Two men were cited Monday night for giving away marijuana at the corner of Main Avenue and College Drive in downtown Durango.
Joseph Bires, 31, and Daniel McKnight, 24, both of Durango, were cited with disturbing the peace and being in possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana, said Lt. Ray Shupe, spokesman with the Durango Police Department.
Police were notified of the activity about 7:10 p.m., he said.
As of Dec. 10, Colorado law allows people age 21 or older to possess less than 1 ounce of marijuana. It can be consumed in a private residence, but it is illegal to consume or display the drug in public, Shupe said.
By handing out free joints, the two men effectively were displaying marijuana in public, he said. It also is illegal to sell the drug without a permit.
The men were not smoking the drug.
“You still can’t display marijuana in public or smoke it,” Shupe said, “so they were still in violation of our municipal ordinance and state law.”
When police questioned them, the two men were each in possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana, he said. They had a cardboard box with marijuana resting on the sidewalk near Starbucks.
They were given a municipal violation and released, he said.
Police were unsure why the men were giving away joints.
The men did not have a permanent address in Durango, and efforts to reach them for comment were unsuccessful.
Colorado voters in November passed Amendment 64 with 55 percent approval. It legalized possession of less than 1 ounce and directed the Legislature to set up laws to regulate marijuana. The Legislature earlier this month settled on regulations for the way marijuana is grown, packaged and sold in retail stores.
State voters in November will decide on two taxes on marijuana – an excise tax on wholesale sales and a retail sales tax, both of up to 15 percent.