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Smoking pot on a front porch: Private or public property?

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 11 2014 12:28:18 AM CST

Smoking pot on a front porch: private or public property?

PUEBLO, Colo. -

City Council is on the fence about whether people should be allowed to smoke marijuana on their front porches and backyards.

"I'm concerned about how it affects children and having smoke inside of a house would adversely affect them," said Councilman Chris Nicoll. 

During Monday night's work session, Nicoll said if the city decides to ban outdoor consumption of marijuana, he worries about children inhaling second-hand marijuana smoke from their parents inside the home.

Amendment 64 does not allow marijuana consumption to be done "openly and publicly." But it's up to each municipality to define what public means.

"Front porches are an area where folks should not be smoking marijuana," said Council President Sandy Daff. 

Council briefly mentioned its moratorium on recreational pot sales but council plans to discuss it further on Feb. 24. 

Police Chief Luis Velez has advised council not to allow it, adding that it carries negative consequences. 

"It will have resource ramifications for the police department," Velez said. "We are currently understaffed by fourteen positions."

Council members worry about how marijuana will affect the city's reputation.

"Folks going out for walks in their neighborhoods -- I just don't think it elevates the image of our community," Daff said.

"Our image should be family oriented and family centered and so yeah, I do have concerns about it," Nicoll sad. 

Pueblo has a moratorium on recreational pot sales until March 31.

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