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Boulder to OK $300 Fines for Smoking Pot, Cigarettes in Open Space, Parks?

Once upon a time, people who wanted to smoke without annoying anyone would simply head outside.

Now, however, large parts of the outdoors in Boulder County may be off-limits to smokers no matter the substance they're consuming, be it tobacco or marijuana.

And violations could result in fines as high as $300.

The figure is part of changes proposed by Boulder Parks and Open Space in a document on view below. Boulder County Commissioners will consider the request at a meeting slated for tomorrow, March 8 — and the potential policy shifts go beyond smoking.

Here's a synopsis of what are labeled the "Proposed Revisions and Additions of Significance:"
1. Prohibit smoking on County Parks and Open Space.

2. Prohibit the use of marijuana and marijuana derivatives on County Parks and Open Space.

3. Prohibit the recreational use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) on County Parks and Open Space.

4. Prohibit visitors from leaving pets unattended in vehicles during periods of prolonged heat and cold.

5. Require the use of weed-free feed for livestock using County Parks and Open Space trails and trailheads.

6. Revised fine structure with increases in fine amounts.
In regard to the latter, there isn't currently a fine for smoking in county parks or open space.

But if the commissioners sign off on the new suggestions, a first offense would cost $75, a second offense would be $150, a third offense would double to $300.

Subsequent offenses, meanwhile, would stay at $300 "or maximum allowable by law."


There's at least one major sign the rules are likely to win approval.

The Boulder Daily Camera notes that there were no complaints from the public after hearings this past October and December during which the Parks and Open Space Committee backed them.

However, public comments will be allowed during tomorrow's meeting, slated for 11:30 a.m. in the commissioners hearing room on the third floor of the Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl Street.

Look below to see the complete proposal.

Boulder Open Space Smoking Proposal.pdf

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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