Entries in Denver (3)


Denver Bans Outdoor Marijuana Advertisements

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- The Denver City Council is making it more difficult for medical marijuana dispensaries to advertise their product.

On Monday, the City Council voted to ban all outdoor advertisements for medical marijuana.  In addition to a ban on billboards or general advertisement devices, the City Council voted to ban medical marijuana or medical marijuana infused products anywhere in the city where the ad is visible to the public from the street, sidewalk, park or any other public place.  That includes handheld signs or fliers left on cars.

The Denver Council approved the ordinance 12-0.

Councilwoman Debbie Ortega told ABC News her decision came after she was “confounded by sign spinners advertising ‘free joints’ for an adjacent medical marijuana business.”

“This type of advertising is both disturbing and unsightly.  I became very concerned for the children in my neighborhood and throughout the Denver community,” she said.

The councilwoman said she was concerned that ads could lead people to believe anyone is eligible for a “free joint.”

“I decided that Denver has a responsibility to protect our kids from being exposed to medical marijuana advertising and from being targeted as long term customers,” Ortega told ABC News.

According to Ortega, “the legislation does have exceptions which will allow the business to advertise in newspaper ads, such as Westword and other publications.”

“The ordinance went into effect immediately and enforcement is handled by Denver’s Department of Excise and Licensing,” Amy Raaz, the policy director for Ortega, told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boss Gives Employees $7,500 for Vacations

Steve Mason/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Bart Lorang may be the best boss ever.

The CEO of Denver-based internet start-up FullContact API said in a market that is competitive for top talent, he wants to keep his employees happy and refreshed.

The flip-flop wearing founder offers his employees $7,500 for what he calls “paid, paid vacation,” however there are rules.

“One, you actually have to take a vacation to get the money,” Lorang said. “Two, you have to disconnect from work, so that means no calls, no emails, no tweets, no work of any kind.”

Even Lorang admitted he has trouble following his rules.

“I suck at it,” he said.

A picture of the CEO and his fiancee Sarah at Egypt’s great pyramids captured Lorang checking his email.

Not surprisingly, employees said they loved having the company pick up the tab for their vacations.

“It’s a real break for your brain,” said Robbie Jack, a FullContact API employee. “You come back refreshed and reinvigorated and more excited about the stuff you were working on when you left.”

If the idea of having a boss pick up the tab for a dream vacation is tantalizing, good news: Lorang is hiring.

“We’re probably going to hire about 12 folks in the next six months,” he said.

Tech companies have become known for their extravagant perks, and FullContact is no exception. Google offers on-site health care and pays for college degrees. At Facebook, employees with new arrivals get $4,000 in “baby cash.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cops Clash with Occupy Protesters in Denver and Portland 

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tensions between the Wall Street Occupy protesters and police boiled over in Denver this weekend as demonstrators in Portland, Ore., defied city officials by taking their march to one of the city's most affluent neighborhoods.

The Occupy protests have been going on for several weeks around the country, and in some cities, the movement has turned into a sort of stand-off between authorities and demonstrators who have been camping out in public places like civic centers and city parks.

Many of the protesters have vowed to remain where they are, ignoring curfews and sleeping in tents—an act that has already resulted in hundreds of arrests across the country.

The latest arrests came early Sunday morning in Portland, Ore., where protesters remained in a park in the affluent Pearl District past the midnight curfew, after city officials warned them not to expand their encampments beyond the parks they had already occupied.

March organizer Cameron Whitten told ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland that the neighborhood was chosen "to bring awareness to the inequality of wealth within our very city and to be in solidarity with other occupations and people in Portland and nationally who have been the target of police brutality."

Demonstrators have been occupying two other parks in the city without conflict with the police. But Mayor Sam Adams said last week he would not allow them to take over any more parks, especially not in residential neighborhoods like the one in the affluent Pearl District where the protesters were arrested Sunday.

In Denver, about 20 people were arrested Saturday, following the most violent clashes yet between police and protesters in the city. About 2,000 marchers approached the state capitol building Saturday afternoon, and a small group attempted to advance up the building's steps.

About eight officers scuffled with group, and police said they had to use pepper spray and pepper balls to break up the crowd. Protesters said police took their actions too far.

"They are definitely slap happy with their weapons. They have no qualms about using it on a peaceful bunch of people and I think that's a shame," one woman involved in the protest told ABC News Radio.

Denver Police Lt. Matt Murray said officers did not want to use force, but the demonstrators gave them no choice.

"We respect their constitutional rights to do what they're doing," he said. "Unfortunately at a certain point they went up on to the State Capitol grounds, in an area that they were told to evacuate, they chose not to do that, we at that point had to step in with the state police in order to push them back off that property."

The clash between police and demonstrators resulted in five arrests, and some people received medical treatment on the scene, Murray said.

Later in the evening, police in riot gear arrested 15 more people who ignored orders to leave an encampment of 10 to 20 tents in a downtown park.

So far on Sunday, Denver's Civic Center park is calm. About 100 people slept overnight in the park, although not in tents, after Denver police ordered demonstrators to take them all down Saturday.

Occupy Nashville is in its fourth day of protest, after three consecutive nights squaring off against local police. Despite the cold, demonstrators near Tennessee's capitol building defied a curfew for the third time. By early morning, about 50 people remained, and despite friction with state officials, no one was arrested, unlike during the previous two nights of protest.

Although more than two dozen people have been taken into custody in Nashville so far, not all local officials are on board with the arrests.

A Nashville judge said last week that there's no legal reason to keep the demonstrators behind bars. He has released protesters after every arrest and has refused each night to sign arrest warrants for those taken into custody. The state Department of Safety has been carrying out the arrests.

The Occupy Wall Street protests spread internationally about three weeks ago after starting in New York City's Zucotti Park on Sept. 17.

This weekend, some of them faced a new challenge: bad weather. Record snowfall along the East Coast forced some inside, although others, including in New York City, remained outside with tents and blankets. Occupy Maine made a plea on its Facebook page for reinforcements after the snowfall destroyed many of the group's tents. They point out that this is a good time to start talking about the logistics of occupation, before snowfall becomes a nightly occurrence.

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