The CSO had planned three fundraising concerts, starting with a kickoff show at a gallery in Denver on May 23, reports the Denver Post.
But that and others scheduled for later that summer in the Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series” series are now under review as they could violate state and city laws against public consumption of marijuana.
In a hand-delivered letter from city attorneys, licensing and police officials and others, the city asks CSO to stop the concerts. If it doesn’t, “We will exercise any and all options available to the city of Denver to halt the event and hold the business owners (and) event organizers responsible for any violations of law.”
That could mean blocking the special-events permits the CSO would likely need for the first two shows. The CSO said in a statement that it “takes the issues raised by the city of Denver very seriously.”
“We’re reviewing the issues with our legal team,” the CSO said. “When the Colorado Symphony accepted support from the legal cannabis industry — as a means of supporting our financial operations and connecting with a culturally diverse audience — we believed we did so in full compliance with the law.”
The plans for the gallery concerts include a smoking lounge on an enclosed outdoor patio, so that should make it a private place, right? Meaning that the public consumption law wouldn’t be violated.
Well, one might think that. But the city’s letter says that the gallery “may be considered a public place under Colorado law,” among other provisions in the amendment that legalized pot possession and private consumption, anti-smoking laws and other ordinances involving cannabis licenses.
While the city attorney’s office said most event organizers call off their plans when facing such a letter, it could be interesting to see if CSO goes ahead with its plans to see what might happen in a court of law.
“If the symphony decides to make a test case of it, it would be more interesting,” a University of Denver Law professor tells the Post. “It would be a much closer case than the Civic Center event would be.”