Municipalities must enact ordinances if they wish to control retail sales and open consumption of marijuana.
Chief Jake Shirk told the Monument Board of Trustees at the Dec. 17 meeting that even though marijuana is now legal in Colorado with the passing of Amendment 64, and it's a constitutional amendment, there's no authority behind it for towns to enforce it.
Shirk said that as it stands right now if someone is driving through town or going into the parks and they're smoking marijuana there is nothing they can do about it unless the town enacts an ordinance prohibiting it.
“We would have to come up with an ordinance by July for retail. Open consumption, I believe you should make a decision rather quickly on that which way we're going to go,” Shirk said.
Shirk said if someone is under the age of 21 and smoking marijuana openly, law enforcement can take action.
“This is only 21 and older that we need open consumption on. Anybody under that, they're ours,” Shirk said.
Shirk said that even if officers saw someone smoking marijuana right now that cannot be used as a primary cause to pull the vehicle over until an ordinance is passed for open consumption.
Town Manager Cathy Green said regarding open consumption, she suggested that it would be easy to go back through the ordinances and everywhere it discusses public consumption of alcohol they can add marijuana.
“In public parks we don't care how much alcohol; we don't even care if you've had any to drink. We say you can't bring alcohol to the parks so I think we can do that right-a-way. Say you can't bring or have alcohol in the parks, you can't bring or have marijuana in the parks,” Green said.
“I understand we're not going to solve this tonight obviously but I think this ought to be number one priority starting off in the beginning of the year,” Trustee Stan Gingrich said. “I think we need to be proactive, maybe help set the tone for other towns and I recommend not waiting on this issue.”
Shirk and town attorney Gary Shoup will work together on the ordinance language and bring it to the next board meeting.
Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Kaiser said he would like as much input from the public on this issue.