if I find the backyard BBQ smell coming from your house offensive? Should I be able to call the cops? What if that fertilizer you use on your rosebushes stinks? After all it's likely to include manure. Should I be able to call law enforcement and have them invade your property because the smell you think is OK is not to my liking? How can someone be harmed from the smell of marijuana? Has there ever been a case in the history of the world where someone experienced a real harm from marijuana odor?
This is a bit of a stretch by marijuana opponents, and highlights just how desperate they are now that they see their failed policies going the way of the dinosaur. If you live in Denver, please contact members of the city council. There's a complete list provided in the first link of this article.