Jonathan Singer warns against legalizing marijuana without letting people smoke pot in public
As Canada prepares to figure out where people will be allowed to use marijuana once it’s legalized, a state legislator in Colorado is pointing to what he calls a misstep in his state’s own legalization process in 2012.
“We allowed people to purchase marijuana,” said Jonathan Singer, a member of the Colorado House of Representatives. “But we didn’t give them a place to consume marijuana outside homes.”
Singer told CBC Montreal’s Radio Noon that anyone older than 21 is allowed to smoke pot — but only in homes or at private parties. Not in a park, and certainly not on the street.
Smoking outside won’t get you arrested in Colorado, he said. Rather, it’s a petty offence. Under Colorado law, a pot-smoker with two ounces or less of marijuana faces a maximum fine of $100. But Singer said the state should loosen up.
“It’s unfortunate in Colorado, in terms of the law right now, if it’s a nice day out, and you want to consume marijuana, you’ve got to consume it at your home or at another private event.”
Singer said he hoped people will soon be able to gather together — indoors — to smoke marijuana, much like they can gather to drink a beer.
“What we’re doing, hopefully in the next couple of weeks here, is passing a bill that would say if people want to responsibly, socially consume marijuana, they could go to a dispensary, and as long as the dispensary was licenced, they could be able to consume it at the dispensary or in an adjacent room.”