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Denver scales back proposed marijuana possession rules

DENVER, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A proposed ordinance in Denver would allow marijuana use in back yards and possession in public parks, easing an earlier draft banning open use, officials said.

The new version being considered by the Denver City Council isn't as harsh as the earlier one, which would have banned even the smell of burning marijuana from people's back yards, The Denver Post reported Wednesday. The prior version would have forbidden marijuana smoking on outdoor private property, and made it illegal to possess marijuana in public parks and at Denver's outdoor 16th Street Mall.

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Marijuana was legalized for adult use in Colorado by a ballot initiative in 2012.

The updated draft of the ordinance eliminates a reference to smell as constituting "open and public consumption," the newspaper said.

It must still be approved by the City Council.

"Anyone is free to have marijuana in these locations," said Councilman Chris Nevitt, referring to back yards, parks and the mall. "They are only prohibited from waving it around."

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