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Single-Rolled Joints Still For Sale Despite Police Chief's Request

By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)- Police in Denver have a plan to boost patrols on the 16th Street Mall after a spike in violent attacks. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has blamed what he called "travelers" thought to be enticed by the legal marijuana industry.

It was soon after this video surfaced of a man with a pipe attacking people on the mall that Denver Police Chief Robert White asked that marijuana shops near the mall stop selling individual marijuana cigarettes.

16th street mall pipe attack
(credit: Caleb Bonham)

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger took a tour of some nearby pot shops to see if those sales had indeed ceased.

The first stop was at 16th and Wazee at LoDo Wellness where Sallinger was offered two types of what were called "pre-rolls."

(credit: CBS)

When he asked an employee, "Can you tell me why you are still selling single rolled joints when the police chief asked you not to?" the employee replied, "I can't comment on that."

The next stop was Natural Remedies where Sallinger asked, "Do you sell single rolled joints?"

The employee replied the store did but had no further comment.

The 16th Street Mall is positioned in the downtown area as a place where locals, tourists and families can gather for shopping, dining and entertainment. Lately, police have been asked to step up patrols of the area after some violent encounters.

RELATED STORIES: Marijuana Legalization Story Archive

Hancock blames the recent influx of people who have made their way to Colorado.

"They came here for marijuana. It's one of the results of the legalized marijuana industry and we are going to have to deal with it," said Hancock at a news conference at the end of June.

Some people who identify as a traveler told Sallinger, "Anyone who smokes a joint to me is going to be smiling, happy... a lot better than someone around the corner smoking meth and putting a needle in their arm."

(credit: CBS)

The unofficial survey of marijuana shops selling single-rolled joints continued with two more offering up the product. Despite the request from the chief of police, what the stores are doing is completely legal.

Mayor Hancock's office sent this statement in regards to the issue: "The Denver Police Department has contacted the businesses within a six block area of the mall. The meetings were well received but these are private businesses, and as such, they choose what next steps they will take with the information we provide them. Our hope is with more information sharing and collaboration with the businesses in the area, we can continue to work together to make an impact on the mall environment."

The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce sent CBS4 an email suggesting: "Maybe the Mayor should ask all the liquor stores to stop selling tall boys of malt liquor that sit next to the register in ice bins for the homeless to buy. Alcohol is more of a problem on the mall then us."

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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