Marijuana Advocates Pledge To Work With Denver For New Pot Rules

<p>(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)</p>
<p>A marijuana plant grows at the Colorado Harvest Company in Denver, Colo. on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.</p>

Backers of a ballot measure to allow marijuana use in Denver bars and restaurants have halted their campaign. The Clerk and Recorder was expected to certify signatures, qualifying their initiative for the ballot on Friday.

"We want to collaborate with city officials," said Mason Tvert, a marijuana advocate who said his group was approached by city officials who want to craft a policy together. "We were very excited to work with the city together to create a policy that everybody agrees is the best step forward."

Tvert said advocates had every intention of putting the measure on the ballot.

"Quite frankly, I had already discussed with my employer a leave of absence for two months to run this campaign," he said.

There are many stores to buy marijuana in Denver – but no place to use it outside of a private residence – leaving many tourists to consume marijuana on sidewalks and parks. About 1,000 public consumption tickets were handed out last year, a 450 percent increase since recreational pot stores opened, according to police records.