Denver's official marijuana website: Welcome to the world of "No!"

Yesterday, the City of Denver launched a marijuana website on" -- a key element in what a release calls "a public education effort" prior to the January 1 kickoff of retail pot sales. But while the assorted pages sport apparently non-ironic references to Denver as "the Mile High City," the tone of the graphics and text is the opposite of welcoming, with the vast majority of the info focused on what people can't do as opposed to what they can. The result suggests officials frankly terrified by what will happen just over three weeks from now. See examples aplenty below.

The landing page of the site features flash graphics that cycle through the following six warnings:

The rest of the site is divided up into four sections using a question-and-answer format. We've reproduced the first of these -- "Residents & Visitors" -- in its entirety below, but here's a sample that'll give you a feel for the don't-push-your-luck approach:
Can I consume marijuana in a licensed retail store?

Answer -- No, it is illegal to consume marijuana in or around a licensed store. It is also illegal to smoke at indoor-but-public locations such as bars, restaurants and common areas in buildings.

Are marijuana "social clubs" or "coffee shops" permitted?

Answer -- No. These businesses are not permitted.

What are the consequences if I violate marijuana laws?

Answer -- Penalties range from a fine to a possible jail or prison sentence. Colorado State Statutes and Denver Revised Municipal Code spell out the specific penalties for various violations.

Other pages on the site take a similar tack.

Continue for more about Denver's official marijuana website, including additional posters and graphics.
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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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