Denver symphony to host bring-your-own marijuana concerts

People gather at the 4/20 pro-marijuana rally in Civic Center Park with the capitol building in the...

People gather at the 4/20 pro-marijuana rally in Civic Center Park with the capitol building in the background in downtown Denver April 20, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Reuters

, Last Updated: 1:17 AM ET

DENVER  - Denver officials are calling on the Colorado Symphony to cancel a series of bring-your-own marijuana concerts or risk violating laws that ban the public use of pot, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

The symphony announced last week it was partnering with businesses from Colorado's legal marijuana industry for three fundraising summertime concerts set for this month at an art gallery. The series is called: "Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series."

Colorado, along with Washington state, legalized the possession and use of recreational cannabis in 2012. The first retail pot shops opened in January but consuming cannabis in public remains illegal.

Stacie Loucks, director of Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses, warned symphony executives in a letter on Thursday that even its proposed private venue could be considered a public place, the Denver Post reported.

"We will exercise any and all options available to the City of Denver to halt the event," Loucks wrote, according to the newspaper.

The department could not be immediately reached for comment.

The symphony had said in a disclaimer accompanying the concert announcements that because the concerts will be held at a private art gallery, attendees could consume pot at the events.

The symphony's CEO, Jerome Kern, said the organization has referred the matter to its lawyers, and will issue a detailed response after a "thorough internal review."

"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," Kern said in a statement on the group's website.


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