Parks are really great places to do drugs. There's soft grass, bugs you can eat when you're fucked up out of your mind for protein, and a generalized feeling of happiness and physical recreation that can really enhance your LSD visuals.

However, it's while it's always been illegal to do drugs in parks, because drugs are illegal, the city of Denver has just taken enforcement of this rule to a whole new bitch-tastic level.

Starting Friday, Denver police will be able to hit you with a 90-day park or trail suspension if they observe you being involved in any illegal drug activity, whether it’s use, possession, selling or buying of said drugs.

They don't even need evidence of illegal drug activity to do this; rather, if they so much as think you're doing drugs, they can ban you from all of Denver's parks and trails.

Why the sudden crackdown?

Well, apparently more than 3,500 spent needles have been collected on the Cherry Creek trail and in other downtown Denver parks this year alone, spurring officials to believe there's a heroin epidemic upon us.

Of course, the needles could be from one very responsible diabetic or a mid-life crisis guy shooting testosterone into his right butt cheek in order to regain some of the youthful virility he had when his wife still loved him, but … Denver officials think it's heroin. Vis-a-vis, the directive is to keep people safe from all the heroin.

But, it's not just heroin — you could look like you're doing any drug and still get stuck with the ban. Violating the directive by doing drugs in a city park or on a city trail could, in addition to the 90 day ban, land you a pretty fine of up to $999 or a year in jail.

Mercifully, suspected drug boys n' girls can appeal their park ban if turns out they just had the sniffles, not a nasal cavity full of cocaine. We're guessing that's something that'll will happen a lot seeing as how — again — police don't need evidence that you were shooting crack into your eyeballs to say you were and boot you from swimming in the City Park duck lake. Great!

As you might have guessed, the ACLU is all over this one.

While the directive gives police an easier way to crack down on drug activity that’s already illegal, Mark Silverstein, the Colorado ACLU's legal director, is skeptical of its legal basis given that police can suspend people without a conviction of illegal activity.

“There already are laws against drug-related activity anywhere in the city, including the parks,” he told the Denver Post. “So there are already laws that forbid the targeted behavior. The city apparently finds those laws inconvenient because they require the due process (guaranteed in) the Bill of Rights to enforce them.”

“The parks director has the authority to ban activities (and) has the authority to ban uses in the park,” Silverstein added. “The executive director does not have the authority to ban people.”


Of course, this begs the question: where the hell are drug users supposed to do drugs? Banning drug use and making it illegal everywhere has not stopped people from using one tiny bit, so why put the unnecessary strain on the Denver police and the Parks and Recreation department to enforce arbitrary laws like these if they a.) won't make any difference in drug use rates, and; b.) if there are already more comprehensive, overarching laws that ban all drug use everywhere?

Our guess is that Denver city officials don't know what to do about rising drug use rates, so they just … did this. Creating a prejudicial directive like this here park ban is a way for the Parks and Recreation department to "look like they're doing something" about a problem they have no idea how to address. 

Maybe if our culture followed Europe's lead and acknowledged that people will use drugs no matter what, we could promote safe drug use instead of resorting to antiquated, ineffective Drug War measures. We could have actual facilities drug users could go to shoot up and discard their needles safely; places far away from the public eye and dogs and children and people who just want to play volleyball without stepping on a Hepatitis needle. But … kind of ideal society where we help instead of harm people who struggle with addiction, is still a long way off.

The directive is only in order until February 26 of 2017 though, so you'll be back shooting up under the relaxing pines of Congress Park in no time.